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I adapted this from a recipe by "billy" dated 9/22/03 somewhere on the web. He called it "El Torito Corn Bread with Masa Harina" and the last instruction read: "Serve warm on a cool morning by the beach in Guadalajara with a dark-eyed cutie named Esmerelda after a night of drinking charro negros and shots of Cuervo. Mmmmmm!". Wow! That doesn't really suit my mid-30s-married-with-child lifestyle, so I served it this Sunday morning in the suburbs with a brown- (DH) and red-haired cutie (DS) after an early night of popcorn and movie rentals. It's fabulous, moist, and sweet (definitely not a Southern corn bread!), and not too bad on the nutrition end of things. One serving contains 168 calories, 4.2 g protein (10% of calories), 7.0 g fat (36%, 2.8 g saturated), and 23.5 g carbohydrates (54%). Prep and cooking times are wild guesses.
- 5 tablespoons light butter (Land O Lakes)
- 3 tablespoons neufchatel cheese
- 1 tablespoon liquid lecithin
- 1⁄2 cup egg white
- 1 tablespoon barley malt syrup or 1 tablespoon honey
- 1⁄2 cup Splenda sugar substitute
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 cup sweet corn, divided
- 1 cup masa harina (corn flour)
- 6 tablespoons cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon vital wheat gluten
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 cup unsweetened soymilk or 1⁄2 cup cow milk, plus
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened soymilk or 2 tablespoons cow milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit; grease an 8" square baking pan.
- In food processor bowl fitted with steel blade, beat butter, Neufchatel cheese, and lecithin until fluffy.
- Add the egg whites and beat for about 30 seconds.
- Add barley malt syrup (or honey), splenda, 1/2 cup of the corn kernels, the milk, and the cornstarch; puree these together.
- In medium bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients (masa harina, corn meal, gluten, baking powder, and salt) with a whisk, making sure that everything’s incorporated well.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and add the remaining 1/2 cup corn kernels; fold gently to combine; don’t go too rough on the batter because you don’t want the gluten to develop or the bread will be tough.
- Transfer the mixture to your greased pan, and bake until it reaches an internal temperature of 185 degrees F; I used a probe thermometer so I don’t know exactly how long it took; probably about 40 minutes; look for a golden color, and a firm center.
- If you can manage to do so, let stand 15 mins before cutting.
- Additional Chef Notes: The cornstarch and liquid lecithin help bind the ingredients and retain moisture, two roles normally played by fat, some of which has been eliminated in this recipe;"Masa harina" is the corn flour that is used to make delicious authentic corn tortillas-- the flavor is entirely different from wheat-based (for example, all-purpose) flours; This recipe calls for gluten since neither corn flour nor corn meal have gluten in them naturally, the protein in wheat that helps impart structure, and lets your bread rise better; My guess is that if you omit the cornstarch, liquid lecithin, masa harina, and gluten, your bread won't be as moist or flavorful.
If this pan of cornbread wasn't covered with plastic wrap I think the cornbread would just float away, it's that light. I love sweet cornbread so this was just perfect for my taste. I don't know what light butter is and couldn't find it at the grocers (I used regular) and I didn't want to invest in lecithin as I use fish oil capsules as a daily supplement so I substituted olive oil for the lecithin. Everything else I did per the recipe. It took 30 minutes to bake. I can't wait for another piece. Thanks for your efforts to make this healthier and for the nutrition information, Heather U.