Do-Ahead Sweet Potato Cornbread with Goat Cheese, Charred Corn & Scallions

Seeking to add a spark on Thanksgiving, I created this non-traditional cornbread, however, it’s equally as good alongside a simple bowl of soup or chili. The proportions are easily halved if you are not feeding a crowd. The most important thing to know is that this cornbread vastly improves after a day in the refrigerator. The sweetness mellows, the spices come through, and it develops a moister crumb. Rewarm gently before serving, as cornbread is less desirable when cool. If you’d rather use fresh sweet potato puree, that’s perfectly acceptable. Slow roast your potatoes, then peel and mash so that you have two cups.

Do-Ahead Sweet Potato Cornbread with Goat Cheese, Charred Corn & Scallions

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Seeking to add a spark on Thanksgiving, I created this non-traditional cornbread, however, it's equally as good alongside a simple bowl of soup or chili. The proportions are easily halved if you are not feeding a crowd. The most important thing to know is that this cornbread vastly improves after a day in the refrigerator. The sweetness mellows, the spices come through, and it develops a moister crumb. Rewarm gently before serving, as cornbread is less desirable when cool. If you'd rather use fresh sweet potato puree, that's perfectly acceptable. Slow roast your potatoes, then peel and mash so that you have two cups.
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Servings 18

Ingredients
 

  • 2 cups (240 grams) fine cornmeal
  • 2 cups (240 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ancho chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 sticks (½ pound) unsalted butter
  • 4 large eggs
  • 15- ounce can sweet potato puree
  • 1 ⅓ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup

For topping:

  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels
  • ½ tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 6 large sage leaves, chopped
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 4 ounces fresh goat cheese
  • 2 scallions, chopped

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 350 F. Butter a 12 x 9-inch baking pan and line with parchment paper, allowing overhang on two sides (this will act as a “handle” making it easier to remove the cornbread).
  • Put the two sticks of butter in a small saucepan and melt over medium heat. Stir occasionally with a heatproof spatula and let it cook and bubble until the milk solids begin to turn brown. Pour into a metal or pyrex mixing bowl, scraping the brown bits from the pan, and let it cool down slightly.
  • Whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ancho powder and allspice in a medium bowl until everything is evenly distributed.
  • Melt the 1 tablespoon butter for the topping in a medium skillet until sizzling. Add the corn kernels, sage, and a pinch of salt and cook over high heat, stirring constantly. When the corn starts to take on some color, remove from the heat and set aside.
  • Whisk the sweet potato puree and brown sugar into the brown butter. Add the buttermilk, maple syrup, and eggs and whisk to combine. Whisk in the flour until incorporated, then pour into your prepared pan, smoothing the top. Distribute the corn, goat cheese, and scallions evenly over the top, then place in your preheated oven.
  • Bake the cornbread for 40-50 minutes, until it is firm in the center and has slightly pulled away from the sides of the pan. Remove to a rack and let cool, then refrigerate overnight. (see note)
  • The cornbread will be slightly easier to cut while it is cold, so it’s a good idea to do this before you reheat it to serve. Remove from the pan using the parchment, and use a serrated knife to cut the desired size squares (I serve large squares, cutting 6 across by 3 to make 18 total, but you could cut 4 x 6, making 24 total). Place right back in your baking pan, and pop in a 225 F oven for 12-15 minutes. Remove and serve warm.

Notes

Note: You can serve this the same day that it is made, but the flavor and texture improve remarkably the next day, so it is my suggestion to make a day ahead.
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