By Jolene Lamb, coordinator, Culinary Institute, Lincoln Land Community College
Sweet corn! My favorite summer food is here, and if you are like me, you cannot pass up a roadside stand or farmers market that sells this delicious, sweet, golden summer food. Sweet corn, like bacon, is one of those foods that I can eat in some form or another to fit almost every meal, including dessert. Yes dessert! Why not? It’s called sweet corn for a reason. It’s not so strange to eat caramel popped corn for dessert, so is it that far of a stretch to use fresh corn in a dessert? Maybe it is for some, although the following recipes might change your perspective. Sweet corn is a starchy vegetable which works well for baking purposes. The sweet flavor and creamy texture are a perfect fit for desserts. Here are a few recipes to add to your summer uses for sweet corn.
Sweet Corn Ice Cream
Yield: 1 quart
- 2 ears sweet corn kernels removed from cobs (save the cobs)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup sugar, divided
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Place corn kernels, cobs, cream, milk, and half of sugar in a saucepan and simmer until sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and allow mixture to steep for 1 hour.
- Remove cobs, pour mixture into a blender and puree. Strain mixture through a fine sieve and pour back into the saucepan. Heat mixture until scalding.
- Place remaining sugar, yolks and salt into a mixing bowl and whisk together until light and fluffy.
- Once mixture is scalding, slowly pour a steady stream of mixture (about 1 cup) into egg yolks, whisking constantly to prevent the eggs from scrambling.
- Transfer the egg yolk and milk mixture back to saucepan and whisk together with any remaining milk mixture. Heat on medium until mixture starts to thicken enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Remove from heat, pour into a clean bowl. Place bowl into an ice bath and stir in vanilla extract.
- Remove from ice bath, cover and chill in the refrigerator. Use a kitchen aid ice cream attachment or other ice cream machine to churn the cooled mix into ice cream. Enjoy immediately or freeze for future use. Top with fresh raspberries, blackberries and blueberries for a sweet and tart combo.
Sweet Corn Crème Brûlée
Yield: 4 servings
- 2 ears sweet corn kernels removed from cobs
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup raw sugar
- 4 ramekins (crème brûlée bowls) 6 ounce
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- Puree the corn and milk in a blender until smooth. Strain the mixture into a pitcher. Add the cream and in a pan cook until simmering.
- In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the granulated sugar. Whisking constantly, gradually pour a steady small stream of the hot cream mixture into the eggs. Add the vanilla.
- Pour the cream mixture into the ramekins and place in a shallow metal cake pan. Fill pan with hot water about half way up the sides of the ramekins.
- Bake until almost set but still a bit soft in the center, 30 to 40 minutes. The custard should wiggle a bit when you shake the pan; it will firm up more as it cools.
- Remove from the water bath and let cool 15 minutes. Tightly cover each ramekin with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or until ready to serve.
- Preheat a broiler to very hot (or fire up your kitchen torch). Uncover the chilled custards. Sprinkle raw sugar on top of the custards. Place the bowls on a baking sheet and broil until the sugar is melted and well browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Or brown them with a blowtorch. Let cool 1 minute before serving.
Chocolate Hazelnut Sweet Corn Cake topped with Ganache and Caramel Corn
Yield: 1 two layer 8 inch round cake
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 1/2 cups fresh sweet corn kernels
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup strong brewed black coffee
- 1 tablespoon hazelnut liquor
- 1 bag high quality caramel corn
- 16 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 2 8inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
- Heat a skillet on medium high heat, add the butter and melt. Add the corn, and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Cook five minutes or until the corn has browned lightly and caramelized. Remove from the heat.
- Pour the corn into a blender or food processor. Add the buttermilk and puree until completely smooth, about three minutes. Set aside.
- In a medium size bowl combine the two flours, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand held mixer) beat together the eggs, corn/buttermilk mixture, oil, and vanilla until smooth. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients with the mixer on low until there are no longer any clumps of flour. Add the hot coffee and hazelnut liquor and mix until combined. Batter should be pourable, but not super thin.
- Divide batter among the 2 cake pans and bake 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are just set and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove and let cool completely before frosting.
- To make the ganache, in a microwave, heat the heavy cream until scalding, not boiling. Place chocolate chips in a clean and dry bowl. Pour the scalded cream over the chocolate and stir slowly until melted. Once melted stir in the vanilla extract and salt. Cover place in the fridge for 15 minutes.
- Remove chilled ganache from the fridge and beat it with a mixer on high speed until fluffy, 2 to 4 minutes.
- To assemble the cake, place 1 layer, flat side up, on a plate or cake stand. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with a layer of whipped ganache. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the whipped ganache evenly on the top and sides of the cake. Top with caramel corn.
Lincoln Land Community College offers credit programs in Culinary Arts, Hospitality Management, Baking/Pastry, and Value Added Local Food, and non-credit cooking and food classes through our Community Education Culinary Institute. For more information, visit our website at www.llcc.edu.
Cooking or food questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.