Mistake! It happened while mixing a cake and simultaneously preparing hummus with red bell pepper and onion at 6:30 in the morning. For some mysterious reason, I felt like making a less “sugary” cake, so in went less sugar – and more salt – than usual. The aromas of almond and vanilla were floating at the corner of my mind, but I just couldn’t decide which. It was still too early for my brain to function efficiently.
As I pondered the next step, the butter and sugar were sitting idly in their mixing bowl. In the meantime, I turned around to stir the red peppers and onions that were gently caramelizing on the stove. They were ready to go. I picked up the frying pan, and accidentally tossed the lot into the cake mixture. Oh no! So I carefully picked them out, hoping the cake would not pick up the flavour, and rinsed them off – only to put them back in again. Hallo!? Where did my awareness go today? Or was it just a bad – or serendipitous – case of mindlessness?
After a moment of disbelief that I’d just made the same mistake twice, I considered that perhaps the universe was trying to tell me something? And it was. THIS is what happened, a simply wonderful mistake…corn bread with roasted bell peppers. Um um 🙂
½ red onion
½ red bell pepper
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
125 g (½ cup) butter
85 g (⅓ cup) sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon chilli powder
Dash smoked paprika powder
125 ml (½ cup) buttermilk (or combine equal parts of yogurt and milk)
150 g (¾ cup) sweet corn
50 g (½ cup) grated cheese
250 g (1½ cups) fine cornmeal
75 g (½ cup) flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
- Peel and small-dice the red onion.
- Deseed and small-dice the bell pepper.
- In a frying pan on low-medium flame, heat up the olive oil, then stir in the red onion and bell pepper. Slowly sauté until they are deeply caramelized.
- Preheat the oven to 190 °C (375 °F) and line and grease a 25 cm (10”) square cake tin.
- Soften the butter and beat in the sugar, salt, chilli powder, and smoked paprika powder.
- Next, beat in one egg at a time until combined, then beat in the buttermilk. (Scrape the batter off the blender with a spatula.)
- Put in the fried onion and bell pepper, grated cheese, and sweet corn.
- In a separate bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour and baking powder.
- Cut and fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients using a large metal spoon or firm spatula, or beat for a few seconds with an electric beater until just combined for about 15-20 seconds. Take care not to over mix. Finish by reaching into the bottom of the bowl with a few folds of a spatula.
- Drop the batter into the cake tin, level out, and bake for about 30–40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the bread..
- Leave to cool in the tin for 30 minutes, then lift out and place on a wire rack.
- Serve sliced into squares with butter.