Steven is in doubt whether this dish really is a corn cake rather than a corn soufflé or a corn flan. To me, if you’re even debating this absurd point, then the cake is already a huge success.
Once again, I tried to reproduce another of my mother’s recipes. As I remember, her cake was dense at the bottom with about a half-inch thick layer of a creamy, corny, browned custard topping that was just like heaven. One day she baked this cake then left it unattended. Guess what I did? I grabbed a spoon and used it to scrape off the creamy top, which I devoured immediately. Thoughtfully, I left the rest of the hollowed-out cake there for the next guest. Mom was not a happy camper when she found out. But I was young, no more than six, so I was able to get away with it.
My mother, Donica, baked this cake and lots of other delicacies in the wood-burning oven just outside her kitchen in the backyard. I think the baking method contributed to the particular magnificence of the custard topping. This involved baking it in a cast iron pan with a tray on top filled with embers. I suspect that the type of sweet corn she used also played a role here. Regardless, my adaptation turned out gooey and creamy with a dark crust on top despite using an electric oven without the embers. We ate the entire cake in two sittings! That’s fast for us. I guess I can use that Alton Brown saying here: this is serious good eats!
Brazilian creamy sweet yellow corn cake
6 cobs of fresh sweet yellow corn
3 tbsp butter at room temperature
1½ cups sugar
½ cup soy milk
3 tbsp flour
¾ tbsp baking powder
Use some butter and flour to grease and dust a glass baking pan. Pre-heat oven to 350F.
Using a paring knife cut corn off the cobs, making sure kernels are cut close to the cob. Process kernels in food processor until soupy. I did this in two batches. Transfer to a large bowl. Add sugar, eggs, flour, and soy milk to food processor and spin it until ingredients are combined. Fold into corn then whisk in baking powder until incorporated. Transfer batter to baking dish and bake for about 1h and 10 minutes. Serve with a big cup of freshly brewed black coffee.