by David Fisco
16 April 2013
Word count: 630
Dessert | Baking
This cake is a variation in my corn cake for dessert series.  It's a spice cake, but not in the European traditions; it uses ingredients indigenous to or used frequently in the New World.  So the flavor is distinct, unexpected for a spice cake.  It even has Anaheim chili pepper!  I chose the Anaheim chili because of its cherry overtones and low score on the Scoville scale.  The Anaheim chili leaves behind a faint echo of warmth as an aftertaste, making this a remarkable cake experience. 

2 cups (232 g) corn flour, sifted
1.25 (150 g) cup all-purpose, bleached flour, sifted
.25 cup (32 g) cornstarch, sifted
1.25 teaspoons baking powder
.5 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons Hershey's cocoa powder
1 tablespoon Ceylon cinnamon (also called "Mexican cinnamon", I used the product from Indus Organics.)
.5 teaspoon allspice
.5 teaspoon ground Anaheim chili powder (I used the product from Angelina's Gourmet.)
1 cup corn oil
1 cup tomato juice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (Mexican, if possible)
3 eggs
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2.25 (432 g)  cups minimally-processed sugar (I use Florida Crystals.)

Generously spray two 9x3" cake pans, set aside.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, combine the corn flour, all-purpose flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder, cinnamon, allspice, chili powder and corn oil.  Turn the mixer to its lowest setting and mix just until the dry ingredients are coated with the oil.  Scrape the bottom of the bowl to be sure all of the dry ingredients are coated.

In another bowl, add the tomato juice, vanilla, eggs and salt.  Stir until the salt is dissolved.  Add these wet ingredients to the mixer's bowl.  Add the sugar to the mixer's bowl.  Turn the mixer to its lowest setting and combine the ingredients.  Once fully incorporated, turn the mixer to medium speed and allow the batter to beat for two minutes.

Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans.  Bake for approximately 31-33 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Transfer to a cooling rack and allow the cake to sit in the pans for 10 minutes.  Remove from the pans and cool completely on a rack.

Frosting and topping

.5 cup (60 g) powdered sugar
1 tablespoon Ceylon cinnamon
250 grams corn flakes
4 tablespoons melted butter

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. oven for 5-6 minutes, tossing once

In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar and the cinnamon and mix completely.

Pour the corn flakes into a large bowl and pour the melted butter, in thirds, over the flakes, turning them after each addition to coat.  Continue mixing until all of the flakes are coated.  Sprinkle the cinnamon/sugar mixture over the flakes, a bit at a time, turning after each addition to coat the flakes completely.

Divide the flakes between 2 cookie sheets. Spread evenly and bake for 3 minutes.  Remove the pans and turn the flakes.  Bake for approximately another 3 minutes, until the flakes are crispy and golden.  Cool the flakes in the trays on a cooling rack.

2 8-ounce bars of cream cheese
1 stick of butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups of powdered sugar

Add the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and sugar to a bowl and beat until fully combined.  If the frosting is too thick, add a few drops of milk, if it is too loose, add spoonfuls of powdered sugar until the frosting is of spreadable consistency.

When the cake and corn flakes are at room temperature, frost the cake with the cream cheese icing, then pat the corn flakes on the sides and top of the cake to finish.  You should have some extra flakes when finished.