Oops! Cornmeal Confusion

I was expecting guests last week and decided to make a Southern Living recipe that I cut from a back issue for Blackberry Cornbread Muffins.  I thought they’d make a tasty accompaniment to omelettes for brunch.

Oh white self-rising corn meal! Where were you when I needed you?

Now, I’m not from the South, and didn’t grown up making cornbread from scratch (if we ever made it, we used the Jiffy mix) so I am not familiar with corn meal, corn flour, etc.

The recipe called for 2 cups of self-rising white cornmeal.  We couldn’t find self-rising, so we looked up a substitution – adding baking powder and salt yourself.  No big deal, I thought.

We also couldn’t find white cornmeal, so we bought yellow.  Oops!  I didn’t bother to research the difference, thinking maybe it was like white v. yellow cheddar.  Same consistency, just a slightly different taste.

So I went ahead with the yellow cornmeal, adding the 1 ½ tsp baking powder and ½ tsp salt that makes it self-rising.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t serve the muffins.  They were too gritty and heavy.  They lacked any sort of fluffiness that you’d expect from a muffin.  Aside from the cornmeal confusion, they also weren’t sweet.  The sugar didn’t overcome the natural tartness of the blackberries.  Needless to say, they didn’t get their picture taken!

I’ve now done a fair bit of reading about cornmeal, and I won’t make that mistake again!


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