1 1/2 cups (235g) corn flour (see Note, below)
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder (preferably aluminum-free)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon chile powder or cayenne
4 tablespoons (55g) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cubed
1 cup (250ml) whole or lowfat milk
1 tablespoon honey
2 ears of fresh corn (2 cups kernels, 300g)
optional: a spoonful of freshly chopped chile peppers
2 large eggs, separated
1 large egg white
1. Whisk together the corn flour, baking powder, salt and chile powder in a large bowl.
2. In a small saucepan, heat the butter with the milk and honey, until the butter is melted. Set aside until tepid, then make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and stir in the milk mixture, the 2 egg yolks, the corn, and the chopped chile, if using.
3. In a clean, dry bowl, beat the 3 egg whites until stiff and they hold their shape, then fold them completely into the corn mixture.
4. Heat some butter in a skillet. When hot, spoon batter in mounds into the pan, spaced apart – making as many as will comfortably fit in the pan. (I used a spring-loaded ice cream scoop, which holds about 1/4 cup, 60ml, of batter. You can use a large spoon if you wish.) Flatten them slightly if the batter is too rounded.
5. Let the corn cakes cook until browned on the bottom and starting to bubble around the edges. Flip the corn cakes with a spatula and cook on the other side for about a minute, until lightly browned on the reverse side.
I added a chopped bird’s eye chile, which made them pretty spicy. So you can either omit the chile, use a different chile, or add a bit more chili powder than I called for. I had considered adding some fresh herbs, and had some chopped basil waiting in the wings. But when I tasted them, I didn’t want anything to detract from the wonderful fresh corn flavor. To fry them up, I used clarified butter which will smoke less. If you want to serve them warm, put a baking sheet in a low oven, about 325ºF (160ºC) and put them in there as you remove them from the pan until ready to serve. Aside from the four I ate right out of the pan, the others were enjoyed at room temperature at the outdoor picnic dinner I went to.
Aside from just a little salted butter swiped and melted over them just after they’re fried, these corn cakes would be great with some roasted tomato salsa heaped on top, alongside a pile of garlicky sautéed greens, or crowned with a dollop of sour cream and salmon eggs with chives. They also would make a nice side course with grilled fish, chicken, or meat.