If I don’t have something to bake for an order on Sundays, I always bake something to share with family or friends, and also to use as fodder for this space. About 85% of the time, I never sit down to really brainstorm what to bake. I see what’s in season and I make whatever comes to my mind first. Today was not that simple. I started thinking about this on Thursday. I was wracking my brain. This morning, I was tossing and turning in bed, telling myself I couldn’t get up and go to the gym until I figured it out (which is actual motivation because I love my Sunday gym sessions). Cherries are in season, so I bought those on Thursday. Pie? Nah, that’s pretty ordinary. Some variation of black forest cake? Not feelin’ it. Vegan ice cream with chunks of cornbread and cherry compote? Yeah, that sounds amazing so I might still make it later this week. But not today.
Still not having decided anything, I went to the farmers’ market with one of my best gal pals. I zoned out, walking down the rows and rows of voluptuous produce. It’s kind of terrifying to not know what to make. I guess I could call it baker’s block.
I realized that sitting around wasn’t going to solve anything. Going to the market was fine, but I was still moving slowly and trying to squeeze an idea out of my brain. So, I got busy. I went to the grocery store, cleaned, replaced my eyeliner, and made plans to watch the US game against Portugal in the World Cup for later tonight. Turns out my creative process involves getting the hell out of my house, off the Internet, away from screens, and just getting super busy. This is pretty obvious now that I’m thinking about it, but, you know, you think you should look around the web for inspiration, etc. Chances are, babe, you ain’t gonna find it there! It was a rough half-day of thinking followed by just workin’ it the hell out and making a gut decision.
What is your creative process? What do you do when you’re stuck, without an idea?
So, here is the recipe for individual corn cakes with cherries, plums, and roasted honey. Top it off with ganache if you want! We did. And Alphonso mangoes are perfect with anything, so get them in on the action, too!
Use the cornbread recipe from this dessert, but only make half the amount. Add 2 Tbsp of brown sugar.
1/4 pound bing cherries
1-2 black plums, optional
1/3 c honey
Preheat your oven to 420 F. Grease four individual tart pans, or an 8″ round pan, or an 8″ square pan.
Divide the cornbread into the four pans and top them each with slices of fruit. I used plums and cherries, but you could definitely use just one or the other. Bake the cakes for 11 minutes, then take them out of the oven and drizzle honey over the top of each. Put the cake back in the oven for about five minutes, or until you can hear the honey sizzle and can smell it browning and roasting. This will make the tops and sides of the cakes a little crispy and SO good. Once done baking, set aside to cool.
1/4 c non-dairy milk (anything other than rice milk)
6 oz bittersweet chocolate
4 Tbsp honey
1/4 tsp salt
Chop chocolate and put in a heat-proof bowl with the honey and salt. Heat milk until it simmers and bubbles – then pour it over the chocolate. Stir gently with a spatula until chocolate is melted and everything is smooth and combined.
You can serve the cakes hot or at room temperature. I heated them up under the broiler of my oven for about 5 minutes. Ganache can also be warm or at room temperature. Drizzle the ganache over the cakes and top with chopped mangoes, cherry compote, or fresh cherries! This cake is your oyster.