Cornmeal-Millet Toasting Cake

Adapted from Mollie Katzen's Sunlight Café
Yield: 12 or more servings (1 tube cake)
Preparation time: 15 minutes, plus 1 hour to bake
If your idea of a perfect breakfast is a toasty slice of something sweet dunked in your coffee or cocoa, this cake is for you. It has a wonderful textureÑfull of cornmeal and fluffy cooked millet... and it's just sweet enough to appease your sugar craving without overdoing it. Although designed to be sliced, toasted, and buttered, this cake can also eaten straight when freshly baked.

  • Unwrap the butter ahead of time and place it directly in the mixing bowl to soften.
  • Use a fine grade of cornmeal (not the coarser polenta) for best results.
  • For the protein powder, use the fuffy, beige, slightly sweet variety (usually marked "80 %" or "90%" soy protein powder) in the bulk bins at most natural food stores
  • Freeze the cake in slices, sealed in a heavy zip-style plastic bag. If they're not too thick, the frozen slices can go directly into a toaster oven without being defrosted.
Nonstick spray
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 to 1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup soy protein powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups cooked millet (instructions follow)
2 cups yogurt (lowfat okay)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a standard-sized tube pan or Bundt pan with nonstick spray.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the butter for several minutes with an electric mixer at high speed. Add the sugar and beat for several minutes longer. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Beat in the vanilla.
  3. In a second bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, protein powder, salt, baking powder, and baking soda, slowly mixing them together with a whisk. Add the brown sugar and millet, rubbing them in with your fingers until the mixture is uniformly blended.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture in 3 installments, alternating with the yogurt (dry-wet-dry-wet-dry). After each addition, use a spoon or rubber spatula to stir from the bottom of the bowl just enough to blend. Don't overmix. The batter will be stiff.
  5. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, spooning it in clump by clump. When it is all in the pan, take your time spreading it evenly in place with a rubber spatula.
  6. Bake in the middle of the oven for 1 hour, or until a toothpick or sharp knife inserted all the way into the center comes out clean. Cool for at least 45 minutes before removing the cake from the pan. (To remove the cake from a tube pan, pull out the tube with the cake still on it, and set it down. Gently lift the cake off and onto a plate. To remove the cake from a Bundt pan, rap the pan sharply a few times, then invert the cake onto a plate.) Let the cake cool on the plate for at least 15 minutes before slicing.

Combine 1 cup millet with 1 1/2 cups water in a medium-small saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower to the slowest possible simmer, and cover. Simmer 25 to 30 minutes, or until tender. Fluff with a fork to let the steam escape and to keep the grains separate. Yield: 3 cups