When I decided to dive headlong into muffcakes I did so with some initial trepidation. You see, I am neither a cupcake nor a muffin lover. I thought perhaps it could be one of those rare cases when two un-scintillating things combine to make something borderline orgiastic- like when my parents made me, for example (smart, clever and humble too- watch out world!).
Nevertheless, when Angi from Rice and Wheat made up the word “muffcakes” during a twitter conversation with Mariko from The Little Foodie I couldn’t help but lick my lips in anticipation. I suggested we join forces and do a ménage a trois muffcakes post, of course it was such a winning word that two other lovelies (Jackie from I am a Feeder and Annelies from La Vie en Route) decided to turn our ménage into a right orgy, so here we are, all munching muffcakes on the same day.
Since I am patently unable to smash-up a cupcake and a muffin with any authenticity, I knew another cake all together must form the base of my muffcakes. I didn’t have to think too long before brilliance struck- HOECAKES! A small part of me may have chosen them for their name, but a much more dignified part recognized the carnal appeal of hoecakes.
Dayum- those little pillows of yeasty cornmeal are revelatory in the way that Paula Deen revels in butter and bacon fat. I daresay she bathes in fat to achieve that Southern glow she sports, and that’s just what hoecakes do- I used Plugra butter, sheep’s lard and bacon fat to fry them up.
I hope the irony of using the hoecake as the base for a muffcake post is not lost on you for two reasons.
A. The name is apropos
B. They are yeasted. Figure that one out, smartie pantses.
I poured my hoecakes into the frying pan via a triangular mold. Why, Salty, did you use a triangle form? I will leave the illuminati amongst you to explain that to the innocenti.
All this talk about hoecakes, muffcakes and grease has worked me into a right frenzy. I mean, I’m kind of sweating a little bit from all the heavy-thinking, and it’s got me a bit sticky. I think I’d better go outside and suck on a candy cigarette to bestill my heart so I can nose into the flesh of this entry, which is that this is actually a post about equality.
Every hoecake is created equal, whether she has blonde spun sugar, red spun sugar, brunette spun sugar, or even whether she’s decided to dye her spun sugar acid green in a temporary bout of rebellion. While each hoecake might not taste quite the same, every one of them is worthy of being eaten. In fact, hoecakes enjoy being eaten, as long as you take your time, savor the flavor, and are gentle with your teeth.
On the suggestion of a friend versed in the art of muffcake-eating, I’ve given the hoecakes a thong of fruit leather to contain their spun sugar. You’ll notice some fruit thongs contain the sugar better than others. That’s ok. Sometimes the spun sugar creeps out in a manicured fashion, like an airstrip in the jungle, and other spun sugar is disheveled like an overgrown secret garden. No matter how the fruit thong fits and the spun sugar splays, like I said earlier, hoecakes are created equal and should be heartily plundered as such, whether or not Edward Scissorhands has made a recent visit.
In order to add spice, I’ve outfitted each hoecake with a cherry. Think of this as a little love button. It’s the first point of contact for creating great amounts of pleasure when you put the hoecakes in your mouth, so enjoy it.
Some of the cherries are glistening, moist, almost nubile. Other cherries are dried; of course you can make them wet again if you suck on them a little bit. Sometimes when you first bite a nubile cherry it has quite a bit of liquid- you’ll want to be careful not to get this on your shirt, so it’s better to dive into the muffcakes with your shirt off. Or at least wear a bib. This isn’t as much of a concern with the dried cherries, so if you’re wearing a shirt you don’t want to part with because you’re in a hurry, a dried cherry hoecake might be your best bet.
There are other things that can enhance hoecake-eating that I did not include on the hoecakes themselves. For example, people often find that drinking a little champagne enhances the hoecake-eating experience. Others even go so far as to sling back a few oysters first, but I cannot verify that particular pairing. Some swear up and down that smoking a cigarette after eating a particularly robust hoecake really takes them over the edge, but since I don’t smoke I can’t vouch for that one either.
I heartily encourage you to plunge into hoecakes as muffcakes yourself; I think you’ll enjoy them no matter who you are (though some, admittedly more than others). Also, thank you for allowing me to pay lip-service to the issue of hoecake equality. It’s really a throbbing matter more people ought to insert themselves into caring about. Now get out there and put some muffcakes in your mouth, peeps. And remember, if my muffcakes left you thirsting for more, you can lap up the muffcakes of my homegirls too:
Or add to the twitter conversation by using the hashtag #muffcakes
Hoe Cakes recipe here
Spun sugar technique here