Cooking cobs of corn in their husks directly on the coals gives them a wonderful smokiness and, let’s face it, it’s a pretty cool way to serve them too. Add a smear of my salty cayenne butter for a little spicy kick. This method from Share is also great for campfire cooking... just throw the cobs in when the flames have died down.
6 cobs of fresh sweetcorn (husks on)
150 g butter, softened
1 tablespoon sea salt flakes, or to taste
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
Preheat the barbecue to hot.
Meanwhile, soak the cobs in water for 30 minutes, this will stop the husks burning too quickly and the residual moisture will help steam the kernels. While you are waiting, you can make the cayenne butter.
Put the softened butter in a mixing bowl with the salt flakes and cayenne pepper and beat until blended. Taste, adding more salt or cayenne to suit your own taste. Scrape the butter into a small bowl and level the surface with the back of a spoon. Chill in the fridge until ready to use.
When you are ready to cook the corn, shake the excess water from the cobs and place them directly onto the coals, you want just the burning embers, no flames. They take about 30 minutes to cook; turn them every so often when the husks have fully blackened, then remove from the heat and rest for a few minutes. If you’re using a gas barbecue, place above the hottest part of the barbecue.
To remove the husks in one go, use a sharp knife and cut the base off the corn, leave a couple of corn on the cob with the husks on and just pulled back to reveal the corn, basically because this looks cool! You can tie them back with string to keep things nice and tidy, if you like.
Serve in a pile on the sharing board, letting a few tablespoons of the salty cayenne butter melt over the top of the hot corn and the rest spread next to the corn – directly onto the board is how I like to do it.