Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl.
Melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Set aside to cool slightly while you prepare the wet ingredients.
Whisk together the egg and buttermilk in a large mixing bowl. While whisking, pour in the melted butter and stir until combined. Stir in the dry ingredients just until combined. (Be sure not to overwork the batter.) Fold in the Cheddar, corn, if using, and chives.
Place the skillet over medium heat and add enough butter to coat the bottom. Ladle about 1/2 cup batter into the pan, spreading gently to form a thick circle. Cook until bubbles appear on the surface, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip over and cook until golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes more. Melt a small pat of butter in the skillet in between each batch (this will help the corn cakes rise). Serve immediately, with more butter and maple syrup, if desired.