I've been reading this book by Orlando Murrin all about how he and his partner quit London, bought an old manor house in South-west France and turned it into a super-luxurious B&B. It all looks incredibly idyllic and the recipes are lovely - I am sure we could never afford to stay there so I made this easy loaf from the book instead and it was just delicious. Reblochon is available from the East Dulwich Deli and Ocado.
Makes 3 small loaves or 1 large
In the past three years French cooks have been swept by a craze for ‘les cakes’. I am not sure how the misunderstanding occurred, but by cake they do not mean something round and sweet, but something loaf-shaped and usually savoury.
We serve the Raynaudes ‘cake’ in slices with aperitifs – it is especially elegant when baked in a dainty cocktail size. You can vary the flavouring as you choose – fried mushrooms, diced ham, herbs or other tasty morsels.
handful of black olives, roughly chopped
85g Parmesan, coarsely grated
500g plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt and plenty of ground black pepper
110g cubes Reblochon or other semi-soft cheese
2 tbsp freshly chopped herbs
40g melted butter
1 large egg
175ml crème fraiche
Fry the lardons still just beginning to go brown. Leave to cool and mix in the olives.
Grease a 13 x 24cm loaf tin or three 6 x 18cm tins and sprinkle half the Parmesan evenly around the base. Whisk the flour, baking powder and seasoning in a large bowl (easier than sifting). Mix in the Reblochon, herbs, lardoons and olives.
In a large jug or bowl, whosk the milk, butter, egg and crème fraiche. Using a large rubber spatula, fold the wet into the dry until just mixed.
Turn into the tin(s), sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan and bakes for 30 mins (small) or 45 – 50 (large) till a skewer comes out clean, though be aware that if it hits some oozy cheese it will come out sticky regardless. Cool in the tin for 10 – 15 minutes then turn out and serve warm.