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Last year the diplomatickitchen posted a recipe for a savoury French loaf ‘cake’ made with arugula and pine nuts.  Since French cakes come in many variations,… and since these cakes travel well,…and since it is once again the season for out-of-doors dining and picnics—the dk offers another recipe for one of these loaves, the French term for which is…a ‘cake’.

This year’s version contains Reblochon cheese.  American expats who find Reblochon in the supermarkets of their temporary overseas homes may feel fortunate to have the opportunity to try Reblochon and to cook with it.  It has, unfortunately, been banned from import into the United States because it is made of unpasteurized milk.  In fact, the peanut has given more cause for offense as a threat to American public health than this delicious and unprovocative cheese whose crimes against sanitary eating are purely of a theoretical nature.  (Europeans have been bravely dining on Reblochon for lo’ these many years.)  But for the American at home, ‘Le Delice du Jura’ is a soft-ripened cheese made of the same milk as Reblochon–only pasteurized–and is recommended by experienced cheese lovers as a substitute for the real thing.

If you try Reblochon made into this French cake and find it good, you might then like to go to the Recipe Archives of the diplomatickitchen and sample the cheese in its best-known form…Tartiflette.

Savoury Reblochon ‘Cake’ with Bacon, Onion and Walnuts (for 1 loaf)

Note: To print this recipe, or any other diplomatickitchen recipe, go to the bottom of the page, at the end of the post, and click on the icon: Print & PDF. You will have the option of printing in smaller text size and without photos.

Ingredients:  Measurements are given in metric units and the closest American equivalents.

  • a 200 gram round of Reblochon (9 and 1/2 ounces)
  • 100 grams of ‘Lardons’ (matchstick strips of European bacon), cut into small cubes or 1/2 cup of American Bacon cut in cubes or small bits
  • 2 medium-sized yellow Onions, chopped
  • a pinch of Sugar
  • freshly ground Black Pepper and Salt
  • 20 grams of Butter (1 and 1/2 Tablespoons), plus some more for greasing the loaf pan
  • 150 grams of Unbleached White Flour (1 cup, plus 1/8 cup, plus 1 Tablespoon), plus a little more for flouring the sides of the loaf pan
  • a sachet of Baking Powder (2 and 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 100 milliliters of dry White Wine (1/3 cup)
  • 3 Eggs, beaten
  • 100 milliliters of Sunflower Oil
  • 50 grams of Walnuts (1/2 cup), chopped

Equipment:

  • a Loaf Pan (the pictured loaf was baked in a pan measuring 10-inches x 4 and 1/2-inches across the top, 3-inches deep, with a 9-inch x 3 and 1/2-inch base.  Any loaf pan will do…Using a pan of different dimensions, the baking time may vary slightly from the estimated time given in the recipe.)
  • a sheet of Parchment Paper:  optional for lining the bottom of the pan
  • a medium-sized Frying Pan
  • a Cutting Board and Knife
  • 2 small Bowls and 1 large Mixing Bowl
  • a Spoon for mixing the batter

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C).  Butter the loaf pan, line the bottom with parchment paper and flour the buttered sides of the pan.

2.  In the frying pan, brown the lardons or the cubes of bacon, drain them and set them aside in a small bowl to cool off.  (Lardons render less fat than American bacon, so, if you are using lardons, it may be necessary to add a little oil to the pan in order to brown them without burning.)  Drain the fat from the pan and set it aside to use for frying the onions.

3.  Remove the rind from the cheese and cut it into small bits.  Reblochon is soft and sticky, and it’s more accurate to describe the knife’s action as ‘tearing off’ bits of the cheese.  Keep the bits separate until they are added to the batter by spreading them out in a single layer on a cutting board as you cut them off.  (They will stick a bit to the board and it will be easiest to scrape them off, directly into the batter, with a knife.)

4.  Heat the butter in the frying pan and brown the onions with a pinch of sugar.  When they turn a golden color, transfer them to a small bowl and set them aside to cool.

5.  In a mixing bowl, combine the flour and baking powder.  Add the wine, oil, the beaten eggs, and a few grinds of black pepper and salt.  Stir everything together until the mixture is just combined, then add the bits of Reblochon, the cooled onions, the lardons or bacon, and the chopped walnuts.

6.  Turn the batter into the loaf pan and bake it for 50 minutes.  A done loaf has a sponge-ey texture and rises back when pressed with the tip of a finger.

7.  Cool the loaf in the pan for 10 minutes on a cooling rack, then turn it out on the rack to cool completely and strip away the parchment from its bottom.

A Note:  If you are interested in knowing more about Reblochon:  its origin, how it is made, and how to know if the Reblochon you are buying is authentic, you may read about it in the diplomatickitchen post:  Tartiflette ~ the dish made from forbidden cheese.

A Second Note:  Reblochon ‘Cake’ is the savoury half of the Occasional Menu:  Hungarian ‘Ten O’Clocks’ ~ a Tizórai.  It is also recommended to be served plain, as a bread–beside soup, salad…

It is a good addition to a buffet or picnic, since it stays moist a long time and travels well, conveniently packed in the loaf pan in which it baked and sliced in situ:

…Thin slices of the cake make a good hors d’oeuvre, too, with cornichons and pickled cocktail onions:

An Acknowledgement:  Reblochon Cake is adapted from a recipe in the July-August 2012  ‘hors série‘ issue of the French cooking magazine Cuisine Actuelle.

© Elizabeth Laeuchli, the diplomatickitchen, 2011-2012

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