Remember recently I said how we'd managed to pick up a selection of old cookery books from a Freecycle lady? Well, one of those cookery books was "Traditional Farmhouse Teas" by Janice Murfitt. It's a teensy little book with lots of lovely tea-time fare detailed.
Hubby, being the baker of the family, was immediately taken with the idea of the Walnut Cheese Loaf - although he envisaged it being more of a bread than a cake. In fact, it turned out to be very cakey indeed and I would question its description as a "teabread". It seems a lot closer to a cake, to me.
In the illustration (by Julia Cobbold) beside the recipe, it shows the teabread as being served with what appears to be cottage or cream cheese with chives. I am sure both would be lovely with the flavour of the teabread, but have to admit that I - predominantly - ate my slices with either honey or raspberry jam!
Maybe I'm a bit odd, but it tasted pretty darned good to me.
Each slice was surprisingly moist - I had imagined it to be a little on the dry side (as teabread often can be) but the addition of the cheese and, quite probably, some of the oil from the walnuts, contributed towards keeping it beautifully moist. In the baking, the flavour of the cheese came through and with the walnut, complimented each other very nicely.
There is one thing that we wouldn't repeat in any successive Walnut Cheese Loaves - and that is to grate some parmesan over the top. We found it made the top crust too salty and the parmesan slightly altered the flavour of the walnuts. So be warned, if you consider doing that!
I see that the little book is still available on Amazon, but in its updated format. My version is a 1994 vintage. It's a fun little book that gives a recipe for my very favourite, Coffee & Walnut Cake. So between that and this Walnut Cheese loaf, I think it can stay!
WALNUT CHEESE LOAF (serves 10)
350g self raising flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp English mustard powder
1 tsp salt
a pinch of pepper
175g cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 tsp chopped fresh chives
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1. Line a loaf tin with either a paper liner or greaseproof paper.
2. Sift the flour, baking powder, mustard, salt and pepper into a mixing bowl.
3. Cut the butter into small pieces and rub into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fresh breadcrumbs.
4. Stir in the cheese, walnuts, chives, parsley, eggs and milk. Mix together with a wooden spoon and beat for 1-2 minutes, until well blended.
5. Place the mixture in the prepared tin and level the top. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 190degC/375degF/Gas 5 for around an hour or until the mixture is well risen, golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
6. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out. Remove the greaseproof paper and leave to cool on a wire rack.