Leek & cheddar loaf

Leek and cheddar loaf

Currently unemployed/freelance, I seem to spend most of my days, actively avoiding doing any form of work. Whether it be cleaning, job hunting or working on my ‘brilliant’ life changing new business ideas, I just seem to find myself watching episode after episode of Judge Rinder and eating slice after slice of this delicious leek and cheese loaf. Well a girl has got to eat and Judge Rinder is very wise… I can change my life tomorrow.

This loaf goes great with hearty soups and can also be enjoyed as a breakfast on the go or simply toasted spread with butter. So get your loaf on and become a lazy bum like me #lifegoals.

Leek and cheddar loaf
Makes 1 loaf / Hands on time 20 mins / Total time 1hr 20 mins + cooling / V
You’ll need: 2lb/900g loaf tin, baking paper
Rapeseed oil or butter for greasing
150g leek (1 medium leek) finely chopped
75g strong mature vegetarian cheddar, grated
250g self-raising flour
50g wholemeal flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp sea salt flakes
250ml semi-skimmed milk
2 eggs
Few springs of thyme, leaves picked
Black pepper
40g vegetarian Italian hard cheese or Parmesan*, grated
Small handful pumpkin seeds

TIP: If you have any extra root vegetables to use up, replace the leeks with whatever you have to hand. Grate hard vegetables such as carrots and butternut squash and finely chop fibrous greens. You can also replace the cheddar with a cheese of your choice. 

1. Preheat an oven to 180°C/160°C fan/ 350°F/gas mark 4. Grease a loaf tin with oil or butter and line the bottom with baking paper. Put to one side.
2. Finely chop the leek and grate the cheddar. Mix together in a medium sized bowl and add the Italian hard cheese, keeping a handful a side for later.
3. In a larger mixing bowl, measure out the flours, baking powder, salt and mix until  combined. Add the leek and cheese mixture, thyme leaves and a good crack of black pepper and mix well until the ingredients are evenly distributed.
4. In a mixing jug, measure out 250ml of semi-skimmed milk and crack in 2 eggs. Beat with a fork until fully incorporated. Pour straight into the dry mixture and mix quickly until combined – adding the wet ingredients to the dry activated the baking powder so the sooner you can get it in the oven the better.
5. Pour into a loaf tin and top with the remaining cheese and a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds. Bake in the oven for 1 hr.
6. Remove and cool in the tin for 10 mins before turning out and cooling fully on a rack. However, if you’re desperate to eat it warm feel free, just bear in mind the loaf will be a little soft so slice carefully. Serve on its own or spread with butter. Wrap in foil and keep refrigerated for up to 5 days.

Leek and cheddar loaf

V – Vegetarian
❄ – Once cooled, slice and wrap well in cling film or foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost fully in the fridge before consuming.
*Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiani) is always made using animal rennet, therefore it is not vegetarian. Substitute for Italian hard cheese if applicable.

If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.

Carrot cake loaf

Carrot cake loaf
Carrot cake loaf
Carrot cake loaf

I’m going to keep this short but sweet – much like this carrot cake. Partly because it’s past my bedtime and partly because I’m grumpy after spending my entire Sunday burning multiple carrot cakes – would have helped if my oven wasn’t an old tin can with no temperature markings on it.

Carrot cake loaf
Make 1 loaf / Hands on time 35 mins / Total time 1 hr 45 mins / V
You’ll need: 2 lb loaf tin, electric hand whisk
Juice of 1 orange
45g sultanas
150g carrots, peeled and grated
150g soft brown sugar
80g self-raising flour
80g wholemeal flour
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground mixed spice
1 tsp ground ginger
50g pecans, roughly chopped
Pinch of salt
150ml rapeseed oil
2 eggs
Cream cheese icing
130g cream cheese
30g soft unsalted butter
65g icing sugar

TIP: To store, keep the cake refrigerated for up to 3 days in an airtight container or wrapped in clingfilm. Allow the cake to come up to room temperature before serving.

1. In a small saucepan, heat the juice of an orange over a low to medium heat and add the sultanas. Warm through for 10 minutes before putting to one side to cool.
2. Meanwhile, grease the base and sides of a loaf tin with a bit of extra rapeseed oil and line the bottom with baking paper. Put to one side and preheat an oven to 180°C/160°C fan/ 350°F/gas mark 4.
3. Peel and grate the carrot before weighing out the sugar, self-raising flour, wholemeal flour, cinnamon, ginger, mixed spice, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and a pinch of salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the roughly chopped pecans and give it a good mix before incorporating in the grated carrots using a wooden spoon.
4. In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together the rapeseed oil and the eggs until combined. Pour into the carrot mixture and mix thoroughly. Spoon into the loaf tin and bake on the middle shelf for 1 hr or until a skewer comes out clean.
5. While the cake is baking, make the cream cheese icing by whisking the butter and the cream cheese together in a bowl with an electric whisk. Fold in the icing sugar with a spoon before whisking again for a couple of minutes. Cover loosely with clingfilm and refrigerate.
6. Allow the carrot cake to cool completely in the tin before turning out and topping with lashings of cream cheese icing. Delicious!

Carrot cake loaf
Carrot cake loaf

If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.

– Vegetarian
 – This cake is suitable for home freezing once cooled and before icing. Wrap well in cling film and freeze fore up to 3 months. Defrost fully before icing and serving.

Banana bread with ricotta & honey

Banana Cake with Ricotta & Honey
Banana Cake with Ricotta & Honey
Banana Cake with Ricotta & Honey

Admittedly this is a bit of an odd post from someone who dislikes bananas but I don’t just dislike them, I f**king hate them. I’ve spent my whole life, trying to avoid bananas (which really wasn’t difficult) but they’ve managed to ruin almost every fruit salad I’ve ever eaten.
But when I look back and try to identify the root of my banana problem, it seems to stem from monkey’s. Staring down at the bottom of the monkey cage at Whipsnade Zoo was not a pretty sight. Half eaten bananas strewn all over the floor and rolled in a mixture of mud and monkey turds. Not very appetising. That being said, this didn’t seem to put me off eating oranges, a common accompaniment to the monkey breakfast. Oranges are just nicer though aren’t they? Let’s move on.
A banana is just a fruit though for god’s sake, I need to stop being such a wimp. Full of potassium and very portable, the banana is the perfect snack so what is my problem? It isn’t like I haven’t tried, every couple of years I attempt to eat a banana, and every couple of years I fail miserably. It always starts off well, ‘this aint so bad’ I think to myself as I unzip the yellow skin but then get a wiff of that unpleasant banana smell. Okay, so just breath through your mouth, no problem, easy. Right, now bite the top, don’t even think about it, just do it. Shit, where’s that brown bit gone? Did I eat it? Why are there always brown bits on bananas? Oh god, it’s now turned to mush in my mouth, I try to swallow it but I can’t, I just can’t, so instead I retch, quick abort, ABORT!
I like my mum’s banana bread though so that’s weird. Enjoy her recipe!

Banana bread with ricotta & honey
Makes 1 loaf / Hands on time 15 mins / Total time 1 hr 5 mins + cooling time /
V Vn*
You’ll need: 9 inch loaf tin
150g wholemeal flour + extra for dusting
75g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
1 tsp ginger
½ tsp cinnamon
Pinch of salt
175g demerara sugar
100ml rapeseed oil + extra for greasing
100ml semi-skimmed milk or unsweetened soya milk
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 large or 3 small over-ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
2 handfuls walnuts, roughly chopped
Vegetarian ricotta and runny honey to serve (optional)

*Make it vegan: This is actually my mums vegan banana bread recipe, I only used semi-skimmed milk and butter because that’s what I had in the fridge at the time. If you’re vegan, forgo serving with honey and ricotta and serve simply toasted with lashings of vegan alternative butter – that’s how my mum likes it.

TIP: If you have any bananas in your fruit bowl that have gone a bit brown, wait until they go completely brown and freeze them in their skins in a plastic bag. We have a lot of brown bananas in my house, so I tend to just keep adding them to the plastic bag in my freezer. When I’m ready to make banana bread, I simply defrost the bananas, slip them out of their skins and straight into my cake mix.

1. Preheat an oven to 180°C/160°C fan/ 350°F/gas mark 4. Grease a loaf tin with rapeseed oil and line the bottom with baking paper. Add a tbs of wholemeal flour and shake around the tin until the sides are evenly coated – I do this over a bin as it can be a bit messy. Put to one side.
2. Mix together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger, cinnamon and salt in a medium sized bowl and put to one side.
3. In a larger bowl, peel and mash the bananas before adding the sugar, oil, milk and vanilla. Give it a good stir.
4. Once combined, add half the dry mix to the wet mixture and fold in with a wooden spoon. Fold in the chopped walnuts and the rest of the dry mixture until combined.
5. Spoon the cake mixture into the loaf tin and bake in an oven, on the middle shelf for 50 minutes. Using your fingers, gently press down on the top of the cake to see if it feels firm and springy. If it still feels a little wet and wobbly, cover it in a layer of foil and continue to cook for 10-15 more minutes or until the cake is firm to the touch. Once cooked, insert a clean knife into the centre of the cake, if it comes out clean the cake is cooked.
6. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack. Leave the cake for 30 mins before wrapping up in foil whilst the cake is still a little warm and popping in the fridge – this helps to keep the cake moist.
7. This cake will last for 2-4 days wrapped well in cling film and stored in a tin at room temperature or up to a week in the fridge. To freeze, wrap in three layers of clingfilm and freeze for up to 3 months.

Banana Cake with Ricotta & Honey
Banana Cake with Ricotta & Honey

If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.

V – Vegetarian     Vn – The cake can be made vegan (see recipe)
❄ – Suitable for home freezing once cooled. Wrap well in three layers of cling film and freeze. Consume within 3 months.