The ham and cheddar cake is a variant of the classic ham and cheese cake, enhanced with comté cheese, and a little bit of mustard and beer. It looks like a surprising mix of ingredients at first sight, but the cake tastes sweet and strong at the same time, and the texture is spongy and everybody loves it.
The original recipe of the ham and cheddar cake comes from a famous French cooking book, “Les Cakes de Sophie”. As usual I have adapted the instructions a little bit: I put comté cheese instead of emmental cheese, because it is so good, and used grainy mustard ( “moutarde à l’ancienne” in French) for its sweet aroma, lighter than the traditional mustard.
- The ham and cheddar cake is so easy to prepare that there is no special trick, except buying good quality ingredients such as freshly cut ham from the butcher, a good comté cheese, and use strong malted beer to spread a pleasant malt flavour to the cake.
- I also took the habit of spicing my egg and milk preparations with freshly grounded nutmeg, which brings a lovely soft touch to any recipe.
I like it because:
- It is very easy to prepare, completely doable for a beginner.
- The ham and cheddar cake is easy to carry around so a perfect recipe for a buffet lunch or a picnic.
Ingredient for a 9 in. rectangular cake pan:
- A little butter and 1 tbsp flour for the pan
- 3 oz. (80g) chedddar
- 5 oz. (150g) york ham
- 3,5 oz (100g) Comté cheese
- 1/2 US cup (13cl) milk
- 1 1/4 US cup (150g) all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3 eggs
- 1 to 2 tablespoons grainy mustard
- 1/3 US cup (8 cl) sunflower oil
- 1/5 US cup (5cl) abbey beer
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- Salt, pepper, grounded nutmeg and coriander seeds, and any other seasoning that you like.
Ham and cheddar cake French recipe
- Preheat oven to 350ºF (180°C) and line the bottom and sides of the cake pan with a little bit of butter. Then sprinkle the flour and gently hit the cake pan on the kitchen counter, leaning it to distribute evenly the flour over the sides. Remove the excess.
- Cut the cheddar and the york ham into small pieces and set them aside.
- Grate the comté cheese and set aside also.
- Warm up the milk in a small saucepan, until there is a little bit of smoke coming out of the pan.
- Sift the flour and baking powder in a large bowl, and incorporate the eggs and the mustard, mixing with a whisk.
- Pour little by little the sunflower oil, the beer and warmed milk, always mixing.
- Incorporate the grated comté to the mixture and finally the pieces of york ham and cheddar.
- Season with dried oregano, salt, pepper, grounded nutmed and coriander seeds …
- Combine all ingredients well with the whisk and pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan.
- Bake the cake for 45 minutes, until a knife can be inserted into the dough and comes out clean.
- Once the cooking is over, turn off the oven and let the cake rest 5 minutes inside.
- Separate the cake from the pan sides with a knife and remove the cake by turning it quickly on a plate. The cake should come off easily.