mo­lasses soda bread with blue cheese lay­ers

donna hay - - COUNTRY KITCHEN -

¹⁄³ cup (55g) cur­rants

½ cup (125ml) marsala

2 cups (250g) rye flour

1¼ cups (185g) plain (all-pur­pose) flour

1 ta­ble­spoon bi­car­bon­ate of (bak­ing) soda 1 tea­spoon sea salt flakes

2 tea­spoons ground gin­ger

½ tea­spoon ground all­spice

½ tea­spoon ground black pep­per

1 ta­ble­spoon poppy seeds, plus ex­tra for sprin­kling 2 cups (500ml) but­ter­milk, plus ex­tra to brush 1 ta­ble­spoon black­strap mo­lasses+

3 x 150g soft blue cheese honey al­monds, to serve++

Pre­heat oven to 200°C (400°F). Lightly grease a 7cm x 32cm x 8cm (2-litre ca­pac­ity) loaf tin and line with non-stick bak­ing pa­per. Set aside. Place the cur­rants and marsala in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil and cook for 2 min­utes. Set aside.

Place the flours, bi­car­bon­ate of soda, salt, gin­ger, all­spice, pep­per and poppy seeds in a large bowl. Add the but­ter­milk, mo­lasses and cur­rant mix­ture and mix to com­bine. Spoon into the tin. Brush with ex­tra but­ter­milk and sprin­kle gen­er­ously with ex­tra poppy seeds. Cook for 30 min­utes or un­til a skewer in­serted in the cen­tre comes out clean. Place on a wire rack and set aside to cool for 10 min­utes. Turn out to cool com­pletely.

Cut the bread hor­i­zon­tally into 4 lay­ers. Spread the bot­tom 3 lay­ers evenly with the cheese. Sand­wich to­gether and press gen­tly. Re­frig­er­ate for 15 min­utes. Serve with honey al­monds. SERVES 10–12.

+ Black­strap mo­lasses is avail­able at health food stores.

++ Honey al­monds are avail­able from se­lected del­i­catessens and cheese shops. Al­ter­na­tively, make your own by plac­ing whole al­monds in a glass jar and top with honey to cover. Note: This will keep re­frig­er­ated for up to 3 days. You can serve it as part of a cheese plate or with cold meats.

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