Daily Archives: 1 August 2014
I feel like I might say this every time we make a dessert for French Fridays with Dorie (because it’s true), but I am much more of a cook than a baker. And, when it comes to baking, the sweets I like best are simple ones that showcase the main ingredient, be it butter, chocolate, or fruit.
I was thrilled to find that this week’s selection, Gâteau Basque, matches up with what I enjoy so perfectly! I could tell from reading the recipe in the book that the Basque know how to make a cake that I will adore. To me, this was more of a giant cookie sandwich or a double-crusted jam tart than a cake, but that’s OK with me.
This recipe also used a technique that we used once or twice before while cooking from this book, one that I always think “brilliant” when I’m instructed to do it, and then promptly forget about. That technique is to roll a soft dough between pieces of wax paper before chilling it. I don’t know if it works with all dough, but it sure works with this one.
My one set of round cake pans are 9-inch, not the called for 8-inch. I was concerned the resulting dough would roll out too thin, so I used an 8-inch springform pan instead. (For some reason I have many different-sized springform pans.) Worked perfectly. I did trace the base of the pan and cut out the exact size when I was ready to assemble the gâteau for baking. That left some scraps to egg wash and bake for a “cook’s treat”. Those bonus cookies were tasty. They reminded me of the salted butter breakups which hailed from Brittany, I think, which in turn reminded me of Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies.
To assemble, one disk of dough is placed in the pan, covered with jam (leaving a small border), then the second disk is placed on top and the edges are sealed. The top is brushed with an egg wash and cross-hatched with a fork. Lovely! I was tempted to use some jam from my pantry, but I bought the traditional cherry jam instead.
Now that I know what the “original” tastes like, I would not hesitate to vary the filling in the future, and there will be a future. I loved the gâteau Basque. I also love any baked goods that can stay at room temperature and be shown off in my cake dome. Another plus for this one.
To try this at home (which you should), you can find the recipe here on the NPR site, accompanying an interview with Dorie Greenspan. Of course, FFwD recipes can always be found in Dorie Greenspan’s book Around My French Table. To check out my Dorista friends’ gâteaux Basque check their links here.