gâteau basque {ffwd}

gateau basque

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.

Bonus 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.

Filled and Ready

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.

Cake Dome Heaven!

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.


Posted on 1 August 2014, in Baking, French Fridays with Dorie. Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. I am glad you enjoyed this.
    I definitely put this one on Team Cookie :-) The cross hatch instructions had me thinking about the break up cookies too.
    Have a nice weekend.

  2. I totally hear where you are coming from… maybe my daughter will go to college in MA and we can send her to your house to bake on the weekends. We didn’t even own an 8″ spring form pan… had to do some shopping. Glad you enjoyed it.

  3. Looks great Betsy! This one is a keeper.

  4. This recipe is very forgiving. We loved it and I look forward to making it again.

  5. I hope Howard at least sampled a cookie scrap! I need to make this with a Bill approved jam :)

  6. I thought the same thing. I have no 8 inch pan, I have springforms in many sizes. I actually don’t have a round cake pan. I stink at anything that required dessert decorating. I think I’m cook and mixologist.

    I did love this, and it was great in my 6.5 springforms – I took one to the office and one at home.

    Ps, I love 50 for 50!

  7. love that fancy dome! your cake looks delicious, and I always like when there’s a little cook’s treat just for me.

  8. Oh I love listening to the interviews with Dorie!!

    Besty, I LOVE your cake dome! One of those and a cake stand are on my list of things I want to buy so badly! I dont know what I’m waiting for… I’ve seen plenty I’ve liked!

    I know what you mean about rolling out between wax paper, I use that on cookies and all sorts of stuff, thank you Dorie – it is such a time saver and makes everything so easy!

    I’ll bet that you will be making this one again soon! Have a good weekend!

  9. This does lend itself to experimentation with LOTS of different jams and fillings. I actually used Blueberry jam in mine. Delish!

  10. Your cake looks wonderful – and I love that cake dome!! I agree, this was fun/easy to make, but produced such a fancy result. And absolutely would be fun to try with different fillings. I used home made strawberry jam, but others would be terrific.

  11. Betsy, what a treat of a tart and what an elegant cake dome – aren´t they just the best to show off these wonderful homebake goods?!
    Cooks/bakers treats are always welcome at our house too!
    Have a great Sunday!
    P.S.: I think there is room for that nice Cottage Cooking Club badge in the right column of your great blog…

  12. What a fun blog post. Like you, there was nothing about this week’s dessert that didn’t appeal to me. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any leftover cookies for the cook. I found an 8″ pan at the bottom of my stack but I was going to use my 8″ springform pan. Glad to know it works. And, I have no idea why I have so many springform pans. Do you think Lemon Curd would work as a filling? Thanks for the quickie – preserved lemon recipe. I am making that today. And, I agree with Andrea. I think you should join us at CCC.

  13. You were so smart to trace out your pan first, and to make cookies with the scraps. You’ve made me hungry for chessmen cookies!

  14. I agree – this cake would be delicious with all sorts of different jams and fillings. I love simple desserts like this, but unfortunately my husband prefers chocolate anything, so I don’t make things like this often. I am always happy when FFWD gives me an excuse!

  15. This is definitely reminiscent of the break-ups – I love how your scraps baked up. I agree that the simplicity of the ingredients make the most of the flavours. This is one I’ll be revisiting, for sure.

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