Monday, August 8, 2011

Gâteaux Basque (Almond-Filled Basque Cake)

Is it a cake or a pie? To me, it seems more pie-like with its crispy crust. The filling is just an almond-flavored pastry cream (crème pâtissière), so if you like pastry cream, this is a winner. It is a signature cake from the Basque region of Spain, which shares borders with France.

I whizzed all the ingredients for the Gateaux Basque in my food processor. To make the pastry cream, I brought the milk and vanilla to a boil. While it was heating, I whisked the yolks and sugar in my stand mixer. Then folded in the flour and ground almonds. When the milk mixture came to the boil, I slowly drizzled it into the yolk mixture while whisking with my stand mixer. Then I returned everything back to the heat and brought it to a boil again. Then just simmer for 5 minutes and stir constantly to keep it from sticking or burning. To cool the pastry cream, pour it into a shallow pan and cover with plastic wrap (and dot with butter on top, if desired).

Assemble the pie and bake at 350°F for 50 to 60 minutes.

Despite its name, it's not really a gâteaux, or cake, but rather two layers of buttery, crumbly crust filled with pastry cream. As it bakes, the crust and filling meld into one delicious whole.
- Sunday Suppers at Lucques: Seasonal Recipes from Market to Table
by Suzanne Goin, Teri Gelber

Recipe for Gâteaux Basque (Almond-Filled Basque Cake)

Serves 8

Gâteaux Basque
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cake flour
1 cup sugar
Pinch salt
1 lemon, zested
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and softened
1 whole egg
2 egg yolks

Almond Pastry Cream
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 ounce fine-ground almonds (about 1/4 cup)

1 egg, lightly beaten, for glazing
Unsalted butter for pastry cream and tart pan

You can find the recipe for Gâteaux Basque (Almond-Filled Basque Cake) in the book Le Cordon Bleu at Home.

Tasting Notes
I loved the crust, but would fill it with more than just almond pastry cream next time.

More Almond-Inspired Desserts
Chow: Basque Cake with Pastry Cream Filling Recipe
The Worldwide Gourmet: Gâteau Basque - Basque Cake Recipe
Said she said he: Cherry Lavender Gateau Basque

Next Time
Meringue in Concorde (Chocolate Meringue Cake Filled with Chocolate Mousse) page 464

::Whisk Whenever::
I'm baking my way through a cooking school curriculum using the Le Cordon Bleu at Home cookbook. The "classes" are based on the Le Cordon Bleu curriculum found online and used as a guideline. Not all the items in the curriculum are in the cookbook, but most are. Where the items are not in the book, I try to find a suitable substitution.

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    Kayte said...

    These look delicious and the mini size. I am missing all my French cooking...need to get back to that, so am thinking of making Wednesday French again on the blog...using the LCB books I have...can I still call it Whisk Wednesdays and not hook it up to the old group or go ahead and hook it up to the old group so people can see the past things we made? I'm going to slowly make my way through that book one way or another, I thought this might be the easiest way, to just get back into routine of posting something, anything from that book we haven't made already on Wednesdays. I also have a LCB Desserts book to pull from. Hope you are having a great summer!

    Tora said...

    Looks beautiful!

    I always read your blog, and today I was overcome by guilt for not saying anything. Because I enjoy reading it so much!

    Have a wonderful day!

    EB of SpiceDish said...

    So... it's umm.... a cake pie?? yes please!!!

    anon. said...

    Umm, the Basque region (País Vasco y Navarra) is a region of Spain bordering France, not the other way around.

    Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

    Thanks for the correction! I've fixed the post. :)

    marla {Family Fresh Cooking} said...

    This cake looks great! Love almonds every which way :)