French Fridays with Dorie: Gâteau Basque

August 1, 2014 at 4:10 pm | Posted in french fridays w dorie, groups, pies & tarts, sweet things | 20 Comments
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gâteau Basque

Somehow I almost never miss a week of TWD but I hadn’t made an FFWD recipe in like forever.  When I saw that Gâteau Basque was up, I thought it would be a good time to pop back around and say hello.  Not surprisingly, Gâteau Basque is a traditional pastry of the French Basque Country.  You can read up on it here and here, but it’s basically a layer of either pastry cream or cherry jam sandwiched between two almost cookie-like tart crusts.  Hmmm…I wonder if it was the inspiration for Dorie’s Not-Just-For-Thanksgiving Cranberry Shortbread Cake?

We made Gâteau Basque on weekends at the shop where I used to work (and they probably still do).  We used a bit of almond flour and almond extract in our dough there, so I had assumed that flavoring was traditional…but that’s not in Dorie’s version, so maybe it’s not.  Sometimes less is more, but sometimes more is more, so at the shop we always filled ours with pastry cream and fruit.  I can admit that I’m a little greedy when it comes to sweets, and “more is more” is the way I like it, so that’s what I did here at home, too.  I didn’t have cherry jam but I did have some dark cherries that I candied a couple of weeks ago…I dropped them on top of the pastry cream and they worked nicely.

This is pretty easy to make, and you can bust out all the components a day ahead of time.  The dough is sticky, but forgiving, and you can even more or less pat it into the round shapes you need without too much rolling.  It’s really delicious, and beautiful, too, with a pretty crosshatch pattern on top of the golden crust.  For the recipe, see Around my French Table by Dorie Greenspan (it’s also here). Don’t forget to check out my fellow francophiles’ posts.


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  1. This looks fantastic for a brunch 😛

  2. This is beautiful, absolutely beautiful.

  3. I agree with you that “more is more”. We loved this one too and look forward to making it again.

  4. Nice to see you over on the Friday side 🙂
    I liked how bake ahead this dish was – definitely makes it perfect for throwing together a last minute dessert.

  5. So nice to have you join us this week! I love your more-is-more version. Almonds go so well with cherries that the almond flour and almond extract sound like they would really boost the cherry flavor. Delicious!

  6. Love the double ingredients for the filling, looks amazing! I enjoyed this too!

  7. I was wondering if someone would combine fillings – BRAVO!!!! I thought it sounded divine!

  8. Mmmmm….I love how you doubled up on the filling! Beautiful!!!

  9. This is literally just what I need right now… (diet? What diet?!)
    If you’re looking for a good muffin recipe, I just posted one the other day 😉 if you like what you see i’d really appreciate a follow back, as I’m a bit of a newbie! 🙂

  10. well traditional or not, I love the idea of putting the fruit in the pastry cream, that makes me think of a Danish – which I love!! : )

    Looks great! How exciting that you worked in a bakery/pastry shop! 🙂 I’m kinda the more-is-more type person too!

  11. OOO! I love the idea of addding some almond flavor to it. AND using the jam AND the cream!! Very very tasty.

  12. Definitely more-ish! I love your idea of the cream and cherries!!! That looks absolutely amazing. So happy you joined us this week!!

  13. Steph, a lovely and elegant presentation of the Gâteau Basque.

  14. Awwh,,,looks beautiful!!

  15. Welcome back! I am so up for a double filling – it sounds devine.

  16. The photo made me stop work and write this comment….just beautiful.

  17. Love the cherries and more filling is always a winning thing in my book!

  18. Yes, I do agree with you that almond flour is used in the original version of this cake. I was interested in the Not-Just-For-Thanksgiving recipe of Dorie’s. She also has another inspiration in her upcoming Chez Moi called Gateau Basque Fantasie. I am looking forward to baking it also. Your filling combo is a good one – am thinking about throwing lemon curd and cherries together. Sounds delicious to me. Thanks for your inspiration.

  19. Nice to see you back! I’m the opposite – it’s been forever since I did Tuesdays with Dorie…

    I think ‘more is more’ was a wise choice. Your gateau looks amazing.

  20. Totally agree that More is More! I’m afraid your technique is much more professional than mine so I’m not sure if I could pull something like this off, but it sure is fun to look at (except for the constant drooling I have to deal with 😉 )

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