Bring your appetite – this is a decadent amount of custard, studded with raspberries and wrapped in a sweet pastry crust. # 82: Raspberry Gateau Basque
Ten points to you if you already knew what this cake was before opening this post. I had to research it after hearing the name. This bake was a lovely reminder that there is SO much out there that I haven’t attempted, tasted or even dreamed about. It’s easy to think that we’ve tried everything, or that there’s a finite amount of combinations of pastry, cream and fruit. But each time I start to lean that way, a recipe like this one pops up.
Doesn’t the name just sound incredibly decadent? To break it down: “gateau” translates to “cake” and “Basque” references the region where the recipe originated. It traditionally has a dense black cherry jam filling, or alternately, a thick pastry cream filling.
Awesome Alert: there’s a museum devoted entirely to this cake! Le Musée du Gâteau Basque is in Sare, France and is home to regular baking demonstrations that give visitors a literal taste of this style of cake.
I just love the idea of having an entire museum surrounding one type of cake. Apparently there’s a baking and pastry museum in Taiwan, called the Kuo Yuan Ye Museum of Cake and Pastry. Be right back, adding that to my bucket list! I’ll just have to learn passable Mandarin if I want to get the full experience . . .
The crust is an enriched dough with not only egg and sugar, but also a flavored alcohol. Due to the occasional inclusion of almond flour in some Gateau Basque recipes, I chose to add amaretto. (That was my excuse – I also just LOVE amaretto!) It made the dough smell like marzipan by the time I placed it in the fridge to chill.
Fun facts: a tablespoon of liquid = 0.5 fluid oz.
Something possessed me to mix the dough by hand instead of in a standing mixer. I softened my butter, turned on the A’s game, grabbed my wooden spoon and off I went.
Have no fear if it looks like the butter will never fully incorporate. Once you add the flour, it’ll bind together in no time!
Seven eggs later, I was ready to make some pastry cream.
Couldn’t tell ya if sifting the cornstarch actually helps with the final result, but it makes me feel more fancy.
I’d like to say I’m becoming a creme patisserie pro! I almost have the recipe memorized, and it turns out consistently well now. If anything can serve as proof of growth and learning through this blog, it would be my pastry cream abilities. I haven’t tried flavoring it yet, but baby steps.
I didn’t have time to chill the dough over night so it was way softer than it should be for rolling. I ended up molding the dough into the right shape by squishing clumps of dough into the pan. A little more rustic/messy, but it worked super well!
I chose raspberries over cherries for no other reason than I was in the mood. They take considerably less time to prep (no pits), and they have such a bright, tart taste that I was hoping it would balance out the denseness of the crust and pastry cream.
Dainty fruit atop dense custard.
As I mentioned before – waaay too soft to roll and transfer. It’s resemblance to a patchwork quilt grew after I added the classic hatch marks.
I’d say it’s a close cousin to a two-crust pie.
The walls of the fortress.
The crust was a liiittle too thick on the sides, but that’s easily fixable for next time. I’m excited by the future filling possibilities!
Crust recipe from: https://festival.si.edu/blog/2016/gateau-basque-the-signature-basque-dessert/