The “Gâteau Basque” or Basque Cake is a speciality from the Northern Basque region in the South-West of France. Its original name in Basque language is “etxeko bixkotxa” and is basically made of a soft but crispy almond dough filled with custard cream and cherry jam. There are a lot of different versions for this cake and this time, I decided to try Christophe Felder’s recipe in his book Patisserie.
- 175g of soft butter
- 125g of fine sugar
- 85g of almond powder
- the zest of half a lemon
- 1 egg yolk
- 25g of egg (about half a beaten egg, keep the other half for the decoration)
- 225g of flour
- a pinch of salt
- 250 ml of milk
- 3 egg yolks
- 45g of fine sugar
- 20g of flour
- 30 ml of rhum
- 150g of black cherry jam
Start with the dough.
Mix the sugar, the almond powder and the butter in a big bowl with a spatula.
Add the lemon zest and then the egg yolk and the 25g of beaten egg. Mix well and then add the sifted flour and the salt.
Mix until everything is combined. When it is almost ready, make a ball with your hands and wrap it in plastic food wrap. Add some flour if the dough is a bit too sticky.
Leave it in the fridge at least 2 hours.
In the meantime, prepare the custard cream.
Warm up the milk until it starts boiling. In a separate bowl, mix the sugar, the eggs and the flour and add it to the warm milk while mixing with a whisk.
The cream should become thicker quickly (2-3 min). Once it is thick, add the rhum and keep mixing for about 1 or 2 minute.
Pour the cream in a bowl, put some plastic wrap on it (it must touch the cream to prevent a crust to appear). Leave it cool down at room temperature.
After about 2 hours, cut the dough in half and roll the dough in a disk of 4-5 mm thick. Using a 22 cm baking ring, cut a disk for the bottom of the dough.
Roll the rest of the dough in a long roll and place it on the side of the ring. Press it lightly to form the edges of the cake.
Make some holes on the dough with the fork.
Pour the custard cream in a piping bag and make a ring of cream on the dough along the sides.
Quickly stir the jam and add it in the middle.
With the 2nd part of dough, roll it in a disk of about the same thickness. Place it on the of the cake and using the roll, cut the excess of dough.
Decorate is as you want with a fork. You can also use the excess of dough left to make different symbols.
Brush the cake with the rest of the beaten egg you used for the dough.
Bake for 30 min at 180˚C. It should be golden brown on the top.
Leave it completely cool down before removing the ring.
Bon appétit !