Chocolate Cherry Gâteau Basque - Featured Recipe -
Featured Recipes

Chocolate Cherry Gâteau Basque

This cake is a specialty of the Basque region. It is traditionally filled with an almond- and orange-flavored cream, but here I make it with chocolate instead. The buttery dough traps the cream filling and the cherries, which makes it the perfect cake to take on a trip: there is no risk of spilling anything. If you wish, draw leaves or other patterns over the top of the cake after you brush it with egg wash. The patterns will appear nicely on the cake after baking. The cake will keep at room temperature, wrapped in aluminum foil, for two or three days.
Categories: French, Pastry
Step 1
3 3/4 cups • All-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp • Baking powder
10 tbsp • Unsalted butter
2/3 cups • Sugar
2 • Large eggs
1 large egg, beaten

Make the dough: Sift the flour and baking powder together over a bowl or a piece of waxed paper.

Put the butter and sugar in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until the mixture is smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, waiting until one is completely incorporated before adding the second one. Add in the flour and mix until it is incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Remove the dough from the mixer, cover the bowl, and place it in the refrigerator to chill for about 20 minutes, up to a few hours. The dough becomes very heavy, so it is best to not prepare it too far ahead.
Step 2
1 tbsp • Unsalted butter
1 tbsp • Light brown sugar
5 oz • cherries, pitted and kept whole
• Juice of 1/2 lemon
Make the cherries: Put the butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, and let it melt until it begins to brown. Add the sugar, and stir the mixture with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula until the sugar is melted. Add the cherries and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the cherries are tender. Add the lemon juice, remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
Step 3
2 cups • Milk
6 tbsp • semolina flour
1 • vanilla bean, split and scraped,
• Grated zest of 1 orange
3/4 cup • firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup • Dutch-processed cocoa powder
2 • large egg yolks
1/2 cup • Heavy cream
Make the filling: Combine 1 cup (250 grams) of the milk with the semolina, vanilla, and orange peel in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.

Combine the brown sugar, remaining 1⁄4 cup (60 grams) milk, cocoa powder, and yolk in a bowl and immediately whisk until the mixture is well combined and lighter in color.

When the milk boils, pour a fourth to a third of it into the yolk mixture and whisk it in until completely incorporated. Pour the mixture into the pot and return to the heat. Cook for 2 more minutes until the mixture thickens, stirring constantly.

Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the cream. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it cool to room temperature, stirring from time to time.
Step 4
Assemble the cake: Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F.

Brush the sides and bottom of a round 9 x 2-inch cake pan with butter. Dust it with flour, shaking off the excess, and set aside.

Divide the dough in two parts, at the ratio of two thirds/one third. On a lightly floured surface, roll out both pieces of dough in all directions until it is 1⁄4 inch thick. Place the largest piece of dough over the pan, and gently push it in to cover the bottom and the sides. With a knife or kitchen shears, trim the excess dough from the sides.

Pour the filling over the dough, then arrange the cherries over the filling, pushing them slightly into the filling. Cover with the remaining dough. Brush the top with the beaten egg and drag a fork back and forth over the top of the cake to create decorative patterns.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until the dough turns golden brown. Remove from the oven and let the cake cool in the pan to room temperature.


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