Monday, August 3, 2015

Gateau Basque

Gateau Basque... like a giant shortbread cookie filled with jam and pastry cream, or a sophisticated pop tart.  I've heard described both ways.  It doesn't matter to me how you describe it.  Just eat it and be happy.

I came across this pastry at The Little Tart Bakeshop.  I would have never ordered this unassuming item if it wasn't for a suggestion from a friend.  This particular friend has a knack for knowing what is good, so I tried it out.  It was a great pal for my coffee.  Since it is an intentionally dry pastry, I think you definitely want to have it with tea or coffee.  Their version was filled with a jam made from local fruit and a lemon cream.  Very tasty.  I was sad when it was gone.

Of course, I had to do some research so that I could make my own.  I scoured the internet, and I found this recipe by Dorie Greenspan to be the most compelling.  It has a few steps, but none of them are particularly difficult.  The audio NPR story is full of interesting details.  I encourage a quick listen if you are curious.

The first time I made it, I used pastry cream and cherry jam as the filling.  This most recent time (in the pictures), I only used currant jelly.  The pastry cream is delicious, but I wanted to simplify it a bit.  I liked it both ways, it's a very flexible cake.  You could probably even fill it with something chocolatey...Nutella possibly?

Gateau Basque is enjoyable most anytime of day.  It is great with coffee for breakfast or an afternoon snack.  I hope you will order one up or try making it yourself.  Try to resist the urge to pass on it because it looks so plain.  Hey, don't be so superficial!

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