In an attempt to expand my horizons I've been looking at classic cake recipes trying to figure which are within my abilities. I came across the Gateau Basque and thought it seemed just the ticket.
It's rather a cookie dough (ish) with almond flour cake filled with cooked pastry cream and cherries. Or just cherries or just pastry cream. I'm a sucker for pastry cream. I don't have a favorite recipe for one, so I do as I generally find them written but this one I had to improvise upon because I was short on corn starch. You have the recipe I actually made below. Lesson learned:check your pantry before starting a recipe!
|Here's the big momma cake, the diamond pattern in the crust is a thing.|
|The filling to crust ratio is perfect, if you like pastry cream, which I do!|
I want to say this recipe is not my typical in that you make more dough than what you need for the recipe. It's sloppy to do things that way but alas I didn't have it in me to go looking for too many variations on a theme. Nor did I want to break the recipe down into thirds, because I'm lazy. You use 2/3 of the dough and make cookies with the other third.
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons (9 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 large egg yolks
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure lemon oil
1/2 teaspoon almond oil
1 cup almond flour
2 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
6 large egg yolks
2 large eggs
1/4 cup cornstarch
2/3 cup flour
2 tablespoons cherry liqueur
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup brandied cherries, drained, optional
1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon of milk, for brushing
Combine flour, baking powder and salt in the large bowl. In a different bowl cream sugar and butter. Once creamed add eggs and oils. Mix 3 or 4 minutes. To the eggs add the flour mixture and almond flour. Blend thoroughly. Divide into 3 1 pound packets. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.
In a sauce pan bring the milk to a simmer. In a large bowl whisk the eggs and sugar together. Add the flour and cornstarch. Blend well. Add half of the hot milk to the egg mixture, quickly mix it together. Add the remaining milk. Pour back into the sauce pan and heat slowly, stirring continuously switching between a whisk and a spatula, to scrape the bottom. Cook 8-10 minutes until it is thick and no longer tastes like raw flour. Add the liqueur and vanilla. Pour into a large bowl, butter a parchment paper and press that onto the filling so a skin doesn't form. Cool on the counter 30 minutes.
Preheat oven 350 degrees. Spray a 9 inch spring form pan with cooking spray.
Roll the first disc about 12 inches. Place it in the pan, into the corners of the pan. Trim the dough so it about 1.5 inches up the side of the pan. (A tart pan might be easier for this cake, but we're not in for easy, are we?) Pour the filling into the pan, spread it flat. Sprinkle the cherries over the filling if you're using them. Using a knife tip push the edge of the bottom dough toward the center of the pan, so when you put the top on you can shove it down the sides of the pan, to seal in the filling.
Roll the top slightly bigger than 9 inches, transfer it to the top of the cake, over the filling. Be gentle this is a very tender dough. Score in a diamond pattern, brush with egg wash and bake 50-60 minutes, until golden brown.
Make cookies with the remaining dough, or maybe a little tart shell or something like that.