My love of cooking has a lot to do with nostalgia. I feel that when making a recipe from my childhood or one that is linked to a place or a special event, I am immediately transported back to that time or that place and can relive those delicious memories once more. Gâteau Basque is one such recipe for me as it represents the time that I spent working in the Basque country early on in my cooking career.
The recipe itself is not fancy or particularly difficult. It’s a classic sweet pastry, filled with a vanilla and rum cream, not unlike the crème patissière that you’d find in a strawberry tart.
In the Basque country this cake is enjoyed as a dessert after dinner, but in fact it would make a perfect afternoon teacake with a delicious cup of coffee or fragrant earl grey on the side.
What recipes are nostalgic to you?
For the pastry:
- 300g plain flour
- 3 pinch salt
- 120g unsalted butter, soften
- 200g caster sugar
- 2 free range eggs
- 2 teaspoon rum
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- Combine the soft butter and sugar in a bowl.
- Add the flower, baking powder, eggs, salt and rum and mix until combined.
- Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured bench and slightly knead the pastry until you have a smooth dough. But do not over work it!
- Slightly flatten the pastry, to make it easier for yourself when you roll it, wrap it in cling film and place in the fridge for about 1 hour to rest.
For the Cream:
- ½ l full fat milk
- 3 free range eggs
- 125g caster sugar
- 40g flour
- 2 teaspoon rum
- 2 vanilla pod, seeds and skin separated
- Bring the milk and vanilla skin to the boil.
- Whisk the eggs and sugar together in a bowl until the sugar is dissolved.
- Add the flour and mix until combined.
- Pour ¾ of the hot milk over the eggs mix and whisk until dissolved. Pour the mix back into the saucepan and cook on medium heat while whisking for about 4 minutes. The cream needs to be cooked well so it thickens when it cools down.
- Preheat the oven at 160 degrees Celsius.
- Butter a 22cm baking dish (medium depth) with soft butter.
- Roll the pastry on a floured bench to a 4-5 mm thickness.
- Take 2/3 of the pastry to line the base of the dish, make sure the sides are clean.
- Once the cream has completely cooled down, transfer it the baking dish.
- Use the rest of the pastry to do the lid that goes on top of the dish. Tuck the sides in well.
- Using a fork, gently score the top of the pastry.
- Brush the top with a slightly beaten egg and bake in hot oven for about 40 minutes depending on the oven you have. The top should be golden brown and if you pierce it with knife, it should come out clean.
Leave the Gâteau to cool down completely before serving, or keep it for the next day of you can resist – it will be even better!
Watch the how to video below or visit my YouTube channel here for more