Monday, June 6, 2011

Free and Easy Bake-Along #2 : Gateau Breton

For our Free and Easy Bake-Along #2, we have chosen to bake Gataeu Breton, recipe from Rose's Heavenly Cakes. Lena of Frozen Wings and Zoe of Bake For Happy Kids, together  with myself,  have decided to bake together from the same cookbooks that we have, so we will randomly pick a recipe from any of the books, bake and will do a post on that. It is a good way of using our cookbooks which otherwise will just be another "decorative book" on the bookshelf.

What is Gateau Breton? Just as Rose Levy described it, Gateau Breton is somewhere between a cake and  a shortbread. It has the buttery, sweet, salty taste, top with the light aroma of the rum. The texture is crumbly and soft with fine sand-like grains, but at the same time is is moist and not dry at all, with a light crisp on the outer crust. If you like shortbread, then I'm sure that you would enjoy this. A nice cup of black plain hot coffee goes well with a slice of Gateau Breton. I had a slice about an hour after baking, when it is still warm, and it tastes heavenly and buttery! This "shortbread-cake" even tastes marvellous the next day. I baked this about a week ago, and now I'm thinking of it again!

I baked this in a 9" x 2" round cake pan. 

This is extremely easy and quick to make.

It makes a nice afternoon treat with a cup of coffee or even tea.

When I'm in the mood for something plain and good, this would be the one.

Pay a visit to Lena of Frozen Wings and Zoe of Bake For Happy Kids, and see their lovely Gateau Breton. We will be making Butterscotch and Hazelnut Pudding next from Donna Hay's magazine Apr-May 2011 issue, I'm so excited and really looking forward to make the pudding, sounds yum!

Gateau Breton
(adapted from "Rose's Heavenly Cakes" by Rose Levy Beranbaum)
1/2 cup (1.5 ounces/42 grams) blanched sliced almonds (I use ground almond)
3/4 divided (5.3 ounces/150 grams) superfine sugar (I use 120gm)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons (9 ounces/255 grams) unsalted butter, preferably high fat  OR
2-1/2 sticks (10 ounces/284 grams) high-quality lightly salted butter
4 large egg yolks (2.6 ounces/74 grams), at room temperature
1 tablespoon (0.5 ounce/15 grams) kirsch, dark rum, or water
1/1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups (sifted into the cup and leveled off) plus 3 tablespoons (8.7 ounces/250 grams) bleached all-purpose flour
about 1 tablespoon , 1 whole egg, lightly beaten

Special Equipment 
One 9-1/2 by 1-3/8-inch (or 1 inch) fluted tart pan with removable bottom, preferably nonstick, or one 9 x 2-inch round cake pan, encircled with a cake strip, coated with baking spray with flour.

Preheat The Oven
Twenty minutes or more before baking, set an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325F/160C.

Toast And Grind The Almonds (I skipped this step as I use ground almonds)
Spread the almonds evenly on a baking sheet and bake for about 7 minutes, or until pale gold. Stir once or twice to ensure even toasting and avoid overbrowning. Cool completely. In a food processor, process the almonds with about 1/4 cup of the sugar and the salt until fairly fine but not powder fine.

Make The Batter
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, mix together the remaining sugar and the butter on medium speed for about 1 minute until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat in the yolks,1 at a time, beating for about 20 seconds between each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add the almond mixture, kirsh, and vanilla and mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Raise the speed to medium and beat for about 20 seconds until evenly incorporated. Add the flour in four parts, beating on the lowest speed for about  15 seconds and turning off the mixer between additions. Detach the beater and, with a silicone spatula, finish mixing in any flour that may remain, reaching to the bottom of the bowl. Using the silicone spatula, scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface evenly with a small offset spatula. If you are using a 1-inch-high tart pan, the batter will be about 1/4 inch from the top of the pan and will rise to about 1/4 inch above the top during baking. In a 1-3/8-inch-high pan, the batter will be about 1 inch from the top and rise to about 3/8 inch from the top. (If using a cake pan, the gateau will rise higher and dip slightly in the middle).

Glaze The Top Of The Cake
With the beaten egg, brush the top pf the cake well, using a little less than 1 tablespoon. Use the tines of a fork to make a crosshatch of three long lines in two directions. (If the batter has softened, refrigerate or freeze it briefly to make it more firm). The fork lines will help prevent the batter from puffing by unevenly and after baking will leave a bare tracing.

Bake The Cake
Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until deep golden brown and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the center. It should just begin to come away from the sides of the pan. An instant-read thermometer will register about 205F/96C.

Cool And Unmold The Cake
Let the cake cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. If using a pan with a removable bottom, remove the sides of the pan. Invert the cake onto a cookie sheet and remove the pan bottom. Reinvert it onto a serving plate. Cool completely.

Notes from Rose :
If using Vermont salted butter, which is lightly salted, use only 1/8 teaspoon salt. Butter that is 80 percent fat contains about 2 tablespoons more water than the 86 percent, which will result in a slightly moister crumb. If you prefer a moister crumb and you want to use the higher 86 percent butter, you can add 2 tablespoons water to the batter when adding the almonds. (If using 84 percent butter, you can add 4 teaspoons water).


  1. I just ordered this book 3 weeks ago but too bad till now have not arrived. Next time count me in if you choose recipe from this book again. I must try this soon.

  2. A nice recipe, it should be very soft. I loved. Have a nice weekend. Kisses, Marta.

  3. Esto te ha quedado con una capita bien buena.
    Un saludito

  4. Awesome recipe!! just perfect with a cup of hot tea..

  5. Lovely coffee side kick! This sounds delicious. Never heard of a gateau breton before but it looks like my kind of shortbread-cake :)

  6. simply marvellous! i'm excited as well on the pudding!

  7. Oh what a lovely cake Joy! I love the flavour of almonds in cake. This is a perfect afternoon snack to have with some coffee. Your cook-along is a great idea!

  8. It looks like it turned out perfectly. Wish I had some right now to go with my coffee!

  9. Excellent......I will soon be a cakeoholic!

  10. This recipe looks easy. And your cake/shortbread hybrid looks fantastic!

  11. Excellent looking cake. Loved to indulge in it.

    Hamaree Rasoi

  12. wow! lovely golden color this cake the taste is extraordinary too!
    gotta try this cake :)

  13. Gateau Breton is delicious (not exactly calorie free though...)

  14. Hi dear, this is a belleza! I really love! look absolutely nice, xxgloria

  15. Gateau breton looks marvellous, if i make them i wont stop having them,love it very much..

  16. I've never heard of this cake. It sounds incredibly delicious!

  17. Haha, it always a good sign when you think of it again so soon. I can't get the pumpkin cheesecake brioche pudding out of my head, mmmmmmmm

  18. Querida y estimada es una verdadera belleza la que has cocinado,se ve esponjoso y muy lindo color,cariños y abrazos.

  19. Yummy! That sounds so good and has such pretty name :) I love your photos. They're great. I hope you'll stop by and show of this great recipe Wednesday at These Chicks Cooked Recipe Spotlight. Have a good one.

  20. Thanks for sharing this "lovely bake!" I love a plain buttery cake with tea, and this one is beautiful! :)

  21. Your golden brown Gateau Breton looks very good and it is different from th everyday cake. I am also glad to hear that you buy Donna Hay's magazines too. I can't wait for their issues to come out every two months to try out their yummy looking treats. Do post your bakes, it is so exciting and I will post mine too.

  22. Hi Joy,
    Your Gateau Breton is beautiful! It looks like a light fluffy cloud. Your presentation is very nice. Thank you for sharing and have a great day!

  23. I look forward for this post since we have "talking" about this cake for weeks. Can't wait for the next bake-along.

  24. Joy, I can't wait to make this! Almonds are one of my favorites, and thanks for sharing at Cookbook Sunday!

  25. I am glad you shared this with Bake With Bizzy because I have the book and I don't take it out enough. This appears light and lovely. If I have time to bake tomorrow, I want to make this.

  26. I'm hungry now. Looking at your Gateau Breton, from my office. Argh......

  27. As always some great recipes that preciousness oncreible resulting cake ... I love it. bsss MARIMI

  28. This is such a lovely cake, and with such a beautiful name:D

  29. Wow, your gateau breton looks delicious, nice texture...would love to have a slice of it with a cup of coffee.
    Hope you are having a great week :-)

  30. Thks for stopping by. What a lovely cake! Good pics too :-)

  31. My beloved friend
    Thank you for so nice recipe!!
    Many greetings

  32. Yum, the shortbread-like aspect really appeals to me. And with the rum, it sounds very luxurious and elegant and delicious.

  33. I would go for tea with this buttery gateau!

  34. Beautiful looking cake - I would love a slice right now.
    Sue xo

  35. Oooh, I just want to bite into all that buttery goodness. Thanks so much for sharing this at Sweets for a Saturday.