Recipe: Brittany Butter Cake - Gateau Breton

By Debra Fioritto

Gâteau Breton

Gâteau Breton ~ Brittany Butter Cake

Brittany is located on the northwest coast of France and has been somewhat culturally and geographically distinct from the rest of the country. Well known for its lace, seaside resorts, crêpes and cider, Brittany is also the home of Merlin, the magician of Arthurian legend. Bretons claim you can still feel his presence in the legendary forest, Brocéliande.

This cake, made with just a few ingredients, has a wonderfully dense texture similar to shortbread. I like it for dessert, topped with a fruit sauce or plain for breakfast.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Egg wash (1 beaten egg)

Recipes for Strawberry Wine Compote and Blueberry Sauce are below.

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Cream the butter and sugar, until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in vanilla and egg yolks, one at a time, beat well after each addition.
  4. Add the flour and salt and beat until just combined.
  5. Transfer the batter, which will be very thick, into a 9-inch tart pan and pat it down with your hand. Chill the batter 10-15 minutes in the refrigerator.
  6. Remove from the refrigerator. Brush top with beaten egg, and mark a crisscross pattern with a fork.

BAKE

  • Bake for about 50 minutes or until the top is a golden brown and the edges pull away slightly from the sides.

TO SERVE

  • Cool slightly and remove from pan. Slice it with a serrated knife while it is still warm. Can be served with your favorite fruit, a fruit coulis or one of the sauces below.

Strawberry Wine Compote

  • 1 quart strawberries
  • 1/4-cup Beaujolais
  • 1/4-cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4-cup water
  • 1 cinnamon stick

PREPARATION

  1. Wash, stem and halve or quarter the strawberries.
  2. Mix the wine, sugar and water in a small saucepan. Add the cinnamon stick. Heat to boiling over med-high heat. Turn down the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the stove and allow to cool.
  3. When the wine mixture is cooled, pour it over the strawberries and allow them to macerate in the refrigerator.

SERVE

  • Serve over the cake.

Blueberry Sauce

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed
  • 1/4-cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons crème de cassis
  • 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Pinch of cinnamon

PREPARATION

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a heavy saucepan.
  2. Stir over med-low heat until the sugar dissolves and the berries begin to release their juice.
  3. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 7 more minutes.
  4. Put the blueberries into a clean container and allow to cool to lukewarm. Berry mixture can then be covered and refrigerated.

SERVE

  • Serve over the cake.

Et voilà!

Debra Fioritto contributes delicious French recipes to Wednesday issues of BonjourParis. Click on her name to read more about her Tour de Forks culinary tours or to collect the many recipes she has shared here.

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