Gâteau Basque with warm sherry cream

Gâteau Basque is a traditional dessert originating from the Northern Basque region of France, with a variation also common in the Southern Basque region of Spain. Constructed from layers of a wheat flour based cake, it is typically filled with black cherry jam or pastry cream.

We were introduced to Gâteau Basque at Bar Isabel, a Spanish inspired tapas restaurant in Toronto. The version here omits the layer of jam or cream, and instead features a cookie-like base scented with vanilla and topped with rich sherry cream sauce.

Recipe

Adapted from The Globe and Mail.

Serves: 2-4 | Ready time: 40 minutes, plus chilling time

Basque cake

  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ vanilla bean, scraped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1¼ to 1⅓ cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Cream sauce

  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons amber sherry
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • ½ cup fresh raspberries

Steps

1) Combine butter and sugar in an electric mixer and beat well. Add 1 egg and scrapings from inside vanilla bean, and beat a few minutes longer. Sift together 1 cup flour, baking powder, and salt and add to mixer gradually.

2) Add remaining flour gradually, until a soft dough comes together. Gather dough together, shape into a disk, and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate 40 to 60 minutes.

3) Preheat oven to 350 F. In a small saucepan, combine cream, sherry, sugar, and salt over medium heat. Mix until sugar and salt are dissolved. Bring just up to a boil, then turn heat down to low and cook until sauce thickens. Remove from heat.

4) Remove dough from refrigerator and roll out on a lightly floured surface to slightly larger than a greased 6½ inch springform or round tart pan. Trim and fit into a pan. Beat remaining egg and brush over cake’s surface. Bake on lower rack of oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until lightly brown at the edges but soft in the centre.

5) Rewarm sauce if necessary and strain to remove solids.

6) Serve cake drizzled with warm sauce garnished with raspberries.

👨‍🍳 Notes from Mr. Chuckles

Add cooking time to reduce the cream further for a thicker consistency. Ours turned out a bit thin, although still tasted good.

Your favourite sherry will do, but we used Alvear Pedro Ximenez De Añada.

This is a large cake for 2 people, so consider portioning and drizzling the sherry cream onto each individual slice. The cake does not keep well overnight in the fridge after the cream has been added.

Bon appétit!

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