This is the Gâteau Breton I made for a special dinner party at my friend Scott's to accompany a rare Sauternes. Not that such a wonderful dessert wine requires anything to accompany it but if one is going to have anything it should not conflict and hopefully should enhance the experience. This cake, traditionally, is simply butter, egg yolks, sugar, vanilla, and flour, with a tiny bit of salt. I also add a small amount of lightly toasted ground almonds both for flavor and texture. It is the soul of simplicity and the most buttery cake in the new book (page 69). (Since I bake it in a tart pan I am referring to it here as a tart but the word gâteau means cake.) To make it the best that it can be I used golden sugar from the island of Mauritius off the coast of India. The volcanic soil is responsible for its exquisite flavor. I used cultured butter, and my favorite vanilla. But since it had to travel to Brooklyn Heights by car, the biggest challenge was finding the right size box in which it would not slide around and possibly mar the edges. Spanx to the rescue! The moment the package arrived this week my practiced eye could determine from the size that the box would be perfect for a tart baked in a 9 1/2 inch tart pan. It was easy to undo one of the sides, slide the baked Gâteau Breton into it, and reattach the side. And when I saw the message on the inside of the lid I thought I really had to share it with you! P.S. The Sauternes turned out to be a 1967 Château d'Yquem--a gift from fellow dinner guest dear Manana (member of our former wine group). We enjoyed it with foie gras at the beginning of the meal and then Scott poured a less rare Sauternes to go with the gâteau as the Château d' would have upstaged the cake and we all wanted it to be the very last taste of the evening. In yesterday's posting I wrote that the Kracher Sauternes I enjoyed last weekend was the best dessert wine I had ever tasted and here, a mere 6 days later, I had to eat my words! This one was amber in color and the most poignant balance of slightly resinous acidity with a sweetness that created a yearning for the next sniff or sip (I did a lot of both.) The experience of this wine seemed to create a golden glow that connected all of us--both old and new friends in a moment of shear and grateful bliss.
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