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November “Almost Flourless” Bake-Off
Posted: 04 November 2009 08:14 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Hi everyone, here is my Gateau Basque from the Pie & Pastry Bible!  I was so excited to make this, I’ve been thinking about doing it off and on since Rose posted about it (August 2008), and her mention of it in RHC as one of her favorite pastries brought it back to mind. 

I followed everything to the letter, except I made leaves from the leftover pastry scraps to decorate the top.  I made the pastry cream and almond dough the day before, it went together pretty easily once those components were made.  Rose’s method of rolling out the pate sucree and laying it over the bottom of a smaller pan, then putting the larger pan over that and flipping them, worked like a dream.  I baked the leaves separately on a cookie sheet, then attached them with a little egg white as soon as the gateau came out of the oven (while it was still piping hot).  I did need to add the cream mentioned in Rose’s errata for this recipe.

The only issues I had were minor and easily fixed.  My bottom crust didn’t get as crispy as the top crust, next time I won’t put any foil under the pan (I was afraid the springform might leak) and I may try starting the pastry out on a pizza stone.  The other issue I had was that I vented the crust before glazing, rather than after, so some of the vents were sealed by the glaze.  When the filling gave off steam, the crust puffed up and cracked a little near the edges. 

One note I have is that when making Rose’s pastry cream, I find it simpler, with the eggs, to just remove the chalaza with my fingers as soon as they are cracked open, rather than whisking in hot dairy and straining them out.

I loved the flavors of this pastry- almond sweet crust, vanilla-rum pastry cream, and cherries, all wonderful together.  The Morello cherry conserve I found (Crofter’s) was utterly delicious, and organic.  I’m going to buy more, soon.  The label says it’s produced in Canada.

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Posted: 04 November 2009 10:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Oh, that’s lovely! Good work!

They sell Crofters at our local food co-op. I agree, excellent preserves! I love the Morello Cherry, the Four-Fruit, and the Blood Orange. Well, I love them all, actually, but those are my favorites.

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Posted: 04 November 2009 10:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Wow Julie. It looks amazing. I’m coming over right now, save me a piece.  smile

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Posted: 04 November 2009 11:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Gorgeous, Julie. Wonderful pictures and excellent notes on an obviously delightful cake. It got a good response from the tasters, I’m sure! Good to know about Crofter’s products. Made in Canada, eh?

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Posted: 05 November 2009 07:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Barabara, thanks! I’m going to try the blood orange conserve next. 

Rozanne, I’ve got a piece left with your name on it!

Carolita, you’re very kind, thank you.  I thought of you and Rozanne when I saw that Crofter’s was made in Canada.  My tasters included a couple of foodie friends who were very interested to try this, neither had encountered it before.  Both of them loved it.  Another taster thought it was “rummy”, and I agree that the rum is noticeable, but it doesn’t come across as boozy or overdone.

Editing to say, I’ve now tried a few of the other flavors in the conserve, and my favorite is still the Morello cherry, yum.

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Posted: 05 November 2009 08:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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It looks beautiful!  Great Job!

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Posted: 05 November 2009 11:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Your cakes always look so good Julie, like a professional’s.

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Posted: 05 November 2009 01:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Carolita - 05 November 2009 03:55 AM

Good to know about Crofter’s products. Made in Canada, eh?

Carol, it’s available at Metro. Not sure if they have stores in Victoria but they do in Montreal.

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Posted: 05 November 2009 02:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Julie - beautiful cake! This is on my list to do - though the instructions when I read it was confusing to me. Your cake looks really yummy! Can I have a piece as well?  tongue rolleye

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Posted: 05 November 2009 03:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Very lovely cake, Julie and it sounds delicious.  Another one for the list!

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Posted: 05 November 2009 09:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Bill, Jeanette and Annie, thanks so much for the kind words!

Jenn, I know what you mean- I thought the recipe seemed daunting, too.  But once the pastry cream and almond crust dough are made, most of the work is already done.  Anyone who can make croissants as nice as yours won’t have any problem with it!

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Posted: 05 November 2009 09:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Beautiful cake Julie, and sounds yummy. I love Crofter’s too; we don’t have all the flavors here as I haven’t seen the Morello cherry one.

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Posted: 06 November 2009 12:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Wonderful cake, Julie! Love the leaves on it! Now if I could only find my cake bible to see what’s in it….

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Posted: 06 November 2009 01:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Julie - 06 November 2009 01:35 AM

Jenn, I know what you mean- I thought the recipe seemed daunting, too.  But once the pastry cream and almond crust dough are made, most of the work is already done.  Anyone who can make croissants as nice as yours won’t have any problem with it!

Thanks for the vote of confidence Julie! I would have to schedule making this. Maybe when I’m feeling 100% I would schedule another baking frenzy! smile.

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Posted: 07 November 2009 06:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Oh Julie… your Gateau Basque is magazine worthy!!!  Oh my goodness, what a great job you did!!!!!!  Please come and make it for me smile

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Posted: 25 November 2009 06:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Shimi, Silke, Jenn and Patrincia, a belated thanks for the kind words about the Basque!

I’m bringing this as a second Thanksgiving dessert to my relatives’ house (someone else is doing the pie).  It’s a (flourless) chocolate cloud roll filled with chestnut mousse cream and frosted with dark ganache with rum.  All from the Cake Bible.  I’ll freeze it, put it in a spaghetti storing bin, and allow it to defrost en route.  I’m traveling Thursday, so we’ll eat soon after I arrive.  Now, let’s see if I can get it through security…

The jarred chestnuts I found were roasted, shelled/skinned and whole, with no water, sugar or additives of any kind.  And honestly they were tastier than the ones I laboriously roasted and shelled myself last year!  They are Minerve brand, from France.  I sauteed a few of the extras with brussel sprouts, magic. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

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