Before I reveal what the first recipe will be, I thought I should establish some basic guidelines for myself to follow.
Patisserie: Mastering the Fundamentals of French Pastry (to be referred to as ‘The Book’ from this point forward) is divided into nine separate sections. Each concerned with a different area of patisserie.
- Les Pâtes et Les Tartes (Basic Pastry and Tarts)
- Les Crèmes (Creams, Custards and Puddings)
- La Décoration (Decorations)
- Les Gâteaux Classiques (Classic Cakes and Desserts)
- Les Chocolats et Petites Bouchées (Chocolate Desserts and Candies)
- Les Gâteaux de L’Avent (Holidays Cakes, Cookies and Other Sweet Treats)
- Les Macarons (Macarons)
- Les Brioches et Viennoiseries (Brioche and Breakfast Pastries)
- Les Mignardises (Petit Fours)
I have decided, that I will work through the sections in this order. Completing at least one basic, and one advanced recipe from each section, before moving on to the next.
The first recipe I have chosen is, Gâteau Basque. This translates as Basque cake, although Felder has added buttery to the description. So I shall give it the full name of Buttery Basque Cake. I personally cannot type the word buttery, without being reminded of buttery biscuit base…
That’s enough of that! Before taking possession of ‘The Book’, I had never heard of Gâteau Basque. From looking at the recipe, the use of the term cake is a bit misleading. It’s basically pastry, made with ground almonds, filled with a pastry cream and some cherry conserve. So not too dissimilar to our Bakewell Tart.
This cake is a big deal in the Basque region. They actually have their own festival in honour of it. The Fête du Gâteau Basque is held annually on the first Sunday in October in Cambo-Les-Bains. Where it was first created, in the 18th Century by sisters Elizabeth and Anne Dibar.
I’ll be baking the cake on Thursday and I aim to report back later on in the week. I don’t have a great track record with pastry, so this should be an interesting one.