Gateau Basque

  • Active Time 35m
  • Total Time 2h 25m

Serves 8

Basque-native Gerald Hirigoyen is executive chef and owner of the restaurants Fringale and Pastis in San Francisco.


  • For Pastry Cream:
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
  • For Dough:
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon rum
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon pastis, such as Ricard or Pernod, or an anise-flavored liqueur
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • Seeds of 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup ground almond powder (see recipe)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • Butter for buttering the pan
  • Flour for dusting the pan
  • 1 egg, beaten lightly with a fork, for egg glaze

Companion recipe: Ground Almond Powder


TO MAKE THE PASTRY CREAM: In the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the balloon attachment, beat the egg yolks and sugar until frothy. Add the flour and mix these ingredients on medium speed until well combined; set aside. Bring the milk and the vanilla bean to a boil in a large saucepan. As soon as the milk begins to boil, take the pan off the heat, remove the vanilla bean, scrape the seeds out of the pod, and stir them into the milk. Discard the pod.

Pour half the boiling milk into the bowl with the egg and flour mixture while stirring ingredients together briskly with a strong wire whisk. Bring the remaining half of the milk back to a boil. As soon as it boils, pour all of the ingredients from the mixing bowl into the pan of boiling milk while whisking vigorously until smooth. Bring to a boil and stir for 1 minute longer. Remove the pastry cream from the heat and spread it on a sheet pan or in a shallow baking dish to cool. Lay a large sheet of plastic wrap directly on top of the pastry cream and set aside.

TO MAKE THE DOUGH: In the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together until well blended. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the rum, almond extract, pastis, and salt. Add the vanilla bean seeds, flour, almond powder, and baking powder. Using the paddle attachment, combine the ingredients on low speed until they come together to form a firm dough. Form the dough into 2 even balls, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour or more.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan. Lightly flour the work surface and roll out one of the balls of dough into an 11-inch circle, approximately 1/3 inch thick. Carefully drape the dough over the rolling pin and transfer it to the prepared cake pan; gently press the dough down into the sides of the pan. Spread the pastry cream in an even layer on top of the pastry dough.

Roll out the remaining ball of dough into a 9-inch circle, 1/3 inch thick. Carefully drape it over the cake pan, on top of the pastry cream, to form the top layer of the cake. Pinch the edges of the dough together to firmly seal in the filling. Trim off any uneven edges. Brush the top of the cake with beaten egg.

Bake until golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a cooling rack. Turn the cake right side up and let it cool completely. Transfer to a serving plate, and serve at room temperature.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Cooks' Catalogue, Inc. All rights reserved.

RecID 6005

nutrition information per serving

409 calories; 17g total fat; 144mg cholesterol; 69mg sodium; 55g carbohydrates; 1g fiber; 7g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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