Thursday, February 23, 2012

Gâteau Breton - Brittany Butter Cake - Bretonischer Kuchen

I came across this recipe for Gâteau Breton (Brittany Butter Cake or Bretonischer Kuchen)  from Nigella Lawson' s "How To Be A Domestic Goodess" Cookbook and immediately knew that I had to give it a try. It looked elegant and easy enough to put together even on a rather late afternoon.

Besides, having farm fresh eggs and butter on hand helped my decision along quite a bit, to bake this cake. The result is a buttery cross between shortbread/cookies and cake. The taste only gets better, the higher the quality of the butter and eggs you use.

Since there are not too many ingredients in this cake, the difference in the quality of ingredients used, is quite noticable in the end result.

Recipe for Gâteau Breton
(as adapted from Nigella Lawson "How To Be A Domestic Goddess", published by Chatto & Windus 2000, available through

For the Cake

225 g (8 ounces) plain flour, preferably Italian 00
250 g (9 ounces) caster sugar (I used superfine)
250 g (9 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
6 large egg yolks

25 cm Springform tin, buttered well (I used a 10 inch Fluted French Tart Pan with removeable bottom - gives the finished cake a nice look and is available at or at

For the Glaze

1 tsp of egg yolk, from your 6
1 tbsp of water


1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius (375 degrees Fahrenheit). Mix the glaze, and put aside while you get on with your gateau.

2. Put the flour into a bowl (I never bother to sieve 00 flour because it's so finely milled, but if you're using regular plain flour then do so), stir in the sugar and add the butter and egg yolks.

3. With the dough-hook attachment of a mixer, slowly whirr till you've got a smooth, golden dough. Scoop this dough into the tin, and smooth the top with a floured hand: expect it to be very sticky; indeed, it should be.

4. Brush the gateau with the glaze, and mark a lattice design on top with the prongs of a fork.

5. Bake for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit) and give it another 25 minutes or so until it's golden on top and firm to the touch.

6. Let it cool completely in the tin before unmoulding it.

7. For serving: either cut it in traditional cake-like wedges or criss-cross, making irregularly sized diamonds.