Gâteau Basque

    2 hours 35 min

    Gâteau Basque is a traditional cake from the French Basque Country, Pays basque. This is the version with a cream centre encased in a buttery pastry, while another version features a cherry centre. A real showstopper!

    12 people made this

    Serves: 8 

    • For the pastry
    • 250g plain flour
    • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
    • 150g butter, cubed
    • 125g caster sugar
    • 2 pinches salt
    • 2 eggs
    • For the filling
    • 500ml milk
    • 3 eggs, separated
    • 100g caster sugar
    • 40g cornflour
    • 2 tablespoons Izarra liqueur

    Prep:45min  ›  Cook:50min  ›  Extra time:1hr chilling  ›  Ready in:2hr35min 

    1. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre, then add the butter, sugar, salt and 1 of the eggs. Using your fingertips, rub all together quickly and gently till the dough comes together. Roll into a ball and let rest for 1 hour in the fridge.
    2. For the filling, combine the egg yolks and sugar and whisk till pale and creamy. Stir in the cornflour. Set aside.
    3. Heat the milk till boiling in a saucepan over medium heat. Once boiling, reduce heat and gradually whisk in a ladleful of the hot milk into the yolk mixture. Then whisk in that mixture back into the pan of hot milk. Bring to a gentle simmer, whisking constantly to prevent curdling. Once the mixture is simmering, remove from heat and pour into a bowl. Stir in the liqueur, then leave to cool to room temperature.
    4. Preheat the oven to 200 C / Gas 6. Grease a 22 or 23cm round cake tin.
    5. Dust a work surface with flour. Roll out two-thirds of the pastry to a circle approximately 3mm thick and 32cm in diameter. Transfer pastry to prepared tin.
    6. Beat the remaining egg, then brush the inside of pastry case with beaten egg. Pour in the cooled cream.
    7. Roll out the remaining pastry to a circle, 3mm thick and slightly larger than the diameter of your tin. Transfer to the cake tin, letting the excess hang off the edges of the tin; take your rolling pin and roll over the pastry so that the excess pastry is cut away. Run the tines of a fork over the pastry lid a few times, prick the surface in three or four places, then brush with beaten egg.
    8. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 170 C / Gas 3 and bake for another 25 minutes.
    9. Remove cake from oven and let cool completely at room temperature before slicing and serving.


    Izarra is a sweet liqueur made in Bayonne in the French Basque Country. If you can't find it, you can try using Bénédictine or simply cognac or brandy instead.

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