I knew the glorious sunny day that we had on Friday here in Seattle wasn’t going to last, and that it would be rainy this weekend, which typically makes me want to bake something.
After seeing a video of Chef Raymond Blanc, imploring viewers that they MUST make this, I decided to give it a whirl!
This is a celebration in LEMON!
I knew I’d like it, because 1) It’s easy, and 2) It involves lemon juice and lemon zest, and 3) I have lately been really into making more yeasty-type things, things that involve working in time increments where you are encouraged to just leave something alone in one corner of the kitchen while you do other things. It’s kind of the same process of cooking with a slow cooker–leave something alone, come back and enjoy the transformation!
I hope the next time I make this that I have the nib (or pearl) sugar that the recipe calls for, because I think it looks much more distinctive and elegant to have the nib sugar on the sides of the crust. But I still liked how this came out!
All in all, the weight of the brioche dough was 1265 grams, and so I was able to make three smaller-sized (200 grams each) ones, and two larger (300 grams each) ones, but I think one of the beautiful things about this recipe is that you can make whatever combination of sizes.
The thought had crossed my mind to just make one huge gateau, but I decided I wanted to see how the 300 gram (8-inch diameter) size would turn out. I think the 8-inch diameter one that’s called for in the recipe was the best. With the smaller ones I made (200 grams each), I forgot to poke holes in the dough, and also made the border too big, so there was less room for the crème part. It was still very good, but if you make this, try to make the border not too thick when shaping, because the dough does expand quite a bit when baked, and you want room for the crème part!
(The plate in the photo above was from a set of four that I found in a dollar store in Guam! It says “petit cadeau” on one side, so I thought it would be fitting to use here!)
Gâteau à la Crème (from BBC Food Recipes)
- 1lb 1½oz untreated all-purpose flour
- 6 pinches sea salt
- 1/4 cup caster sugar
- 2 tbsp yeast
- 7 eggs
- 10½oz unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- For the crème filling
- 6 egg yolks
- 2¼oz caster sugar
- 1 lemon juice and zest
- 8¾fl oz crème fraîche
- For the glaze
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- ¾oz butter, cut into cubes (optional)
- 1 tbsp nibbed sugar, to decorate
- For the brioche dough, place the flour, salt, sugar and yeast. Add the eggs and mix with a dough hook attachment for 5 minutes on low power until the eggs are completely incorporated (alternatively, place the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir together for 5 minutes).
- Increase the speed of the machine and mix for another 5 minutes until the dough comes away from the edge of the bowl. Add the butter in cubes and continue to mix for 3 minutes until completely incorporated.
- Remove the bowl from the machine, then cover with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature for 1 hour to double, then chill the dough for a further hour (it will be easier to work with).
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Lightly flour a work surface and your hands. Take 10.5 ounces, about 300 grams, of the brioche dough and bring it together with the palms of your hands to form a ball, then place it on a baking tray and flatten it slightly. Starting from the middle of the dough, gently press the dough flat and spread it out to form a circle to about 8inches in diameter, but do not press down as you reach 1 inch from the edge as this will create the rim of the tart. Be careful not to stretch the dough and try to keep the base even in thickness.
- Cover with a clean tea towel and place the dough in the warm area for 25 minutes. (You can make approximately 3 more 10.5 ounce (or 300 grams) gateaus.)
- For the filling, mix the egg yolks, sugar, lemon zest and juice together in a large mixing bowl and gradually mix in the crème fraîche. Set aside.
- For the glaze, brush the rim of the gateau with the egg yolk and prick the base of the dough evenly with a fork to help the even cooking and rising of the dough. Pour the crème mixture over the dough, sprinkle with the caster sugar and dot with the butter, Sprinkle with the nibbed sugar and bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until the brioche has risen and the filling is set. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool, then serve.