January–April 2023 Baking Cookbook of the Month: GATEAU: THE SURPRISING SIMPLICITY OF FRENCH CAKES

Welcome to the reporting thread for January–April 2023, Gateau: The Surprising Simplicity of French Cakes, by Aleksandra Crapanzano. Please use this thread to discuss this book and tell us about your experiences baking from the book.

To report on a recipe, put the name of the recipe in ALL CAPS and include the page number, if it’s available to you. If you are the first to post about a recipe, please reply to this post. If someone has already posted about the recipe, reply to their post so all the posts about each recipe are linked for easy reference.

To respect the author’s copyright, please don’t post photos or verbatim copies of recipes. Links to recipes online are welcome, and you may post ingredients and summarize instructions in your own words.

Happy baking!

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Almond yogurt cake, Gâteau au Yaourt à la
Farine d’ Amanda pg. 8.
The author describes this as light, moist and tender…why she took the words right out of my mouth! This is such an apt description of the cake that it can’t be improved upon. I made half the cake in a 5 cup mold and it baked in under 15 minutes. The cake has approximately half almond flour and half all purpose. Two slight additions to the cake, I shaved some almond paste into the batter and added flaked almonds to the top and base. This is a one bowl cake and comes together very rapidly. Your oven needs to be a temperature before mixing the cake. I would make again.


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Made it in a 9x5 loaf pan and it was wonderful

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Stef, I had a piece of the almond cake, now a day old, as you also probably have had by now. Very pleased with the texture of the cake, it held up well as promised.
Baked a pear version, pg. 10, with some minor “adjustments “, the fragrance was wonderful as it baked. Will be posting later today or tomorrow.

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Ive made this loaf twice now but followed the basic recipe. It was still good into day 4. Pear will be a lovely addition. This recipe reminds me of a weaving conference i went to. The guest speaker was a famous weaver and she said "I’m basically stuck on lesson #1 just adding embellishments ".

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Excellent comparison! I’m embellishing the embellishments :joy:.

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One line I like in the link to Gateau: “ The pure taste of apples is not masked by cinnamon”.

North Americans have a penchant for throwing cinnamon into anything containing apples, and I don’t like cinnamon. It certainly does mask the taste and smell of apples. It’s hard to find baked goods (apple pie, etc) that contain apples but not cinnamon.

I may well buy the book even though I have a moratorium on buying recipe books. I have too many I have not looked at in years. I wonder now why I thought it necessary to buy books by Charlie Trotter and Joel Robuchon, for example.

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I also made the ALMOND YOGURT CAKE, and I am gaga for it. Delicately sweet with the lovely slight grind from the almond flour, and the brightness from the orange zest … pretty much perfect. As you can see mine sunk a bit, but I don’t even care. This is a keeper.

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Try to get it from your library for a test drive. I got it as an ebook loan, expected to love it but did not. I didn’t take to the layout.

The following day, I “gussied up” the Almond Yogurt Cake with raspberries and a dollop of sour cream, a nice addition!

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Pear Yogurt Cake (pg.10) , another simple cake, this time with AP flour and confectionery sugar in the batter. The batter is thick and supports the pear slices without sinking. She recommends not adding additional spices, etc. The cake did call for a little Pear Williams and I happily obliged. But from there I went rogue. Instead of the round cake form called for, I used a small tube pan as I made half of the recipe and had a few additions. Chopped hazelnuts and chocolate flakes were layered with the batter and topped with diced pears. The crumb is fine and tender and in fact the hazelnuts made it difficult to get a clean cut. This is a repeat for me but I think I’ll try it just with the pears as written.

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This reminds me to use the tube pan I bought for a smitten kitchen recipe but have yet to use !

I use it a lot, but this recipe, although it rose to the top edge, might have been more generous looking in a smaller tube/Bundt pan. This was the 5 cup size.

Aaaaalllllright. You guys convinced me. I borrowed the book from the library, almond cake coming up!

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Yay! :joy:
by the way, the bouchon recipe is the one I liked the best of the three I made.

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I’m doing the chocolate cupcakes tomorrow or Friday, and have several bookmarked for this COTM(Q). It’s an appealing book!

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MR…is that the DL recipe? I had made that and posted in the baking forum when I had made a bunch of recipes from the book. I commented then that I thought it needed some frosting.

Yes, it is. Good to know.

I’ve got some raspberry sauce I want to pair with it. Not as sweet as frosting, but maybe I can compensate otherwise (Chantilly Cream?). I prefer things not too sweet, but for my better half - the sweeter the better.

Sounds good! At the time I felt it needed something, the raspberries might do the trick!

Did you use a muffin pan or do you have a specialty pan? Im sort of intrigued by the torte chapter.