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

Why they are absolutely ethereal! The Pear Yogurt cake might be my currant fave!

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Oh, man, these cakes are gorgeous! I haven’t baked from this book in a while, but now I think I should try some of the autumnal recipes. Thanks for the inspiration!

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Sorry to be so late, but I just have to say that I am so impressed by how well the bundt cake released. It’s beautiful.

This is a lovely loaf. Cardamom flavour really comes thru. I had a big container of green cardamom so ground about a cup in my blender and then put it thru the sift. Honestly i put the cake together before my oven reached temperature. The only problem is i only have 9x5 pans and this calles for 8x4, i guess the loaf would be higher. You really do have to love cardamom because the flavour is intense.


I am a cardamom fan. Will have to keep this recipe in mind. Crumb looks lovely!

Come by and nominate for the new year!

Revisiting “Gateau”, GÂTEAU á l’ HUILE d’ OLIVE, a citrus flavored olive oil cake., pg. 82. The zest of a medium sized Mandarin and half of a Meyer lemon were the flavoring agents along with the juice from the orange. This is a fine crumbed cake, very light with a thin crisp crust, DH declared it delicious as he ate the mini sized one warm from the oven. The author said she makes this cake perhaps more than any other cake, close to perfection. High praise, indeed! She likes to serve it plain but I might try a thin bittersweet chocolate sauce with it. This is a half cake but after sampling a small taste of the mini, I might be regretting not making the full size cake.


Now known as the Volcano cake, this has ground hazelnuts, browned butter, créme fraîche and it makes a light, tender and moist cake. Although it doesn’t have a lot of hazelnut flour, it can be easily detected. This is a half recipe, made in a 6x3” pan rather than a loaf pan as suggested by the author. I couldn’t resist adding a little chocolate on top. I expect a little chocolate sauce and crème fraîche might find its way to a slice tonight. Will make again.


It looks great. For some reason i hate working with hazelnuts. Its getting rid of the skin. Any suggestions?

I buy large bags at Costco that are lightly roasted and peeled. Otherwise, they are a bit of a pain to get the dark skin off. I’m sure you’ve done the rubbing in a towel method which is only semi-satisfactory. They sure are delicious tho’!

Yes I’ve done the towel rubbing, very unsatisfactory. Unfortunately Costco here doesnt carry the skin free hazelnuts

I’ve ordered them from Amazon in the past

I learned this baking soda blanching method long ago from someone on Chowhound, and it really works like a charm. Easy to roast them afterwards.



Watch the amount of baking soda. I tried that method a few years ago and it altered the flavour so badly I had to throw the batch out.


A little more deliciousness :

This was a nice addition to a cake that can easily stand on its own. I might add a little more ground hazelnuts next time. The author suggests the plain cake for breakfast in lieu of granola or cereal as in the manner of the French😁!


When I was looking for a link, I saw some called for quite a lot of baking soda, obviously more than necessary… I never had an issue with the method, but that’s good to know.

Found one of her Cake Sale recipes online – the Cake D’Alsace version

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Such a great recipe. Now I want one! :yum:


My turn for BOUCHONS AU CHOCOLAT P. 124.

I used 1 t. vanilla instead of 1 T. rum. The cocoa was Valhrona, and the chocolate was Lindt 70%. I used a #30 “disher” to portion the batter, and baked in a mini-popover pan greased with Everbake. Inspired by @NannyBakes, I reserved one little chunk of chopped chocolate to top each of the bouchons which, once in the oven, promptly melted into oblivion.

For anyone contemplating this recipe, but possibly intimidated by it’s Frenchness (as I was), don’t be. Like everything else in this book, it’s as easy to make as a batch of cookies, and an absolute chocolate bomb - light in texture and intense in flavor. I’m happy I made them.