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

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.


Yours look remarkably yummy!



Slight alterations to the basic recipe were reducing the sugar to 165g and since I had only 3/4 cup regular yogurt, making up the difference with kefir. For flavoring, I rubbed a small orange’s worth of zest into the sugar, and in addition to the vanilla and optional almond extract, added 1/4 teaspoon orange extract and 1 tablespoon Cointreau. Baked as 10 cupcakes, which were done in 18 minutes in my countertop oven; I turned convection on for the last three minutes to get the tops a little more golden.

Tasting soon after cooling, I found it a pleasant cake but nothing more, though certainly light, moist, and tender. I liked this better the day after baking, and am much more inclined to repeat it with a day’s rest in mind. The texture was a little denser, but still perfectly moist and tender, and (characteristically) the flavors had developed; the restrained sweetness really allowed the orange, almond, and vanilla all to come through.


You can source them already “Blanched” as an Example:


I finally made it. I’ve had the book out of the library a few times, but somehow never managed to bake from it. The yogurt cake really is a very quick bake. I made one egg’s worth of a recipe and substituted melted butter for the oil. Nice taste and texture on day one; doubt it will make it to day two. The savoury bakes previously posted also look delicious. If they’re as quick as this cake I can see trying more recipes before the book goes back.


Time for new nominations

Revisiting Les Cupcakes (P. 128).

I made a half-recipe in a Nordic Ware mini popover pan. They baked for 18 minutes, resulting in twelve mini cupcakes using a #30 scoop.

As a final element I folded in an extra 20% (by weight) chocolate to the batter (bar, chopped). Half of the cakes were topped with three dark chocolate chips before baking, and the other half were topped with a dark chocolate ganache after cooling.


I’ll be keeping the addition of chocolate to the batter – it helped to bring the chocolate flavor forward. On top: chocolate chips for the win. Initially I was discouraged by the look of them, but that grew on me, and both DH and I felt it was the better version. Many thanks to @NannyBakes for the suggestion.

And because there was a little extra ganache and it’s June – well, strawberries.