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

If you are referring to the bouchons, I used a silicon straight sided mold, also, the petit popover Nordic ware pan. I think I got 15 from the recipe, I’ll check to see if I took notes.
Just checked…for the DL cupcakes, the pic looks like I also used the petit popover pans. For twelve cupcakes in that size pan, I made 2/3 of the recipe. I also noted that it needed more of a chocolate presence.
And yes, the tortes look good!

Thanks, i think when i make them I’ll use a muffin tin. There has to be a limit to how many pans i have.

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that’s just HERESY :wink:


You are just sucking me in here @Nannybakes :rofl:


Strictly a public service!:joy:



This is Crapazano’s take on a David Lebovitz recipe. I made a half recipe, used a 70% dark chocolate, and dropped the temperature from 350 to 340 in my (already slow) oven in hopes of inhibiting doming in a Nordic Ware cakelette pan. Didn’t help – lol! The cakelettes domed and the bake took 25 minutes, as called for, in any case.

These were simple to throw together. The process, which includes a double boiler to melt the chocolate, calls for a few more bowls than a standard dump cake, but no real skills or mixer required.

We liked the little cakes quite a bit, and found them not too sweet. We ate them with Chantilly cream and homemade raspberry sauce. The former, I think, is a must as they might come across as a bit dry without it. The berries were tasty, but a bit overpowering of the chocolate, and I will probably opt for the whipped cream only next serving.


Ok, you got me. I’m eyeballs deep now. And having major decision-making issues with where to start.

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Are you in the mood for something simple or a little more complex? The gateau au yaourt on pg. 2, is simple and delicious…fine crumb, moist. You can flavor it as it suits you. ( I have made it, very pleased with it)
I’ve made the gateau au yaogurt with verveine and peaches (raspberries )3x and will probably make it 3 more times. I had frozen ground verveine with sugar in anticipation of making it with raspberries rather than peaches. At Xmas, it disappeared! There are so many suggestions for variations on a theme.
As you know, I liked the bouchons very much if your are in the mood for chocolate. Gateau Suzy, pg. 132, might be my next chocolate choice, I’ve not made it yet but will probably make half recipe. Granddaughter made the marbled orange cake and was very pleased with it, also the Apple clafoutis, pg. 86.
The gateau au chocolate et au whiskey has also been calling my name, pg. 150.
So many choices :smile:, I think I’ve made something else but can’t recall off hand. Most of the recipes I’ve tried have turned out well with no surprise problems.


Well, you got almost everything on my first-glance bookmark list :joy:

Plus financiers, madelines, and the whole savory cake section.


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The savory madeleines are particularly appealing, I just need an “ excuse” to make them!

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I’m not about to buy the book, so am wondering what’s in the savory madeleines. I make the sweet ones every now and again.

Roquefort, pear, walnuts

No prizes if you guessed what I started with before I had even decided… Orange version of the Yogurt (oil) Cake :smile:

I almost went with the dinner party version, which differs only slightly (in that there’s a LOT more oil in the cake plus a soak and a glaze – hey, I could have gone festive, it’s Sunday!) but then I thought the basic version would be a good baseline.

This is version 2, which has zest rubbed into the sugar. I used Cara Cara orange zest (which I had rubbed into sugar a few days ago before I ate the orange, you know, as any orange cake obsessive does). I also added a tsp of grand marnier to enhance it, but in retrospect it might have been unnecessary.

I scaled the recipe back to 1 egg (so 1/3 recipe) which fit perfectly into my small cake pan (which I found lined in the fridge, apparently I had prepped it at some point over a month ago).

Cut the temp back to 325 for my countertop oven, but the cake still domed and then sank while cooling, which I’m puzzled by. Also had odd air pockets that I’ve never encountered before. Hmm.

But: Still delicious!

This should get better tomorrow as an oil cake usually does, but it was pretty good today —aside from the giant holes :flushed:.


Yikes, never saw that! I’m assuming you rapped the filled cake pan on the counter, although I don’t think that’s the problem given the size of the holes. Second thought, inadvertently added too much b.p. when you reduced ingredients. It also looks like the oil did not stay well mixed in the batter and separated out a bit. Very puzzling!

Here’s an interior of one of the verveine cakes , also with oil. It’s very fine textured and smooth, it was half the recipe in a 6x2 1/2” cake pan.


Thanks @Nannybakes, my thoughts were along similar lines.

I did tap the pan, and I was careful about the baking powder amount because those small things are where scaling back a recipe always trips one up (I actually went slightly more than 1/2 tsp vs the 2/3 that was the math).

I think the steps / order of the recipe what might have created the problem.

Usually for this kind of cake, I’d mix all the wet ingredients well, whisk or sift the dry ingredients separately, then incorporate the dry into the wet in parts, so the batter is well-combined without getting lumpy or over-mixed / activating the gluten.

The instructions here are to whisk the eggs, add sugar, add the flour and bp, and then add the oil at the end. I didn’t think much of it as I was just following along, but I’m pretty sure this led to over-mixing, and also the oil not being well-incorporated.

Anyway, live and learn. I came across this when I was searching for reasons, quite helpful.

(One other recipe note, other cakes like this I’ve made successfully have a tiny amount of baking soda, which this one doesn’t have.)

(Now – if I could get my bread and focaccia to have lovely large holes like this… lol)


It’s also good to give the pan a couple of bangs when removing from the oven, it settles the cake and helps to prevent unevenness…the next one will be perfect!

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I noticed the Yaourt cake also calls for this method.

I was just looking at the savory cakes and the instructions are the other way I mentioned - dry ingredients separately combined, wet separate, and then put them together.

The yogurt cake I make uses this method, and the one time I followed the directions, it came out somewhat dense and oily, even though the oil was incorporated well. Now I always whisk the oil with the eggs, yogurt, sugar etc before adding the dry ingredients.
I never bang pans before or after baking, unless the recipe specifically calls for this. I do cut through chiffon or angel food cake batter with a knife to avoid large air pockets.