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

Looking luscious! Great that you had success with it!

I have had my eye on this recipe, looks great!

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That looks delicious. I’m fond of rum in baked goods. I’ll have to add this recipe to my list.

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Just another note that I went to a nursery this weekend and found lemon verbena. Now planted in the garden and awaiting summer bakes!


I just made crema Catalan using dried lemon verbena leaves in lieu of lemon peel, it’s very versatile. I keep a jar of lemon verbena sugar as well. I’m sure you will enjoy the plant!

CAKE CHOCOLAT ORANGE (Chocolate and Candied Orange Loaf), p. 152

If any recipe was likely to whisper Make me! in my ear, it was one with dark chocolate, almond paste, and candied orange peel, all of which I happen to have in my pantry.

This would’ve been simpler with a stand mixer, but mine needs its plug replaced, so I used both a food processor to grind the almond paste and sugar, and a hand-held mixer for beating that mixture with the eggs, since I knew the almond paste would just fly all over the kitchen if I tried to do it with the hand mixer. Still, this came together easily. I had a jar with maybe a couple of ounces of a combination of organic sugar, ground vanilla bean sugar, and orange zest left over from making orange-vanilla sugar cookies a while ago, so I used that as part of the total weight of sugar. For the chocolate, I chopped up 72% bittersweet bar chocolate. I baked this in four mini loaf pans. I probably could’ve done three, but I wasn’t sure, so the fourth made a shorter loaf.

This is a delicious cake with a fine crumb that stayed plenty moist over several days, and went over very well with everyone I shared it with. The almond flavor is in the background, with the chocolate and orange at the forefront.

The book has to go back to the library, but there are so many tempting recipes, it’s definitely one worth owning, so it’s going on my mental wishlist.


Would definitely like to try this one. I can hear the whispering.

Would you mind posting the recipe, please. Thanks.

Madeline’s au chocolat pp243. I used a very old tin which I tried to carefully butter and cocoa dust, not a great idea as there was a lot of sticking. They were nice enough and would perhaps be more interesting with some of her variations.
I’m not crazy about the layout/design of the book and do not understand why all the butter amounts are in tablespoons? There are gram and ounce measurements for other ingredients.
Who thinks of butter in tablespoons when baking?


(nervously) me.


If you look closely at the recipes in one it might state 1/2 yogourt 125 grams and another it states just 1 cup yogourt. Sloppy. Ive been converting butter myself. 1 tablespoon butter 14grms and recipes have worked. Recipes are good but such bad editing.

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Also me (moves to stand in corner next to @LulusMom1)


The volume only for butter also bugs me. Why not give both volume and weight, as she does with other ingredients?

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Caitlin, was your loaf pan 3x5? I used an extra dish for part of the batter, and was glad I did.
Maybe it would have just domed up but I really hate spillovers.
Also, how “Sandy” did your sugar and almond paste get? I used the paddle in the mixer for quite a while but it was pretty lumpy sand.

Yes, I used the standard mini loaf pans, which are about that size. I’d try it with three instead of four next time based on my results, and expect more rounded tops but not overflow.

In the processor, my almond paste-sugar mixture got very fine and sandy after a few seconds of pulsing. I’ve managed to get it pretty sandy in the stand mixer, too, but starting with small clumps of almond paste. In this case, my almond paste was pretty soft, so it might depend on its texture.

@BarneyGrubble I found the recipe reprinted online.

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Me three. I’m also fine with weight, too.

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I finally got this from the library: can see why people have liked it!!


catches up

Wow, now I really want this book.


LEMON VERBENA (Raspberry) CAKE pg. 14/15
One of my favorites in the “Gateau” book, I have made it previously and have always been pleased with the results. It has a fine textured crumb and the taste of the verbena is quite prominent as I use more than the suggested amount of leaves. This is the full recipe in the Nordic Ware Party pan, rises almost to the edge of the pan although it has only 200g flour. Leaving the premises shortly, I’ll try to get an interior pic later. I add a ring of raspberries around the edge on arrival at destination.
Happy Easter everyone!