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

LE GATEAU AU YAOURT AVEC DES FRAISES, DE L’EAU DE ROSE ET UN ZESTE DE CITRON Yogurt cake with Strawberries, Rose Water and Lemon Zest pp. 16-18

Another winner in the yogurt/olive oil loaf cake category. Great texture, great balance of tart and sweet. We made this for a dinner party, and the non-cooking friend of mine who attended asked, “So is this hard to make?” and wanted to see the cookbook. If it seems like maybe I am scouring the fridge and then figuring out which recipe to make, that could be the case. I am finding that her recipes are very reliable and also a good fit for a family who likes a bit of sweet but not a three layered iced cake.

I did not use confectioner’s sugar or rose petals on top. I added a little more than one teaspoon of rose water to the batter but next time I might try two. You could barely notice the rose taste in the cake. I also used fresh strawberries, not frozen ones.


Sorry for the delay in responding. It has been a while since I made the ”My Bombay Kitchen” cake so I don’t think I can fairly compare. The ”My Bombay Kitchen” cake is definitely fancier with the almond and sugar topping and I do love that cake. The ”Gateau” cake is more of a snacking cake and I also loved it. It is in a loaf pan. It is super easy and it took maybe 10 minutes of prep. I buy cardamom whole seeds from Penzeys rather than the pods, so this saves me a lot of time since I just have to grind them. I think the first time I made the Parsi cake I spent at least 30 minutes shelling the cardamom pods. Anyway, the ”Gateau” cake is repeat-worthy for me.



My turn for the almond yogurt cake. I followed the suggestions to sub Amaretto Disaronno for the vanilla, and to add ¼ t. almond extract. I used grapeseed oil and lemon zest.

My cake sank pretty dramatically (far worse than it appears here). I see I’m not the only one to have this issue. Could it be the use of low-fat yogurt instead of regular? I loved the flavor of the cake, and bonus points for being able to mix it all by hand and not dirtying every measuring cup and spoon in the house. I’ll probably try it again while I have almond flour, because I really want this one to work. Served with a blueberry coulis, it was delicious.


My almond cake sank in the middle too. But it was SO good.

Yes! So good! Definitely worth trying to identify the issue.

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Im pretty skeptical of her weight measurements. She say 1 cup of yogurt is 250gr. King Arthurs chart 227gr. Its ordinary yogurt not greek yogurt. Mine hasnt sunk but i wish there was more height to my loaf

Cutting back on the yogurt was one of my thoughts about fixing the issue. I think I will try that first. Also, she suggested replacing the 1 t. of vanilla with 1 T. of Amaretto, which could have also contributed. I loved the Amaretto in there, so won’t be cutting back on that - lol.


I was going thru the book yesterday and one of the recipes calls for 10 1/2 tablespoons of butter. Dont get me wrong i like the book but sometimes wonder…

My second stab at the almond cake from Gateau.

I decreased the yogurt to 200 g. (from 227 g.), and increased the flour to 140 g. (from 120 g.). Over my own protests, I reduced the Amaretto from 3 t. to 2 t. (but kept the ¼ t. almond extract).

Still sinking. Overall my cake came out taller this time, and the area of the sink-hole is smaller than last time, but it’s still there and it’s still deep. I don’t bake much with almond flour. I’m using Bob’s Red Mill’s Super Fine Almond Flour. Maybe there is a better choice? Or maybe using a bundt pan, or dividing the recipe into smaller pans would work. Hmm…

I might make one more attempt, both further reducing the yogurt and increasing the flour, or possibly changing the pan. OTOH, I might just move on.


You’ve come so far … don’t give up yet. You still like the taste?

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Today on Facebook, someone posted a picture of this cake baked in a round pan. Her cake was beautiful, no sinking. Looking at conversion charts it says an 9x2 round pan is equivalent. It kind of looks too big for me. I use Kirkland brand almond flour. I use it for my macarons. Always works great.


Thank you for your feedback! I’m seriously tempted to try different pans.

I checked the Costco website - the almond flour is about half the price I’m paying here locally. There nearest Costco is about 50 miles from us. We do get there occasionally, as well as order on-line occasionally. I’ll keep it in mind.

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I’m fascinated that this particular cake is giving everyone trouble. I thought it was just me. I used Trader Joe’s almond flour. I’d love to try this in a round pan, but does anyone know how long i should bake it?

Trader Joe’s used to carry two almond flours — the one labeled almond meal was a bit thicker than the one called blanched almond flour.

I find with these sinking cakes that lowering the temp to 300 or 325 helps a lot.


They still carry both. I find that in the US, at least, blanched and finely ground is generally called flour and unblanched and coarser is referred to as meal.

@MunchkinRedux, I’m pretty sure that what my local market has in prepacked bags in their bulk section is from BRM, and I find it functionally pretty much identical to Kirkland’s.


Rant mode on.

Got myself a copy of the book recently but not yet tried to make anything from it and will find it rather inconvenient to do so when I start. The mixed up ingredients lists really puts me off. Here is one example (from Quatre-Quarts):

4 large eggs, weighing roughly 200 grams in their shells
1 cup / 200 grams granulated sugar
14 tablespoons unsalted butter, preferably European, melted and slightly cooled

Why does the author omit the weight of butter! European is the clue to why this is an issue for me. Specifically I am English and we weigh everything; no cups, spoons, pinches, etc. Weighing ingredients produces repeatability and unambiguous measures. I know some North American authors (e.g. Anna Olson) try to mitigate this by telling readers to calibrate their spoons and cups by weighing the content. Peter Reinhart, author of The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, also gives an example of the wide variability of “a cup of flour” with his attempt resulting in 3/4 of the weight compared to another baker’s.

As I have the ebook edition of Gateau when/if I ever bake from it I will annotate the ingredients lists with accurate gram/milliliter amounts.

FWIW, the first post in this topic, I made the almond cake in a five cup Bundt mold. The center post supports the cake and eliminates sinking problems. I’ve not made it in a loaf pan and it’s unlikely that I would, but I make many cakes with almond flour without a sinking problem.


Definitely the one labeled almond flour.

I went right back and read you did half recipe so i guess a 10 cup bundt would be fine for full recipe. As for baking time this is were thermapen would be handy.

I didn’t keep notes but I do remember it had a big rise. I’m wondering if the baking soda is contributing to the sinking problem, it’s looks a wee bit high. Re: temp, I like 200*:for this type of cake.