C'est encore le weekend, and at The Frog Blog, that means it's time for recettes. Aujord'hui, nous avons une recette pour Gâteau Breton, a butter cake from Brittany.
First, une petite histoire de Bretagne. Bretagne is located on the northwest coast of France and has been somewhat culturally and geographically distinct from the rest of the country. It's well known for its lace, seaside resorts, crêpes sucrées, crêpes salées and (like Normandie), cider. Bretagne is also known for its calvaires, "calvaries," elaborately carved sculptures of crucifixion scenes, to be found in churchyards of villages and small towns, especially in western Bretagne.
In 56 BC the area was conquered by the Romans under Julius Caesar. The Romans called the district Armorica (a Latinisation of a Celtic word meaning "coastal region"), within the larger province of Gallia Lugdunensis. The modern département of Côtes-d'Armor has taken up the ancient name.
By the IV ème siecle, Romano-British tribes from across la Manche, the English Channel, started to settle. This flow of Britons increased when Roman troops and authority were withdrawn from Britain, and raiding and settling by Anglo-Saxons and Scotti into Britain increased. The immigrant Britons gave the region its current name and contributed to the Breton language, Brezhoneg, a sister language to Welsh and Cornish. The name Brittany (meaning Little Britain) derived to distinguish the region from Great Britain in this time.
In the early Middle Ages, Bretagne was divided into three kingdoms which eventually were incorporated into the kingdom of Bretagne. The first unified royaume de Bretagne was founded by Nominoë in 845 when the Breton army defeated Charles the Bald, King of France.
The Kingdom of France defeated the Breton army in 1488 and the last Duke of independent Bretagne was forced to submit to a treaty giving the King of France the right to determine the marriage of the Duke's daughter, the heir to the Duchy. The Duchess Anne was the last independent ruler of the duchy as she was ultimately obliged to marry Charles VIII of France, after the death of whom she married Louis XII of France. The duchy passed on her death to her daughter Claude, but Claude's husband François I incorporated the duchy into the Kingdom of France in 1532. The duchy kept specific laws and taxes until 1790, when the French revolutionaries withdrew all the "privilèges" (specific rules for certain communities or regions).
The popular (in France) cartoon character Bécassine is "from" Bretagne.
Maintenant pour le gâteau. This cake, made with just a few ingredients, has a wonderfully dense texture similar to shortbread. C'est bon pour le dessert, topped with a fruit sauce or plain pour le petit déjeuner, for breakfast.
Oven 350ºF/180º C
9 1/2" tarte pan, lightly greased with vegetable shortening
INGREDIENTS / INGRÉDIENTS:
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter / 225 grams beurre
1 cup sugar / 225 grams sucre en poudre
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract / 15 grams vanille (1 cuiller de soupe)
6 large egg yolks / jaunes des 6 oeufs
2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour /620 grams farine
1/4 teaspoon salt /pinçon de sel
Egg wash (1 beaten egg) /1 oeuf battu
METHOD / MÉTHODE:
1. Cream the butter and sugar, until light and fluffy.
2. Beat in vanilla and egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
3. Add the flour and salt and beat until just combined.
4. Transfer the batter, which will be very thick, into a tarte pan and pat it down with your hand. Chill the batter 10-15 minutes in the refrigerator.
5. Remove from the refrigerator. Brush top with beaten egg, and mark a criss-cross pattern with a fork.
6. Bake for about 50 minutes or until the top is a golden brown and the edges pull away slightly from the sides.
7. Cool slightly and remove from pan. Slice it with a serrated knife while it is still warm. Can be served with your favorite fruit, fruit and crème fraîche, a fruit coulis or the sauce below.
INGREDIENTS / INGRÉDIENTS:
1 quart strawberries / 900 grams fraises
1/4 cup Beaujolais / 60 grams Beaujolais
1/4 cup sugar / 60 grams sucre en poudre
1/4 cup water / 60 grams eau
1 cinnamon stick / 1 bâtonnete de cannelle
METHOD / MÉTHODE:
1. Wash, stem and halve or quarter the strawberries.
2. Mix the wine, sugar and water in a small saucepan. Add the cinnamon stick. Heat to boiling over medium high heat. Turn down the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the stove and allow to cool.
3. When the wine mixture is cooled, pour it over the strawberries and allow them to macerate in the refrigerator. Serve over the cake.
This recette is also posted at The Frog Blog of Louis la Vache.
Plus de recettes:
French Provincial Cooking