Gâteau à la crème
- March 2015
- Serves 6
- Hands-on time 30 min, oven time 25 min, plus rising, chilling and proving
Raymond Blanc’s classic French dessert recipe is part of Easter tradition at his restaurant Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons.
- 42g (23.3g saturated)
- 44.3g (14g sugars)
For the brioche:
- 12g fresh yeast or 7g dried yeast (see tip)
- 30ml whole milk, warmed (not too hot and you should be able to dip your finger into it)
- 250g plain white flour, plus extra for dusting
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- 3 medium free-range eggs
- 175g pliable (but not too soft) unsalted butter, cubed (see tip)
- Sunflower oil for greasing
For the filling
- 3 medium free-range egg yolks, plus 1 extra egg yolk for glazing
- 3 tbsp caster sugar
- Finely grated zest 1 lemon
- 130ml créme fraîche
- 2 tsp caster sugar for sprinkling on top
- 10g butter, diced, for the topping
- Icing sugar for dusting (optional)
- In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm milk. Put the flour, 3 pinches of salt, the sugar, eggs and the yeast and milk mixture into the bowl of an electric stand mixer (see know-how). Using the dough hook, mix for 5 minutes on low power, then add the butter. Turn the mixer up to medium power and beat the mixture for a further 5 minutes.
- Transfer the dough to a large, lightly greased bowl and cover with cling film. Leave to rise in a warm place for about 2 hours until roughly doubled in size. Give the dough a quick knead on a lightly floured work surface to knock it back, then chill in a clean bowl, covered, for 1-2 hours or overnight until firm.
- Lightly flour the work surface and your hands. Shape the dough with the palms of your hands to form it into a ball. Flatten it slightly then, using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a circle around 26cm in diameter. Fold the dough over the rolling pin, then gently drape the dough into a 23cm loose-bottomed cake tin (or tart ring if you have one). Use your fingers to gently shape the dough in the tin and work it so that it has a slightly raised 2cm border, but trim the dough slightly if it hangs out of the tin. Be careful not to stretch the dough or it will shrink back when cooked. Lightly cover the tin with a clean tea towel and leave to prove in a warm place for 25 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 190C/fan170C/gas 5. To make the filling, in a large mixing bowl mix the 3 egg yolks, sugar and lemon zest together with a balloon whisk, then gradually mix in the creme fraiche. Pour into a jug.
- Brush the outer rim of the brioche with the remaining egg yolk. Pour the cream mixture into the middle of the dough, sprinkle with the caster sugar and dot with the butter. Transfer to the oven and bake for 25 minutes until golden, puffed and cooked. Cool for a few minutes in the tin, then remove to a rack and cool to just warm, or room temperature. Dust with icing sugar to serve, if you like.
Make the brioche dough the night before and leave to chill overnight in the fridge. The gí¢teau is best when itäó»s still a bit warm, so cook it no more than 3 hours before you want to eat it.
Raymond’s tip: some fruit put in the cream before baking would be sublime: depending on the season, try halved fresh figs, caramelised apple, pear, banana, or cherries soaked in kirsch and a little sugar.
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