Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Problem Solving Gateau Breton.

Oh hiiiiiiiii. Isn't going over to a friend's house for dinner one of the funnest things in the world? Whether it's for fancy food and celebratory merriment, gossipy chats with constant nibbling, or simply laid back shared silence  and take away in front of the TV, it's one of my favourite things.

But turn that into a 'dinner party', grown up style, and involve people you haven't known and laughed with long enough to call friends, and the whole thing can be fraught with questions of etiquette and potential awkwardness. One of the most pressing unknowns for me is 'what to bring'?? Wine. Tick, can't go wrong. But I hate turning up at a 'thing' without a tin of something. If it's a friend's 'thing' I'll just make it clear that I have pud under control or will at least be contributing to it, but for a proper grown up 'thing' what do you do? You can't turn up with proper dessert fayre because the host might have made it themselves, and I don't want to do the buying chocolates thing, that's not me....I bake.

So here it is; the solution to that particular dilemma. Not pudding, more like a bite to serve with coffee, and if your hard working host has that sorted too, it would make the most diviiiiine breakfast for them the next day (and you if you're the sneaky type and snaffle some away (did that, obvs)).

Aaaand to top it all, you don't have to worry about pleasing multiple unknown tastes; 1/4 cakey, 3/4 shortbready and 250g butter, what's not to like? What's not to like is anyone that doesn't like cake and shortbread and butter. The host this particular batch was destined for told me, post grown up dinner, that he isn't a cake person but pretty much munched the whole lot. Enough said. With Love and Cake.

Gateau Breton
From Nigella's How to be a Domestic Goddess, what else?

A few notes:
  • The taste of this is unapologetically butterbutterbutter, so use the very best you can.
  • You'll end up with 6 egg whites leftover, but don't fret, I'll hit you with the perfect recipe to use them up later in the week, requiring 4, and you can freeze the rest, or all of them, for another day.
Makes enough for a gift and extra for snaffling
You will need

a 23cm loose bottomed or Springform tin, buttered really well

6 egg yolks 
225g plain flour
250g caster sugar
250g unsalted butter, nice and soft

  • Preheat your oven to 190˚c and first job, take a tsp of egg yolk out of those ready for the cake and mix with 1 tbsp water and save for later.
  • Now sieve your flour into a bowl and stir through the sugar.
  • Then tip in the butter and yolks and mix with your hands or a wooden spoon to a sticky dough. 
  • Press the dough into your cake tin and smooth over the top.
  • Now brush with the egg yolk/water mixture for a nice glaze.
  • Pop him straight in the oven and bake for 15 minutes before turning the temperature down to 180˚c and cooking for a further 25 minutes. It will be golden and firm.
  • Let it cool 100% before removing from the tin and cutting into slices of whatever shape you fancy, I went for a lattice but there's squares and wedges at your disposal also.
  • Happy dining.

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