What a superb week of double celebrations! Valentines day AND pancake day! Celebrating love and eating in one week, what could be better. I actually think pancake day should be a weekly, if not daily event. Why confine them to one day of the year? I’m not talking about silly skinny crepes, which I find wholly unfulfilling as a pancake (lemon and granulated sugar? What kind of topping is that?!). I’m talking about huge, pillow like American pancakes. Every Sunday should be enjoyed by the nation by having a pancake brunch, a proper weekend indulgence. If you find the perfect recipe giving you the desired fluffy cloud-like texture, they are perfect for soaking up ridiculous amounts of maple syrup. Throw in some blueberries, maybe some chocolate chips, swop the flour for spelt and even use some honey. Perhaps even go savoury? You could have starter, main and dessert all using pancakes. What else need you ever eat! So versatile, there is a pancake for everyone. My current favourite ones are spelt and coconut ones from Eva In The Kitchen:
Oh la la, this weeks bake is a super French, super buttery, super lush Gateaux Breton. I baked this under the supervision of master baker Eric Lanlard (I’m sure I have mentioned him before…). Before I went along for the baking day I had to Google this one, unsure of what to expect. The method of mixing was not a traditional cake mix, it was more reminisant of creating pastry by gently blending the butter and flour together using your finger tips. A layer of tart apples went in the middle although I think peaches or raspberries (or go crazy and use both. Mental.) would work fabulously too. To create a decadent finish, the top of the gateaux is covered with a thick egg yolk wash. I got this one home, sliced into it and had a mind blowing (seriously) moment. It was gorgeously crisp around the edges with a chewy egg wash top, the middle was gooey almost like a brownie with the crispness of the apple cutting through it. And the best bit? It was just pure butteryness. Mmmm… Butter (mouth open, drooling Homer Simpson style).
- 350g plain flour
- 250g unsalted butter
- 250g golden caster sugar
- 5 egg yolks (plus one for egg wash)
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tsp vanilla paste
- 1 sliced golden delicious apple
- Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees
- In a bowl, using your finger tips to crumble together your butter, sugar and flour. You want to work it together with your finger tips until you have it looking like fine bread crumbs
- Beat the 5 yolks with the vanilla paste and mix into the dry mix until just mixed, do not over work
- Take half the mixture and push down into a greased and lined 20cm tin, working lightly with your finger tips so not to melt the butter.
- Layout the slices of your apple in the middle of your mixture leaving a 1cm gap around the circumference of your gateaux so when the top goes on, it sandwiches the apple inside.
- Pat your remaining mixture flat into a round and pat on top of the rest. Pat lightly to flatten, again being careful not to melt the butter. Use the back of a fork to make diamond patterns on top if you wish. Finally coat in the final egg yolk, use all the yolk.
- Put into the oven for 35-40 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Enjoy with lashings of clotted cream.