Gateau à la Crème

This classic French dessert sounds so impressive but it’s so easy to make and I didn’t have a food processor with a dough hook either! I used my cheap hand mixer and it did the job perfectly. Raymond Blanc made this recently on the television and I was determined to give it a go. Don’t be put off by the bountiful amounts of butter and the gargantuan number of eggs. It’s a treat and so worth the effort.

What you will need:

For the brioche dough
500g strong plain flour
A few pinches sea salt
4 tbsp caster sugar
2 tbsp yeast
7 free-range eggs
300g unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

For the crème filling

6 free-range egg yolks
60g caster sugar
1 lemon, juice and zest
250ml crème fraîche

For the glaze

2 free-range egg yolks
1 tbsp caster sugar
25g/¾oz butter, cut into cubes

ingredients for Gateau à la Crème

For the brioche dough

Place the flour, salt, sugar and yeast into a mixing bowl (keep the yeast away from the salt so it can work correctly) and mix together. I didn’t use a mixer for this, I used my hand mixer with the dough hook to mix until it’s well combined.

Increase the speed on the machine and mix for a further 5 minutes until the dough comes away from the edge of the bowl. I found the speed needed to be increased quite a bit on my hand blender. Then add the cubes of butter and continue to mix for 2 to 3 minutes until completely mixed. For me, this took longer than 2 to 3 minutes!

Cover the dough with clingfilm (or a shower cap) and leave at room temperature for an hour to prove, then chill for a further hour.

mixed dough dough after rising
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

Lightly flour a work surface and your hands. Form a ball with about half of the dough, then place it on a baking tray and flatten it a little. Starting from the middle, gently press the dough flat and spread it out to form a circle to about 20cm in diameter, leaving a 2cm gap from the edge to create an edge. Look at the pictures to see what I mean. No holes! It’s more of a massaging process really.
Cover with a clean tea towel and place the dough in a warm area for about half an hour.

For the crème filling


Mix the egg yolks, sugar, lemon zest and juice together and gradually add the crème fraîche. Set this aside aside until later.


To prepare and glaze the gateau


Brush the rim of the gateau with the egg yolk and prick the base of the dough with a fork. Pour the crème mixture into the middle part of the dough, sprinkle with some caster sugar and dot with butter. Bake in a preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until the brioche has risen and the filling is set. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool, then serve. The preheating of the oven is so crucial.

finished Gateau à la Crème Gateau à la Crème sliced
I was left with some of the crème mixture and I used it as a lemon custard the next day just by heating it up and continually whisking. Delicious and… I wish I could say nutritious.
As this recipe makes so much, I made a huge great brioche loaf with the left over dough, if you do this, I’d split the dough between two tins.
brioche made with dough brioche made with spare dough

Some lumpy icing and it was perfect!


All That I’m Eating

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