Makes 1 cake
Originated in 1867, Breton cake was first known as the “Lorient cake”. The name quickly changed to “Breton” as every family in Breton at the time had their own version of this cake, incorporating prunes, butterscotch and even rum in their recipes!
Breton cake with almond blancmange and apricots
Servings: 1 cake
- 1 stick plus 2 tsp (125g) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for brushing and sauteing
- 3 tbsp (35g) light brown sugar, plus more for sprinkling
- 1 cup (125g) all purpose (plain) flour
- 1 g baking powder
- 95 g granulated sugar, divided, plus more for sauteing
- 1 pinch fine salt
- 1/4 tsp vanilla bean powder
- 2.5 egg yolks
- 3 egg whites
- 350 g ripe apricots
- 1 tbsp plus 1tsp (20ml) apricot eau de vie
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- 50 g natural almonds
- 3 sheets (6g) 200 bloom gelatin
- 200 ml whole milk
- 100 ml orgeat almond syrup
- 350 ml heavy cream
- Apricot jam, warmed, for brushing
- Thinly sliced apricots
- A few whole or chopped natural almonds for decorating
- Preheat the oven to 320°F (160°C) convection.
- If using a cake ring, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the ring in the centre. Brush the ring with butter and sprinkle with brown sugar. Sift the flour with the baking powder.
- In a large bowl, whisk the butter with 75g of the granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Whisk in the salt and vanilla bean powder. In a medium bowl whisk the egg yolks with the light brown sugar until thick and creamy, then whisk into the butter mixture.
- ln a separate medium bowl, whisk the egg whites with the remaining (20g) granulated sugar until they hold a soft peak. Carefully fold into the butter egg yolk mixture. Fold in the dry ingredients.
- Pipe or spoon the batter into the ring. Cut about 150g of the apricots in half and press into the batter. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Drizzle with eau de vie. Quarter the remaining apricots and sauté in butter and sugar. Drizzle with the lemon juice.
- In a medium bowl of very cold water, soften the gelatin. In a small saucepan. heat the milk over medium-high heat until bubbles appear around the edge; remove from the heat.
- Squeeze the gelatin dry and stir into the hot milk with the orgeat syrup; let cool.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the cream untiI it holds a soft peak. Fold the whipped cream into the milk mixture. Chill for one to two hours, until set
- Brush a little apricot jam on the Breton cake.
- Arrange the sautéed apricots on top, leaving an inch (3cm) border.
- Pipe or spoon the almond blancmange around the border
- Freeze the cake for a few minutes, until the blancmange sets, then pipe or spread the rest over the top. Chill until set. Top with the sliced apricots and almonds.
- To make the orange glaze, sift the icing sugar into a mixing bowl. Stir in the orange zest and juice. When the cakes are cool. use a spoon to drizzle the glaze over them. Garnish with lavender flowers if desired.
The cakes are best enjoyed the same day.
Recipe extracted from Living France Magazine
Originally from Petite Patisserie: 180 Easy Recipes for Elegant French Treats by Christophe Felder and Camille Lesecq. Photography by Laurent Fau.