Heavenly Cake Bakers: Gâteau Breton

This past weekend I was busy with Mother's Day cake orders and I wasn't planning on making this cake until...

I read all the rave reviews from other Heavenly Cake Bakers about how DELICIOUS this cake was and also how quick and easy it was to make.  You see, when I glanced at the upcoming month list of cakes, I had already made a mental note of a couple that I was planning to make and especially the free choice at the end of May.  But I quickly made new plans and so last night in between baking cakes for today's orders, I made this FANTASTIC cake.

You may be looking at the pictures and thinking I've lost my mind calling this a cake, when it is clearly in a tart pan--a tart pan that I just purchased on Monday and have had on my wish list for awhile.  But let me explain by giving you a great explanation from Rose herself, at the top of the recipe in her book. 

"Gâteau Breton is crisp like a pastry around the outside edge, but has a soft, dense, and moist interior...Gâteau Breton is most cakelike on day one, but it progressively approaches the shortbread spectrum and is still excellent even after a week at room temperature." ~ Rose's Heavenly Cakes, pg. 69

Between this description and the many other glowing remarks about this cake, I was hooked!!  The picture in the book shows the Gâteau Breton in a 9 1/2 x 1 3/8-inch fluted tart pan, but the yield amount is also perfect for two 11 x 4-inch fluted rectangle tart pans.

Since this recipe was so quick and easy, I didn't even think about taking pictures during the process.  I followed the directions as instructed, but I did omit the rum or kirsch, and just doubled the vanilla in place of the alcohol (since I don't bake with it and don't have any in my kitchen). And before I knew it, I had the batter in the pans and smoothed the tops to keep them even like this:

The next step was to brush the surface with a beaten egg and then use a fork to drag the lines over the top.  Although this gives the cake a nice, simple decorative look, the real reason is that this step prevents the cake batter from puffing up unevenly and keep it even while it bakes--genius!


After baking for about 35 to 40 minutes, or until it turns a nice golden brown, you pull the cake from the oven and then you wait for it to cool.  The simplicity of this cake is amazing.  It's quick and easy and it looks and tastes delicious.  Just look at the golden brown shine and how tender and flaky the crumb is!

And because I always have to be a little creative, I curved the decorations from the fork dragging technique to create a "wave-like" look, but I did follow the directions to have more straight lines on the other cake.

Did the taste live up to all the hype??  Oh yes.  It is DELICIOUS!!  It's sweet, but not overly sweet and has the perfect amount of almond and vanilla flavors and a subtle taste of salt to balance everything out.  One of the cakes is half eaten and I can neither confirm nor deny if that was from going back again and again, only for "just another small taste."