French cake a week # 2- Gateau Suisse

Gateau suisse

Today I made a cake. Or it might have been yesterday. I don’t really know or care. And then I sat in a dead tree and ate it, and looked up at the sky flowing over head. And when I fed it to the boys, they gobbled it down, like Gargantua and Pantagruel. And I thought, the cake looks like the moon. The moon! That’s the place for me, my kind of paradise. And then I went outside to cultivate my own garden. And I cried, “this is absurd, and none of it matters, so I will bake cakes!” Cakes cakes cakes, every week, to show the benign tediousness of life as it goes on day to day and week to week. And we will become accustomed to the sameness, and learn to find it interesting. And then we will eat the cakes. Cakes, cakes, cakes.

Can you tell that I took French literature in high school? Yup. The other week, as you may recall, I made a gateau au chocolat de Nancy from my Cuisine moderne et vieilles recettes, (1962 edition). As we sat in the yard on a pleasant summer evening, scarfing down chocolate cake and red wine, David said that he liked french cakes, and I should make one a week. I’m up for the challenge. So, from now on, I will be baking a cake from my french cookbook, one a week. I don’t speak french very well, and the recipes tend to be quite short and mysteriously written, and in measurements that are foreign to me (get it?) so the results may be mixed. We’ll consider the gateau au chocolat de nancy the first cake, so this gateau suisse will be the second. I think I made it wrong, and Americanized it, because it called for grated chocolate, to be mixed in till the whole thing was smoothly chocolatey. I like little melty bits of chocolate, so I used chocolate chips, and processed them till some were powder, but some were still fairly large chunks. Thus, I made more of a chocolate chip cake than a chocolate cake. It came out very well though! Very simple and pleasing. The boys beg to eat it for breakfast.

The series begins! There will be more cakes!! Watch this space!

Here’s Colettte Magny with Melocoton. It’s beautiful!!

2 cups powdered sugar
3 eggs, separated
6 T softened butter
1 1/2 cups flour
1 t baking powder
pinch salt
3/4 cup milk
1 t vanilla
3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips, briefly processed till some is powdered and some is still quite chunky

Preheat the oven to 350. Beat the egg yolks with the powdered sugar till well combined. Warm the milk. Stir the flour into the egg yolks, then add the milk, butter, vanilla, salt, baking powder. Mix well – beat until very smooth. WHip the egg whites until stiff, and then carefully fold them into the batter. Stir in the chocolate chips. Pour the batter into a buttered-and-floured cake pan. (I think you’re supposed to use a ring-shaped pan, but I don’t have one!!)

Bake for half an hour. Let cool, and serve

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3 thoughts on “French cake a week # 2- Gateau Suisse

  1. You’re onto something! Let us eat cakes.

    When I was young I wish I could have afforded a therapist. Instead, it was cakebake therapy. What a comfort to awake on a winter’s morn and bake a cake!

    Cheers to you, Claire, who can bake in summer! Cheers to you for describing cake spirit so well.

    A remembrance of cakes past!

    • Thank you!! I agree completely about the therapeutic qualities of baking – particularly cakes. It’s so simple and satisfying. Or as complicated as you feel like making it. I try not to bake in the summer, but I just can’t not!!

    • Thank you!! I agree completely about the therapeutic qualities of baking – particularly cakes. It’s so simple and satisfying. Or as complicated as you feel like making it. I try not to bake in the summer, but I just can’t not!!

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