Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Basque Cake

From BBC:

The rounds of raw dough, now shiny from a brush of egg wash, are loaded onto wooden planks and carried to the brick oven. These 150 traditional shortbread cakes – called Gâteau Basque – are the bakery's pride and joy.

Gâteau Basque has become an emblem of the French Basque Country, a region known for fierce cultural pride. Like the trendy burnt Basque cheesecake that hails from the nearby Spanish coast, the popularity of the Gâteau Basque lies in its elegant simplicity and a recent interest by international visitors looking to sample a decidedly regional treat.

While the exact origins of the recipe are unclear, legend has it that a Basque woman named Marianne Hirigoyen is to thank for the modern version of the cake. Originally from a thermal village called Cambo-les-Bains, Hirigoyen began to make and sell her Gâteau Basque in the market of Bayonne sometime around the 1830s. Over the next century, the cake remained a traditional dessert eaten after Sunday dinners as each household's recipe was passed down from one generation to the next. (Read more.)


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