Saturday, January 21, 2006

Gâteau blanc à l'eau de fleur d'oranger (orange blossom water cake)

Last week, after a visit to Patachou, a French pâtisserie in Toronto, M. praised the deliciousness of their brioche à la fleur d'oranger.

My curiosity was piqued, and I could not help myself from buying orange blossom water when I went shopping this morning.

Since I had not tasted said brioche, I could not attempt to reproduce it. And "googling" it on the Internet did not yield the results I expected.

So I decided I would make a white butter cake and flavour it with my newly acquired orange blossom water. I wanted a dense, old-fashioned cake.

I love buying old recipe books, especially the ones that contain "everything-a-newly-wed-must-know-to-make-her-husband-happy". One of them is La cuisine raisonnée. Since the early 1900's, generations of Québec women have used it to, firstly, learn how to cook (in home economics schools), and then feed their families. I am no exception to the rule and now have two different editions of the book: the eighth edition (1957) and an anniversary edition which was published in 2003.

This cake is the gâteau au beurre from the 1957 edition. I omitted the vanilla and used 1 tablespoon of orange blossom water instead.

1/4 cup butter
2 eggs, separated
1 cup sugar, divided
1/2 cup milk or water
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla

Cream butter and gradually add 1/2 cup of the sugar.
Add the egg yolks and 1/4 cup of the sugar.
Combine flour, baking powder and salt.
Incorporate the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, alternating with the milk or water.
Add the flavouring.
Beat the egg whites until they are firm. Gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar.
Fold the egg whites into the cake batter.
Pour the batter into a buttered and floured cake pan and bake at 350 F for about 40 minutes, or until the center of the cake is baked.

While the cake is baking, prepare a syrup by boiling 1/3 cup of water and 1/4 cup of sugar. When the syrup has boiled for 2-3 minutes, remove from heat and add 1 tbsp orange blossom water (to taste).

Brush the cake with the syrup when you take it out of the oven, unmold and let cool.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks delicious.
Nice plate, too.

January 24, 2006 10:45 a.m.  

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