This French dessert is made of a sturdy, buttery cake and filled with pastry cream. I make my gâteau Basque with mango pastry cream for a refreshing kick!
I’ve been going easy on myself lately. For one, it’s been hot and smoky in San Francisco. The fires have made it difficult to be active, and the heat is repelling me from touching the oven if I can help it. I’ve gone soft, I know—at one of the restaurants I worked at, the kitchen would clock in at 92 degrees during the summer, and dinner service ain’t gonna stop just cuz you’re feeling hot.
I also had to get an endoscopy AND colonoscopy to see if there were any internal issues causing my anemia (more on my condition here). For those of you who have gotten one of these procedures, y’all know how much it sucks. No eating/drinking to purge my system, and when I could start eating again, I threw it all up, which is SO SAD.
The good news: everything came back normal, and after some rest and hyration, I’m back on my game.
This gâteau Basque comes from Basque country (duh), in southwestern France. It seems like the best desserts come from the Basque region—remember this cheesecake?
Similar to the gâteau Breton, this pastry is made of a sturdy, buttery cake, like a rich, crumbly pâte sablee. It’s traditionally filled with cherry jam or else pastry cream; you’ll know what you’re getting by the pattern marked on top. If the top is scratched with a criss-cross, it’s filled with pastry cream. Otherwise, jam is your jam.
I’ve always wanted to brighten this cake up so finally I did it. Lemon zest in the dough, and mango in the pastry cream. And let me tell you, don’t skimp on this mango pastry cream. It’s rich, bright, and refreshing, a perfect compliment to the sturdy cake.
Yes, this is not a one-bowl recipe. A good gâteau Basque takes time to make. There are multiple sequences of refrigeration needed, but these steps are crucial to make sure the the cake stays intact. Otherwise you can end up with pastry cream leaking out of the cake and that would be sadder than me after an endoscopy.
I love recipes like this that stretch me. I get to practice good technique and also relive the glory days of France. And like the good Indian I am, I stan for anything mango, and I’m already scheming on how else I can use this mango pastry cream in desserts. Make a weekend project out of this gâteau Basque with mango pastry cream and you won’t be disappointed.