Raymond cooks

Gâteau à la Crème

Preparation time:
20 mins, plus 2 hours proving time
Cooking time:
30 mins
6-8 serves

Rustic, rich and heavenly, this is very much a dessert from my childhood and one Maman Blanc would occasionally treat us to on a Sunday. The proof is in the proving…but you need a little hard work to knead and develop the gluten in the flour which gives you that lift, lightness and beauty. This recipe uses Kenwood’s dough hook attachment which is the only dough hook I have used where it presses and actually kneads the dough into the side of the bowl, rather than clinging onto the hook and spinning around doing nothing.

  • Ingredients

      Planning ahead:
    • The brioche dough can be made the day before and left to prove in the fridge overnight.
      For the brioche dough:
    • 250g Strong white organic bread flour (recommend Shipton Mill No. 4)
    • 3 pinches Sea salt
    • 30g Caster sugar
    • 12g Fresh yeast, diluted in 50ml of milk (See Tip 1 in Chef's notes)
    • 3 Medium free-range/organic eggs
    • 150g Unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes
      For the crème fraîche filling:
    • 4 Medium free-range/organic medium egg yolks
    • 40g Caster sugar
    • 1 Lemon, zested
    • ½ Lemon, juiced
    • 150g Crème fraîche
      For the glaze:
    • 2 Medium egg yolks, lightly beaten (for egg wash)
    • 2 tsp Double cream
    • 1 tsp Water
    • Nibbed sugar
  • Method

      For the brioche dough:
    • Place the flour, salt and sugar in the bowl of your Kenwood Chef Titanium fitted with the dough hook and mix ingredients together on the folding setting.
    • Add the eggs and diluted yeast and mix on the lowest speed for 5 minutes until completely absorbed. Increase to the next speed setting and mix for another 5 minutes until the dough comes away from the side of the bowl.
    • Now add the cubes of butter and continue to mix for 2–3 minutes until fully incorporated.
    • Remove the mixer bowl from the machine and cover the brioche dough loosely with a tea towel to prevent the surface from drying and to stop a crust forming. Leave to rise at room temperature (See Tip 2 in Chef's notes) for 1 hour.
    • Then refrigerate the dough for a minimum of 1 hour (See Tip 3 in Chef's notes)
      For the crème fraîche filling:
    • In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients together until evenly combined, then cover and reserve in the fridge.
      To mould the dough:
    • Lay a 35cm square of greaseproof paper onto the worktop and with the back of a lightly floured hand, press the centre to 2mm thickness. Continue from the centre of the dough, flatten and stretch the dough into a circle shape so you have a 2mm thickness in the centre that is roughly 15cm in diameter. You will need a 5-7 cm width rim, which should be about 3-5 cm in height. The centre is where the filling is going to go, so make sure you don’t have any holes or that the centre is too thin.
    • With a fork, prick the flattened centre to prevent it from rising too much and leave the dough to prove for 20-30 minutes, covered with a clean cloth.
    • Preheat the oven to 200°C and place a baking stone or baking tray on the middle shelf.
      For the glaze:
    • In a small bowl, mix together the egg yolks, cream, and water.
    • Brush the rim of the dough with the egg mixture using your pastry brush, then sprinkle with the nibbed sugar.
      For baking:
    • Pour three-quarters of the crème filling into the centre of the brioche dough and carefully slide it onto the pre-heated baking stone or pre-heated baking tray before carefully pouring in the rest of the filling.
    • Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown.
    • Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly before serving.
  • Chef's notes

    • 1. If fresh yeast is unavailable then dried yeast can be used, but halve the quantity.
    • 2. Here, the optimum proving temperature is around 22°C, which is more or less kitchen temperature. The warmer the room is, the faster the proving time, but a slow fermentation creates a better flavour and also a greater rise.
    • 3. You will need to chill the dough at this stage, otherwise it will be too soft to work with. Chilling will also slow down the proving. You will need to chill it for a minimum of 1 hour or you can leave it in the fridge overnight to prove and bake it in the morning.

Recipe © Raymond Blanc

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