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The ‘Gateau Battu’
— A delicacy associated with village fêtes and also with great family celebrations —
The history of the ‘gateau battu’ is old. In 1653, it was at times called “Gasteau Mollet” or Pain aux oeufs” (egg bread) by the Flemish.
The ancestor of the ‘gateau battu’ was made with the ingredients that we still use today and had already the characteristic of containing a very high proportion of butter and egg yolks.
It was in 1900 that this cake was established as a product typical of Picardy and from then on, it has been regarded as a speciality of the region. It has become the delicacy associated with village fêtes and also with great family celebrations.
300g. of flour
5g. of salt
10 egg yolks
50g. of baker’s yeast
125g. of sugar
200g of butter
Milk or water in sufficient quantities
Mix the yeast in its volume of water
Put the flour in a terrine
In the centre, pour the beaten egg yolks, add salt and sugar, then mix and add the yeast.
Progressively, blend these elements into the flour in order to make the pastry keep a little elasticity.
Knead the pastry with the hand for 15 minutes, then add the softened butter. Keep on kneeding the pastry for 15mn until this one comes off easily.
Pour the pastry in a buttered tin, a tin said to be for ‘gâteaux battus’, (this is the reason why the cake is always more brown at the base than on the rest of the surface) up to a third of its height.
Cover it with a damp cloth to protect it from draughts and so that the surface does not make a crust.
Leave the pastry to rise in a warm place until it is only 2 cm. away from the rim of the tin. (approximately 2 hours are needed)
Put it in a medium oven (170°) for 17 to 18 minutes, prick the cake with a trussing needle or a knife with a long blade to check the cooking, the blade or the needle should be dry when taken out of the cake.