My favorite way to experience a new place is by eating something that is a specialty in that region. In Bordeaux, it was the cannelés that we ate for dessert with our sunset picnic on the Garonne. In the Basque country, it was gâteau Basque. We ate our cake by the sea and old men wearing berets wished us “Bon appetit!” as they passed, which made the experience all the more enjoyable.
I’m determined to find and master a recipe for this cake that is comparable to what I had that day. It’s crumb is dense and the middle is filled with cherry jam or vanilla pastry cream (I tried both, naturally). It’d be great with a cup of coffee, but wasn’t too sweet without.
If you ever find yourself in the Pays-Basque, make haste to the closest patisserie and have yourself a slice. In fact, go to the Pays-Basque just to eat this cake. It’s worth it.
Bon week-end! Hope it’s filled with sunshine, cake, and maybe some Guinness (that’s what I’m hoping for, at least).