You will finally know all the secrets of the Basque cake

Who invented the Basque cake?

It seems that the Basque cake appeared in the 19th century.e century in Cambo-les-Bains. The official version has it that Marianne Hirigoyen is at the origin of the recipe. In any case, she would have been the first to market it on the Bayonne market. The recipe was then passed on and popularized.
For purists, the Basque cake was born in homes. Called “etxeko bixkotxa”, “the house biscuit” in Basque, the origin of this cake could go back much further. The recipe remains a deeply family tradition. Today, we find several versions of the Basque cake depending on the family. The only mandatory criteria are a crispy and golden pastry and a generous filling.

3 facts you (maybe) didn’t know about the Basque cake

An association for “the promotion of a traditional and quality Basque cake” has existed since 1994. Eguzkia wishes in particular to face the emergence of many industrial products and to promote craftsmanship. It has, among other things, established the Basque cake charter stipulating four conditions to benefit from the Eguzkia label. The first concerns the obligation to use natural and quality ingredients. The second therefore excludes any artificial input in the manufacturing. The third condition is in favor of the singularity of each cake, reflecting the unique work know-how of the artisan. Finally, the last condition insists on the quality and taste of the Basque cake in order to honor its terroir.
Respect for tradition is what Eguzkia defends.

Every first weekend in October, the Basque cake festival is held in Cambo-les-Bains.
In partnership with Eguzkia, the Basque cake brotherhood, the chamber of trades and crafts and the municipality, the festivities focus on local gastronomy. On the program: workshops, entertainment, concert and competition for the best Basque cake.
The event celebrates its 18th anniversary this yeare anniversary and will be held on the weekend of October 2 and 3.

In Sare, in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, you can visit the famous Basque Cake museum.
Its origins and its manufacturing secrets, you will know everything about this emblematic specialty. The guided tour of the pastry chef obviously ends with a tasting that will satisfy gourmets. It is also an opportunity to discover the collection of Basque furniture and kitchen utensils.
A family museum to discover.

The recipe for real Basque cake

Preparation: 25 min
Cooking: 25 min

For 6 persons :

  • 160 g of soft butter
  • 250g of flour
  • 15 g baking powder
  • 160 g sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2 large eggs + 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp. milk
  • 1 jar of black cherry jam

Preheat the oven to 210°C/gas mark 7.
Cut the butter into small pieces and let it soften at room temperature. In a bowl, mix the flour, yeast, sugar and a pinch of salt. Make a well and add a whole egg and the beaten yolk. Incorporate the butter cubes and sand the dough.
Form a smooth ball, wrap it in cling film and refrigerate for 1 hour. Roll out the dough and cut out a circle the size of your mold. Make another one with a slightly larger diameter.
First place the largest circle at the bottom of the mold. Cover it with a nice layer of black cherry jam, then cover the other circle with dough. Seal the edges by pressing lightly.
Whisk the remaining egg with the milk to brown the surface of the cake using a brush. If desired, draw patterns on the cake using a fork.
Bake the cake for 25 to 30 minutes, then let it cool for at least 1 hour before unmolding and serving.

You can of course replace the cherry jam with homemade pastry cream.

Cherry jam or custard?

Some will tell you that the original recipe is with cherries while others will tell you that it is with pastry cream. End of debate, the correct answer is that both are equal. The Basque cake was first and foremost a cake made with products from the cupboard. In fact, the old recipe included lard and honey instead of butter and sugar. The filling then consisted of a compote of any seasonal fruit. Later, the fillings with pastry cream and cherry jam became the most widespread. The Basque cake with almond cream is also very popular, although the most gourmands opt for the chocolate version. The hardest part is choosing…

Where to buy a Basque cake?

Passing through the region? Don’t feel like baking? No problem, there are a few places where you can buy or order an authentic Basque cake.
To avoid tourist traps, go to the Eguzkia-certified bakeries and pastry shops. This label, which we mentioned above, is the guarantee of quality, artisanal pastries. You can also order your cake from certain renowned establishments and have it delivered anywhere in France. Because a desire for Basque cake is not up for discussion!

Similar Posts