Sunday, June 13, 2010
i have never been one for fussy, fancy desserts...you know, the ones with pretty foams and intricate sugar-spun webs and so forth. that's not to say that i do not admire them - in fact i'm constantly wow-ed by those who are able to push the boundaries and limits of creativity to entirely new heights. these masterpieces are works of art and is an area i'll much rather leave to the geniuses to sort out. :)
rather, i have always been drawn to food for the tradition and culture. there's nothing i love more than to pore over articles, videos and blogs on the everyday foods that sustain and nourish people all over the world. there's something inexplicably soothing in the scene of women preparing leavened bread with their hands, or indian field workers sitting down to a simple but energy-packed lunch of uncooked dough and chutneys. these may seem like simple daily roles, but roles which others live and rely on nonetheless.
and since most communities lived frugally, one can expect that their dishes usually contained a few simple ingredients thrown together, which in my opinion, brings out the flavour of each component. such is this gateau breton from Brittany, made simply out of butter, sugar, flour and eggs. well, anything with butter catches my breath, and this is no exception. it is oh-so-especially good when dunked into a bowl of hot, fragrant coffee.
you can download the recipe from here. just some pointers: i substituted hazelnut meal for almond and it turned out equally good. also left out the glaze as i saw no point in wasting a whole egg for that. you can do that though if you want to serve up a prettier cake ;) finally you might want to cut down on the sugar - i found it a little bit too sweet, but it's a personal preference. Hope you enjoy your little bit of tradition!