Tuesday, July 26, 2005

"Create Your Own Salted Cake" Guide

Salted cakes are very popular in France, especially in buffet or potluck parties. They are easy to prepare and easy to eat while standing in a crowd! The base recipe is very simple and you can get as creative as you want.

Here's the list of ingredients you need for any kind of salted cake (we also call them cakes in the purest French):

  • 180 grams (1 1/4 cup) all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 10 centiliters (1/2 cup) olive oil
  • 10 centiliters (1/2 cup) milk
  • 100 grams (3.5 oz.) gruyère cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • about 250 grams (1/2 pound) "theme ingredient" (See below).
  • You also need a bread pan.

The "theme ingredient" is what will make your bread unique. It is added to the dough in small cubes or chunks. Here are some ideas:

  • feta cheese and at least 3 handfulls of fresh herbs: basil, chive and parsley (top left picture)
  • pitted green and black olives (this cake is a classic -the famous cake aux olives)
  • pesto sauce and pine nuts (picture on the right)
  • pears, walnuts and blue cheese
  • smoked salmon and fresh aneth
  • sun-dried tomatoes and Serano ham
  • sautéed mushrooms, parsley and garlic
  • etc...

The olive oil can also be replaced by another type of oil that will better blend with the flavors of your theme ingredients (e.g. sunflower, walnut, hazelnut oil...).

Now here's how to proceed:

  1. Sift the flour over a large bowl. Add the baking powder.
  2. In another bowl break the whole eggs and beat them. Slowly pour the olive oil and the milk and mix well. Add the salt and pepper.
  3. Pour the egg, oil and milk mix over the flour. Stir fast until smooth.
  4. Shred the gruyère cheese and add it to the mix. Stir well. The mix should be smooth.
  5. Now add the theme ingredients and incorporate them slowly, For example: cut the feta cheese in small cubes (1/2"). Coarsely chop the fresh herbs. Then add everything to the dough.
  6. Preheat the oven at 350F.
  7. Butter a rectangular bread pan. Pour 1 tablespoon of flour in the pan and shake the pan over the kitchen sink in order to cover all sides of the pan with flour. The flour will stick to the butter. Throw the excess. This will make the cake really easy to unmold. You could also use a nonstick pan...
  8. Pour the mix in the pan and place in the preheated oven at 350F for about 50 minutes, or until you can insert a knife blade in the center of the cake and take it out dry.

Let the cake cool down before unmolding it otherwise it might break into pieces.

Serve the cake cold and sliced with a green leaves salad and vinaigrette dressing or on its own !

2 comments:

Susan said...

Estelle, I also tried this one over the weekend and it was pretty easy and turned out great too - with soup (and pistou!) or salad.

I said...

Hi Estelle, My name is Iman. I tried several recipes from your blog, the salted cake, dream come true choco cake, your great quiche , They r all PERFECT !!

By the way, I tried the salted cake last week for the first time. I used feta, olives, dried herbs (mainly oregano & mint), fresh parsley and bell pepper. It was so different & chic.
We ate most of it the next day after it was baked and kept the rest in the fridge for a couple of days ... the more it stays the tastier it gets !

THANKS FOR YOUR BLOG.