How to make a Basque cake?

Who invented the Basque cake?

It would seem that the Basque cake appeared in 19And century in Cambo-les-Bains. The official version has it that Marianne Hirigoyen is 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, however, in homes. Called “etxeko bixkotxa”, “the biscuit of the house” in Basque, the origin of this dessert could therefore go back much further. The recipe remains a deeply family tradition. Today there are different versions of the Basque cake according to the families. Only mandatory criteria, a crunchy and golden dough, and a generous filling.

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

Since 1994 there has been an association for “the promotion of a traditional and quality Basque cake”. Eguzkia especially wishes to deal with the emergence of numerous industrial products and promote handicrafts. It has, among other things, established the Basque pie card which provides four conditions for benefiting from the Eguzkia brand. The first concerns the obligation to use natural and quality ingredients. The second therefore excludes any artificial input into production. The third condition is in favor of the uniqueness of each cake, which reflects the unique know-how of the craftsman. Finally, the last condition insists on the quality and taste of the Basque cake to honor its terroir.
Respect for tradition is what Eguzkia stands for.

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

In Sare, in New 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 delight gourmets. It is also an opportunity to discover the Basque collection of furniture and kitchen utensils.
A family museum to discover.

The recipe for the real Basque cake

Preparation: 25 min
Cooking: 25 min

For 6 people:

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

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

You can of course replace the cherry jam with homemade custard.

Cherry jam or custard?

Some will tell you that the original recipe is with cherries while others will tell you that it is with custard. End of debate, the correct answer is that both are the same. Basque cake was mainly a cake made with the products of the cupboard. In fact, the ancient recipe called for lard and honey instead of butter and sugar. The forage therefore consisted of a compote of any seasonal fruit. Later it is the fillings with custard and cherry jam that have become the most popular. The Basque cake with almond cream is also very popular, even if the most gourmet opt ​​for the chocolate version. The hardest part is choosing …

Where to buy a Basque cake?

Passing through the region? Don’t feel like cooking? No problem, there are some addresses where you can buy or order an authentic Basque cake.
To avoid the tourist traps, go to pastry shops and bakeries with the Eguzkia label. This label, which we talked about above, is the guarantee of an artisanal and quality pastry. You can also order your cake from some recognized houses and have it delivered anywhere in France. Because the desire for Basque cake is indisputable!

Leave a Comment