I have just come back from my holiday (from France and Spain) with many new culinary buzzes. My first memorable one happened in Poitiér, in Southwest France where I ate a miraculous Goat’s Cheese Cake for breakfast. Later on it became a wonderful experiment in making it since it’s been one of my favorite pastries.
But what is that round black Tourteau Fromagé?
The Tourteau Fromagé is a cheese-based pastry, a special cake of Poitou-Charente région of Southwest France. First it surprises everyone with its appearance. Traditionally was served at wedding receptions but it is still highly appreciated till today. It is usually found in cheese shops or in market places such as in Poitiér’s and in La Rochelle’s. But why I became addicted to it? Because of its lightness, fluffiness andits barely sweet flavour. When I returned home from my “vacance”-holiday I decided to test the recipe with some of the fresh goat cheese what was available in my habitat (in Münich/Germany) and I could only obtained the classic ‘type 55′ all purpose flour what I’ve always used for most of my bakings and it did the job very well. In France in addition they use the extreme yellow eggs which makes of the interior of the cake just as the extra-high temperature of the oven produces the traditional blackened crust. I tried to buy the yellowest eggs whatever have existed. And my first attempt was very successful. The contrast of the soft tender cake and charcoaled top crust was part of the charm of my cake. See the recipe below:
I prepared three cakes from the following recipe that I made in small, very deep mini-cassoles, each holding about 12fl oz or 300ml.
Tourteau de Chèvre or a goatcheese cake
Preheat oven to 380’C or 530’F.
For the pastry:
- 100 gr butter- unsalted
- 200 gr flour- all purpose unbleached
- Salt- pinch
- 1 egg
- water- as needed
Cut butter into flour and salt with fingertips. Add egg and water. Gather pastry crust into ball. Divide into three. Roll out each third, place into deep rounded molds. Trim. Prick.
- 250 gr fresh goats cheese (after draining)
- 175 gr white sugar (125gr for yolks- 50gr for whites)
- 50 ml milk (about a tablespoon)
- 6 eggs, separated
- 60 gr flour
- Splash of vanilla/rum/Armagnac
- Pass goat cheese through a food mill or ricer.
- Beat in 125 gr sugar, milk and flour. (I used a whisk.)
- Whisk egg whites with 50 gr sugar until stiff peaks. (we use a copper bowl and hand whisk in the Gascon Kitchen.)
- Fold in a large spoonful of whites into the cheese/yolk mixture. Stir well.
- Fold remaining whites into cheese/yolk batter.
- Pour into unbaked pastry shells.
- Place into HOT oven (280’C/530’F) for 10 minutes. The tops will puff up round and start to brown and blacken immediately. Don’t panic!
- Then turn oven down to 220′C or 425′F for 40 minutes. remove from oven and let cool.
The forward one we slid in 4 minutes after the first two, and it was indeed underdone but delicious. The tops popped up while baking but resettled once they were removed from the oven. The pastry adheres to the batter and shrinks away from the sides making it easy to remove from the glazed bowls. The finished cake has a light and rich texture, akin to a rich golden angel food cake, barely sweet and scented of fresh cheese. Although commercially made with fresh cow’s cheese, the goat’s cheese tang makes a delicious difference. When you are in France make sure to try one from a fromager or make your own version like I did at home.