I recently ordered a few used cook books through alibris.com and thinking about Dom's 'do it your way' option for this month's Random Recipe, I decided that I would make the first recipe in whichever book arrived first. Well, today's morning mail offered up Linda Dannenberg's Paris Boulangerie et Pâtisserie .
The first recipe comes from the oldest pâtisserie in Paris, Stohrer. This bakery has been in operation since 1730, when Chef Stohrer left the employ of King Louis XV and Queen Marie at Versailles and opened a small magasin on the cobbled rue Montorgueil. It still stands there today and can be seen at this link . This savory cake recipe is the work of Chef Claude Moreau and is very popular with the Paris folk on weekends ... warm, it is a perfect lunch with a small salad and a glass of red wine. Cold, it could sit nicely beside a pot of tea and slices of pear or apple.
I completely lucked out here, folks! This is the very best savory quick bread that I have EVER had. I really can't urge you enough to try it. It's so very different from any that I've ever had, as it is made with eggs, white wines, and olive oil. Flour and baking powder are the only dry ingredients. The savory element comes from tiny cubes of ham, minced green Spanish Arbequina olives, and an apple-smoked Gruyère cheese. Oh my God, this is a combination that is just so very good!
The batter resembled pancake batter to me but it transformed into a high golden loaf with a shiny golden crust that crunches when you cut it and the moistest cheesiest crumb that almost falls apart when you slice it while still warm from the oven. Stohrer suggests that the cake be eaten cold or warm ... I really recommend warm with a glass of red wine. It was the perfect light lunch for us!
The crust is just so wonderfully crunchy and the cheese makes the crumb soft and incredibly moist.
Make this cake ...I mean it. You will not be disappointed. Really!
Gâteau aux Olives et Jambon
2 c. less 2 tbsp. all purpose flour
2 ½ tsp. baking powder
½ c. dry white wine (Sauvignon blanc worked well)
½ c. dry Vermouth
4 large eggs, beaten
about 7 oz. light, mild flavoured olive oil
1 ½ c. finely cubed cooked ham
1 ½ c. grated Gruyère cheese (smoked was fantastic)
1 ¼ c. green olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
Making the Cake:
- Prepare all the savory elements of the bread and have them at the work station.
- Preheat the oven to 350° F and grease an 8 x 4 inch loaf pan.
- Measure the flour and baking powder into a deep mixing bowl and whisk together.
- Form a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wines and beaten eggs.
- Mix gently to form a lumpy batter.
- Slowly add the olive oil, a few tablespoons at a time until you have beat the batter smooth and lump free.
- Fold in the cheese, olives, and ham and mix just until incorporated.
- Quickly turn into the prepared pan, place the pan on a larger cookie sheet. Place in the middle of the preheated oven.
- Bake for 55 minutes or until the bread is golden and crisped and a cake tester comes clean when inserted at the middle of the loaf.
- Let the baked cake sit in the pan for about ten minutes and then turn out onto a sheet of parchment paper, tie loosely to guard tea towels from the olive oil rich bread.
- Slice with a serrated knife and serve warm with a glass of wine and a small salad.
- To store, tie the parchment paper around the loaf and store loosely covered so that the bread does not go soggy in the crust.