Gateau Flamand a la Creme

A delicious layered gateau of rich cinnamon flavoured pastry with a cream, brandy and walnut filling, Gateau Flamand a la

Crime (ga-toh flah-mohn ah lah krem) makes a very attractive and delicious tea cake or a rich dessert.

8 oz. flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

4 oz. butter

4 oz. soft brown sugar

1 tablespoon double cream egg yolks

10 fl. oz. double cream

Rich with cream, strawberries and almonds, Gateau aux Fraises et Amandes is a beautiful and luscious dessert for a summer dinner party.

1 tablespoon thick honey

1 tablespoons brandy

4 oz. walnuts, finely chopped

6 walnut halves

4 fl. oz. double cream , stiffly whipped

Preheat the oven to fairly hot 375 °F (Gas Mark 5, 190°C). Line two large baking sheets with non-stick silicone paper and set them aside.

Sift the flour and cinnamon into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add the butter and cut it into small pieces with a table knife. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Stir in the sugar and combine the mix-ture thoroughly. Stir in the cream and egg yolks and knead the dough with your hands until it forms a smooth dough, stiff enough to roll out. If the dough is too dry, add a little more cream.

Form the dough into a ball, wrap it in greaseproof or waxed paper and place it in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.

Remove the dough from the refriger-ator. Remove and discard the paper. Divide the dough in half. Place one-half of the dough on a floured board and roll it out into an oblong approximately J-inch thick. Cut the dough into 2 circles, approximately 6-inches in diameter. Re-tain the leftover dough. Place the circles on one of the prepared baking sheets and set aside. Repeat the rolling out and cutting process with the second half of the dough, retaining the leftover dough.

Place the circles on the second baking sheet.

Knead the remaining dough together and roll it out to ½ inch thick. Cut the dough into 6 small circles, approximately l-inches in diameter. Place the small circles on one of the baking sheets.

Lightly prick the circles all over with a fork and place them in the refrigerator to chill for 15 minutes.

Place the baking sheets in the centre of the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the pastry is cooked and golden.

Remove the pastry circles from the oven and transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the filling, pour the cream into a medium-sized mixing bowl. With a wire whisk or rotary beater, whip the cream until soft peaks are formed. Stir in the honey and brandy and whip until the cream is stiff. Remove and set aside

1 teaspoon of the cream. Fold in the chopped walnuts.

When the pastry is completely cold, spread equal amounts of the cream mix-ture over the top of each of the large circles, and sandwich them together.

Dot equal amounts of the reserved tea-spoon of cream in the middle of each of the six small circles. Press a walnut half on top of each of the small circles. Press the small circles around the outer edge of the top layer of the gateau.

Fill a small forcing bag, fitted with a small star-shaped nozzle, with the 4 fluid ounces of cream. Pipe the cream decoratively around the gateau.

Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour before serving.

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