How to Make a Delicious Chocolate Gateau Basque

Hello, Good News! Welcome to our article on how to make a delicious chocolate gateau basque. If you love chocolate and cake, you are in for a treat. A gateau basque is a traditional dessert from the Basque regions of France and Spain, made with a buttery pastry dough and filled with pastry cream and jam. It is a cross between a tart and a cake, with a rich and tender texture and a golden crust.

In this article, we will show you how to make a chocolate version of this classic dessert, using dark chocolate for both the dough and the filling. You will also learn some tips and tricks to avoid common baking mistakes, as well as some variations and serving suggestions. By the end of this article, you will be able to impress your friends and family with a decadent chocolate gateau basque that looks and tastes amazing.

What is a Gateau Basque?

A gateau basque is a fruit and cream-filled tart that originated in the Basque regions of France and Spain. The name means \”cake of the house\” in Basque, and it is considered a symbol of the Basque culture and identity. The gateau basque is usually made for special occasions, such as weddings, birthdays, or festivals. It is also a popular dessert in many pastry shops and cafes in the Basque country.

The gateau basque consists of two layers of pastry dough that enclose a filling of either black cherry jam or almond or vanilla pastry cream. The dough is made with flour, butter, sugar, eggs, baking powder, and sometimes almond flour or lemon zest. The filling is made with milk, eggs, sugar, cornstarch, butter, and vanilla or almond extract. Some recipes also add rum or brandy to the filling for extra flavor.

The History of Gateau Basque

The origins of gateau basque are not very clear, but it is believed that it dates back to the 18th century. Some historians think that it was inspired by the biskotxak, a type of bread made with wheat flour and eggs that was eaten by Basque fishermen. Others suggest that it was created by Marianne Hirigoyen, a pastry chef from Cambo-les-Bains, who sold her cakes at the Bayonne markets in the 19th century. She passed down the recipe to her daughters, who became known as the \”sisters of the Basque cake\”.

The gateau basque became very popular in France and Spain, and soon spread to other parts of the world. It also evolved over time, with different variations and flavors. The most common filling is black cherry jam, which is made with a local variety of cherries called xapata. However, some regions prefer pastry cream as the filling, especially in the Spanish Basque country. Chocolate was also introduced as an ingredient in the 20th century, giving the cake a more decadent twist.

The Characteristics of Gateau Basque

The gateau basque has some distinctive features that make it unique and delicious. Here are some of them:

  • The dough is soft and crumbly, but not too dry or too moist. It has a slight rise due to the baking powder, but it is not fluffy like a sponge cake. It has a buttery and sweet flavor, with hints of almond or lemon.
  • The filling is thick and creamy, but not runny or gooey. It has a smooth and velvety texture, with a rich and fragrant flavor. It can be flavored with vanilla or almond extract, or rum or brandy for an extra kick.
  • The crust is golden and crisp, but not hard or tough. It has a thin layer of egg wash that gives it a shiny appearance. It also has a decorative pattern on top, usually made with a fork or a knife. The pattern can be either a cross (if the filling is jam) or a lattice (if the filling is cream).

How to Make Chocolate Gateau Basque

Now that you know what a gateau basque is and what makes it special, let’s see how to make one at home. Here are the ingredients and equipment you will need:


  • For the dough:
    • 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 cup (25 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 3/4 cup (170 grams) unsalted butter, softened
    • 3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 large egg yolk
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the filling:
    • 2 cups (480 milliliters) whole milk
    • 4 large egg yolks
    • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
    • 1/4 cup (30 grams) cornstarch
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 2 ounces (55 grams) dark chocolate, chopped
    • 2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/4 cup (80 grams) chocolate-hazelnut spread, such as Nutella
  • For the glaze:
    • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
    • 1 tablespoon water


  • A 9-inch (23-centimeter) round tart pan with a removable bottom
  • A rolling pin
  • A small saucepan
  • A medium saucepan
  • A whisk
  • A heatproof bowl
  • A rubber spatula
  • A pastry brush
  • A fork or a knife
  • A wire rack


Here are the steps to make a chocolate gateau basque:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In another bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and beat until well combined.
  3. Add the flour mixture and mix with a wooden spoon or your hands until a soft dough forms. Divide the dough into two portions, one slightly larger than the other. Shape each portion into a disk and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least an hour or up to overnight.
  4. To make the filling, heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until steaming, but not boiling. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Gradually whisk in the hot milk, stirring constantly to prevent lumps.
  5. Cook the mixture over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until it is thick and bubbly, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate, butter, and vanilla. Stir until smooth and melted.
  6. Transfer the filling to a heatproof bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled and firm, at least 4 hours or up to overnight.
  7. When you are ready to assemble the cake, preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and lightly grease the tart pan.
  8. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the larger portion of dough into a 12-inch (30-centimeter) circle. Carefully transfer it to the prepared pan and press it evenly onto the bottom and up the sides. Trim any excess dough.
  9. Spoon the chocolate-hazelnut spread over the bottom of the crust and spread it evenly. Spoon the chocolate pastry cream over the spread and spread it evenly, leaving a 1/2-inch (1-centimeter) border around the edge.
  10. Roll out the smaller portion of dough into a 10-inch (25-centimeter) circle. Carefully place it over the filling and press the edges together to seal. Cut off any excess dough and crimp the edges with your fingers or a fork.
  11. Brush the top of the cake with the egg wash and make a decorative pattern with a fork or a knife. Cut some small slits on top to allow steam to escape.
  12. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden and puffed. Let the cake cool completely on a wire rack before removing from the pan.

A Table Breakdown of Chocolate Gateau Basque

To help you understand more about chocolate gateau basque, here is a table breakdown of its main components:

| Component | Description | Function |
| — | — | — |
| Pastry dough | A soft and crumbly dough made with flour, cocoa powder, butter, sugar, eggs, baking powder, and vanilla extract | Provides the structure and texture of the cake |
| Chocolate pastry cream | A thick and creamy filling made with milk, egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, salt, dark chocolate, butter, and vanilla extract | Provides the flavor and moisture of the cake |
| Chocolate-hazelnut spread | A smooth and nutty spread made with hazelnuts, cocoa powder, sugar, vegetable oil, milk powder, and vanilla extract | Adds an extra layer of flavor and richness to the cake |
| Egg wash | A mixture of egg and water | Gives the cake a shiny and golden crust |

FAQs About Chocolate Gateau Basque

You may have some questions about chocolate gateau basque, such as how to store it, how to serve it, or how to customize it. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions and their answers:

How do I store chocolate gateau basque?

Chocolate gateau basque can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and foil. To thaw, let it sit at room temperature for a few hours before serving.

How do I serve chocolate gateau basque?

Chocolate gateau basque can be served either warm or cold, depending on your preference. You can cut it into slices and enjoy it as it is, or you can add some whipped cream, ice cream, or fresh berries on top for a more indulgent treat. You can also dust it with some powdered sugar or cocoa powder for a more elegant presentation.

How do I customize chocolate gateau basque?

Chocolate gateau basque is a versatile dessert that can be adapted to your taste and creativity. Here are some ideas to try:

  • Use milk chocolate or white chocolate instead of dark chocolate for the dough and the filling.
  • Use different kinds of jam instead of chocolate-hazelnut spread, such as raspberry, apricot, or orange.
  • Add some nuts, dried fruits, or chocolate chips to the filling for some extra crunch and flavor.
  • Use different kinds of extracts instead of vanilla, such as almond, orange, or mint.
  • Add some spices to the dough or the filling, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, or cardamom.


We hope you enjoyed this article on how to make a delicious chocolate gateau basque. This is a classic dessert that is easy to make and sure to impress your guests. You can also experiment with different flavors and ingredients to make it your own. If you love chocolate and cake, this is the perfect recipe for you.

If you want to learn more about other desserts from around the world, check out our other articles on our website. We have plenty of recipes and tips to help you make amazing sweets at home. Thank you for reading and happy baking!

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