This is my 100th post and I couldn't think of a better recipe to share with you! Awhile back, I ordered Sunday Suppers at Lucques, by chef Suzanne Goin. It is a beautiful cookbook and I am going to post a cookbook review on it shortly. While going through the book, the recipe that caught my eye most was this recipe for Pastel Vasco. I'm excited to share with you that this recipe produced a wonderful dessert that is easily one of the best things I've ate in awhile. Suzanne explains that while working in France she and her coworkers would go to Spain on days off and head to the bakeries of the Basque bakers. The Pastel Vasco is a pound cake made with rum and layered with fruit compote. In her restaurant, she serves this cake toasted, with compote and poured cream. This is a must try recipe!!
2 - 1/4 cups, plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 extra-large eggs
1 cup, plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, plus a handful for sprinkling over the cake
14 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus 3 tablepsoons unmelted
2 tablespoons dark rum
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
Blackberry compote (recipe follows)
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 vanilla bean
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 pints blackberries
2 tablespoons brandy (I used Chambord and loved the results)
Pour the sugar into a medium pot. Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise, and use a pairing knife to scrape the seeds and pulp into the sugar. Add 1/3 cup water, and bring to a boil over medium heat, without stirring. Cook about 10 minutes, swirling the pan occasionally, until the mixture is an amber caramel color. While the sugar is caramelizing, stir 2 tablespoons water into the cornstarch in a small bowl (this is called a "slurry" and will help thicken the fruit juices). Set aside. When the sugar has reached and amber caramel color, add half the blackberries and the brandy/Chambord to the pot. The sugar will harden. Continue cooking for another 3-5 minutes, without stirring, over medium-low heat, until the berries release their juices and the sugar dissolves. Strain the berries over a bowl, and pour the liquid back into the pot. Transfer the cooked berries to the bowl, and stir in the remaining uncooked blackberries. Bring the blackberry caramel back to a boil over medium heat, and slowly whisk in the cornstarch slurry, a little at a time. Cook a few more minutes, stirring often, until the sauce thickens. Pour the thickened juices over the berries and stir to combine.
For the Pastel Vasco: Sift the flour and baking powder together. Add the salt. Whisk 3 eggs together in a large bowl. Whisk in the sugar, melted butter, rum, extracts, and orange juice. Fold in the dry ingredients, and let the batter rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400F. lightly butter a loaf pan. Pour three-quarters of the batter into the pan, and spoon 3/4 cup compote over it. Top with the remaining batter, letting some of the berries show through. Beat the remaining egg, and brush it over the batter. Sprinkle a handful of sugar over the top. Bake about 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely on a rack. Cut into 3/4 -inch slices, and butter lightly on both sides. Warm the remaining compote in a small saucepan over low heat. Heat a griddle or a large cast-iron pan over medium-high heat. Toast each slice of cake lightly for a minute or two on each side, until it's golden brown and crispy. Arrange the slices, slightly overlapping, on a large platter. Spoon the warm compote over the slices of cake, and serve with a small pitcher of cream
You wouldn't believe how incredibly delicious this was. I'll probably try this same recipe with raspberries, blueberries or strawberries sometime soon. One of my favorites and a keeper recipe for sure!!
Post # 101, coming next, will be my post for Tyler Florence Fridays and will have a fun giveaway included. I have two goodies from Lush Handmade Cosmetics that I will be posting about with my next recipe.