Gâteau à la Crème

The Gâteau à la Crème is a delicious balance of soft, slightly sweet bread dough with a creamy citrus filling. Enjoy this for breakfast or dessert!

The city of Lima is on the brink of a revolution of sorts. Tomorrow, the vote will be cast for the mayor of Lima. Sure, the vote was cast just a few years ago and one of the (my-least-favorite) candidates one, by the skin of her teeth. She took office and began to promote controversial issues and let the city projects by the wayside. It seemed as though everything she did fell apart. She brought in sand to extend the beaches and it was washed away by morning. She ordered the transfer of one of the largest markets to a new location which ended up in numerous injuries and a mess. She signed off on a construction project which has weakened some structures, allowing the river to “leak” into roads and buildings. Has she done anything right? Well, if you count repainting some staircases from yellow to green as “a good use of her time and money” then yes, I suppose it is a point in her favor.

People began to question, confront and vehemently express their dislike of her work. With only a couple years to go in office, it seemed best to ride out the wave. But, things got organized and people got more angry. So, tomorrow the vote will be cast for either “NO” – don’t recall the mayor of Lima or “YES” – recall the mayor of Lima. It is true that I do not have voting rights or responsibilities here in Peru. However, the choices that are made by the masses certainly do affect me.

Every street corner has been litered with propaganda for the “SI” or for the “NO.” Commercials bombard our television programs and the conversation comes up with nearly everyone you come across. In the midst of this frenzy to keep or kick out, it is time to stop and consider the things that are truly important, like this delicious Saturday morning breakfast. While the different steps take some time to go through, the final result is a gorgeous and delicious Gâteau à la Crème that could be enjoyed for breakfast or dessert.

The base is made with brioche dough. The first batch I made using the “official” recipe but found that my dough did not rise tall enough around the sides to hold in the creamy filling, causing quite a mess for me and my oven. Don’t get me wrong, the Gâteau à la Crème from the first batch were exceptionally tasty with their soft dough and citrusy cream filling. But, their looks were lacking just a bit. Since I had made a bit extra filling, I thought it best to try again. But this time, I was going to employ some ideas to make sure the final Gâteau à la Crème came out much better than before.

For lack of time, I threw together a trusted no-knead brioche recipe. I was sure to add enough extra flour to compensate for this summer humidity that we have going on in Lima right now. I lined a springform pan with parchment paper and used that to spread the brioche base to it’s proper shape. It seemed as though it was still going to have a hard time truly holding and containing the filling, but I was determined. Once satisfied with the rise around the edges, I poured the remainder of my filling into the brioche shell. I coated the edge with a beaten egg nearly 4 times to be sure that the golden color was accentuated – I am tired of my albino breads to say the least. On the last edge coating, I sprinkled on the decorator sugar I brought back from the states and baked for a few more minutes. The Gâteau à la Crèmewas removed from the oven after nearly 35 minutes and with the filling still slightly jiggly (but set) and it was allowed to cool.

The soft bread with the creamy lime filling is such a delicious treat! My husband has devoured his fair share of this, claiming that it is a perfect after dinner treat. Me? I think it is perfect for breakfast along with your favorite cup of tea.


  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/8 cup plain drinkable yogurt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 rounded teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 egg white
  • 150 grams butter, softened & cut into small cubes
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 key limes, juice and zest
  • 1 cup crème fraîche
  • 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 tablespoon white sugar
  • 10 grams butter, cut into cubes (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon pearl sugar, to decorate


  1. Combine heavy cream and yogurt in a glass container. Cover and allow to rest at room temperature until thicken to desired texture, about 12 hours. For leftovers, store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
  2. Place the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs and with a hand mixer, mix on low speed until the eggs are completely incorporated, about 5 minutes.
  3. Increase the mixer speed to medium and mix for another 5 minutes until the dough comes away from the edge of the bowl. Then add the cubes of butter and continue to mix for 2-3 minutes until completely incorporated.
  4. Cover the dough bowl with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature for 1 hour to allow it to rise. Place covered bowl in the refrigerator to chill the dough for a second hour (it will be easier to work with).
  5. Preheat the oven to 350F. Draw two 9-inch circles on parchment paper and use to line a baking sheet. Lightly coat circles with cooking spray.
  6. Lightly flour a work surface and your hands. Take half of the brioche dough and bring it together with the palms of your hands to form a ball, then place it into the first circle and flatten it slightly. Starting from the middle of the dough, gently press the dough flat and spread it out to fill the circle, leaving a 1-inch thicker border around the edge as this will create the rim of the tart. Be careful not to stretch the dough and try to keep the base even in thickness. Use the second half of the dough for another gateau in the second circle. Cover with lightly greased plastic and a clean tea towel and place the dough in the warm area for 25 minutes.
  7. in a medium mixing bowl combine the egg yolks, sugar, lime zest and lime juice and gradually stir in the crème fraîche. Set aside.
  8. Brush the border of the gateau with the egg yolk and sprinkle with the pearl sugar and prick the base of the dough evenly with a fork to help the even cooking and rising of the dough. Pour 1/4 of the crème mixture inside the rim of the dough of one gateau, sprinkle with the caster sugar and dot with the butter. Repeat with the second gateau. Pour in the remaining 1/4 once the baking sheet is already in the oven, so you won’t spill. Bake at 350F for 25 minutes, or until the brioche has risen and the filling is set. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool, then serve.

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