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Gateau Breton, a recipe for a fabulous french dessert

IMG_0497 The coast along the Bay of Fundy is a study in contrasts.  A dramatic desert,  littered with abandoned boats in low time and brimming with the gently rolling waves and buoys a few hours later. 

This atlantic coast of Canada claims the highest tides in the world.  Every six or so hours the tides rise and fall 70+ feet. 

It was here in a tiny village of Chance Harbor in New Brunswick that we came across a recipe left behind by an Arcadian with ties to Brittany, in France.  It is the perfect accompaniment to the fresh fruits of summer. 

  • 1 package Shortbread Mix image from
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup Orange Vanilla Sugar
  • 6 large egg yolks, beaten to blend

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 9-inch-diameter cake pan with 1 1/2-high sides; square and rectangular pans work too.  Dust with corn starch. Pour Shortbread Mix, baking powder, cinnamon and salt into medium bowl. Add 1/3 cup ground nuts; reserve remainder for garnish.

Using electric mixer, beat butter and Orange Vanilla Sugar in large bowl until light and fluffy. Set aside 1 tsp yolks for glaze; gradually add remainder to butter mixture, beating until fluffy. . Add dry ingredients and mix until jut blended. Transfer to pan, smoothing top.

image from Mix milk into reserved 1 tsp yolk. Brush atop batter for glaze. Draw tines of fork across top of cake in crisscross pattern.

Bake the cake until it is firm to touch, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Turn out cake from pan; arrange top side up on platter. This cake can be made 1 day ahead. If you do wrap tightly; store at room temperature.

Best served with whipped cream and fresh fruit.

What you've shared:

Jamie Schler • Love Gâteau Breton and plan on making it for my blog. Meanwhile, I'd like to share the Gâteau Nantais, a rum-drenched cake which is a specialty of my adopted hometown Nantes (former capital of Brittany)

Marcella Wright • Both sound wonderful - Jamie, I'll be making your this week while on vacation,


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Recipe for a blustery day; Seafood Chowder from Cape Breton

Dairy Free Seafood Chowder from Cape Breton
While the first afternoon we spent in Cape Breton was a hot and sunny beach day, the remaining time was spent in a cold, windy mist.  The host at our lodging told us; "Last night I went to bed thinking about what a warm summer day we just had.  When I woke I thought, how long did I sleep?  It's winter!"

The evening the weather began to change we had dinner at a brand new restaurant in North Sydney, The Lobster Pot.  Seafood Chowder was a house specialty.  It was creamy, rich and the perfect solution to the cold and damp. 

Seafood Chowder from Cape Breton

Unfortunately they would not share their recipe, this one from another local spot seems pretty close to what we enjoyed; 

This version comes from  Marie Nightingale (SeaScapes)

  • 3 oz salt fat pork, chopped fine
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 lb shrimp, halved or quartered if large
  • 1/2 lb scallops, halved or quartered if large
  • 1/2 lb lobster meat, cut in bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 lb haddock fillet, cut in bite-size pieces
  • 3 cups light cream or Soy Cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste, or try a dash of Dill Salt or Gremolade

 salt pork for Seafood Chowder from Cape Breton
In a Dutch oven or large saucepan with a heavy bottom, gently fry the salt fat pork, to render out the fat. When the pieces are crisp and golden brown, remove and reserve for garnish.

Drain off all but 2 tablespoons (30 mL) of the fat. Add onions and sauté until  translucent. Add potatoes and water. Bring to boiling point, reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender.

Add seafood and cream; simmer just below the boiling point (do not allow to boil) until seafood is cooked. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve hot. Sprinkle top with a few scruncheons (crisp pieces of rendered pork fat).

Seafood Chowder that can be dairy free

More from the Maritimes:


What you've shared:

Sounds delicious. New England Clam Chowder is great too!!.
Posted by Mark Casey

Photo Credit: Julie Cecchini

Seafood Chowder from Cape Breton