Gâteau creusois

As legend has it, this recipe was found written in Old French on a XVth Century parchment discovered during work in 1969 in a former monastery in the municipality of La Mazière-aux-Bons-Hommes, in the canton of Crocq. A facsimile of this parchment is now on display in the Tourist Office at Crocq. André Lacombe, president of the Pâtissiers de la Creuse organised a small contest among his peers to revive the recipe. M. Langlade, pastrycook of Crocq, came up with the winning formula, still a closely guarded secret known only by 31 people. It is now the speciality of the départment and has been a real commercial success: every year more than 160 000 cakes of 320 gr are produced in the only Creusois pastries with the label “Le Creusois”.

Cooking time: 20 mins | Serves: 6

  • ¼ cup unbleached flour
  • ½ cup of confectioner’s sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • Third of a cup of hazelnuts, finely ground
  • 4 egg whites
  • 3 tablespoons of butter, melted and cooled
Preheat the oven to 160°C. Oil and 8″ cake pan and dust with flour
In a medium bowl sift together the flour, sugar and salt.
Add butter and blend together very well. Add hazelnuts.
In a dry bowl whisk egg whites until they form soft peaks: do not overbeat!
Combine beaten egg whites gently with dry ingredients.
Pour mixture into prepared cake pan and bake for 18-20 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool for at least 10 minutes.
Transfer to rack and let cool further, then sift the confectioner’s sugar over the top.
Slice and serve.