Gâteau Nantais – Nantes Cake

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In my last post I made Monet’s Nantes Cakes, which were are almond based biscuit or cookie.  But there is actually an almond based cake which originates in Nantes and that is known as
Gâteau Nantais or Nantes Cake in English.  I thought that I would made this cake as, from reading several recipes and watching a few videos it seemed to be very good indeed.

As well as the almonds in the cake mixture the cake is flavoured with dark rum though, for those who prefer not to use alcohol, I am sure orange or lemon juice would deliver a great flavour too.
As well as rum in the cake more is brushed over the top after baking and yet more is used to create an icing to go on the top.
The recipe is actually very simple indeed and doesn’t take much time to make, but it does need to cool down before icing.  Even so this can be done from start to finish in a couple of hours, including baking time and the cooling period.
My cake turned out very well and it had a lovely texture and a really great flavour, with the sweetness of the icing adding so much to the overall taste experience.
Gâteau Nantais – Nantes Cake
Gâteau Nantais – Nantes Cake – Video
for the cake:
  • 125g (1 stick + 1 scant tbsp) unsalted butter at room temperature.
  • 150g(3/4 cup) caster sugar, or granulated
  • 125g(1 1/4 cups) ground almonds
  • 40g(scant 1/3 cup)  plain flour
  • 45ml(3 tbsp) dark rum
  • 3 medium eggs(large in USA), beaten
For the syrup and icing:
  • 4 tbsp dark rum(2 for syrup and 2 for icing)
  • 100g (4/5 cup) icing sugar
  • up to 2 tbps water
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/350F.
  2. Grease and an 8 inch round cake tin and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl place the butter and caster sugar and cream together until light and fluffy(this can be done by hand or with a hand mixer or a stand mixer).
  4. Continue beating the mixture as you slowly add the eggs until all is fully combined.
  5. Add the ground almonds and again mix until all is combined.
  6. Add the rum and the flour and gently fold in until everything is fully mixed together.
  7. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and use a spoon or a spatula to level out.
  8. Bake in the oven for 40 to 45 minutes, until the skewer poked into the centre comes out clean and the cake is coming away from the side of the tin.
  9. Remove from the oven and immediately tip out onto a cooling rack, leaving the cake upside down.
  10. Brush 2 tablespoons of dark rum over the cake and then allow it to cool completely.
  11. In a bowl place the icing sugar and 2 tablespoons of rum and stir until it creates a thick paste.
  12. Add enough water, stirring again, until the mixture is still thick but very slightly runny so that it can be spread over the cake without running down the sides.
  13. Place the cake, still with the underside on top, on a plate for serving.
  14. Spoon or pour the icing on the top and carefully spread over the top surface until it it fully covered without any running down the sides.
  15. Leave the cake until the icing has firmed up.  Then slice and serve.

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