Allow me to introduce galettes bretonnes...
Galettes are savory crêpes that are made from buckwheat flour. They're a darker brown than their sweeter cousin, and when done properly have deliciously crispy edges and deep nutty flavor. Traditionally from the region of Brittany, it's customary to eat these with Breton cider served in a bowl (yes, a bowl not a glass!). They can be filled with anything - even oysters! - but I prefer mine with a sunny side up egg, ham, and cheese.
I recently started working in a French Bistro that serves galettes and crêpes for weekend brunches. Lucky for me, I was sent home with a huge jar of galette batter that was leftover after service. There was so much of it that I decided to make a galette cake. As I don't have much of a sweet tooth, I decided to pair the galettes with ricotta orange cream instead of a crème pâtissière or icing. I decorated the outside with shaved bittersweet chocolate and candied oranges, which added the perfect amount of sweetness. The result was a balanced combination of salty from the galette, bitter from the chocolate, dreamy and creamy from the ricotta, and gently sweet from the candied oranges. However, the cake was a little drier than I would have liked (especially after being refrigerated) so next time I'd dip the galettes quickly in a Grand Marnier/orange simple syrup (similar to tiramisu) when assembling.
I of course cannot share the restaurant's super secret galette recipe, but Chez Nous Bistro has a good looking one here. Even if you don't make this cake, impress your friends by making them galettes for brunch.
- 1 orange, sliced in 1/8 inch pieces horizontally (along the equator)
- 2 inches ginger, peeled and sliced
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1.5 cups water
- Star anise
- Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
Galettes Bretonnes from Chez Nous Bistro
- Buckwheat flour
Orange Ricotta Cream
- 15 oz ricotta
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/8 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 cup of orange juice fresh
- 1/4 tsp lemon juice
- 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
- 1/4 cup leftover candied orange ginger simple syrup
- Zest of 2 oranges
- Bittersweet chocolate, shaved
- Make candied oranges (view full recipe here) and reserve syrup and rosemary sprig. Roughly chop half of the slices into small pieces, and leave the rest of the slices whole
- Make galettes in a small sized pan. You want to make enough to have at least 25-30 layers in order to build an impressive cake. Put these aside to cool
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk the heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form
- In a large bowl, stir together the ricotta, vanilla, orange juice, lemon juice, seal salt, zest, and candied orange syrup
- Gently fold the whipped cream into the ricotta mixture. Add more orange syrup to taste if needed
- Assemble the layers on a piece of parchment paper: Place 1 galette down. Spread some of the ricotta mixture and sprinkle a few pieces of the chopped candied orange on top of the ricotta. Repeat until all of the galettes are used.
- Ice the top and outside of the cake with the remaining ricotta.
- Decorate the cake with shaved bittersweet chocolate and place the remaining slices of orange on top. Add the rosemary sprig for extra cuteness.
- Gently cover and chill cake for at least an hour before serving to allow it to compress and for easier slicing.
- Note: As stated above, the cake turned out a little more dry than I would have liked so next time I'd like to use some kind of liquid on the galettes when assembling. Grand Marnier + orange juice + simple syrup would be nice.