The Picardy gâteau battu, literally "beaten cake" is a speciality from the northern region of France. A classic at family gatherings for generations, this brioche-like cake is a delicate way to end off a typical Picardy meal. The smooth hat-shaped pudding bread has become a traditional dessert not only in the area, but for the whole French gastronomy and pastry.
The traditional gâteau battu from Picardy received its name from the original recipe created in the area of Abbeville. The particularity of this "beaten cake" was to be made out from 12 (or 10) beaten egg yolks! The original French recette also includes 250gr of butter and 250gr of flour melted with baker's yeast.
This typical Picardy cake is also famous for being in the shape of a Chef hat, resulting from the specific grooved, deep mould in which it is cooked for about 20 minutes. Rich in egg yolks, it was also formerly called "gasteau mollet" or "pain aux oeufs" by Flemish people.
The gâteau battu was originally enjoyed in Northern France as the Easter dessert, but it rapidly became a classic for family gatherings and popular feasts.
The traditional French beaten cake is highly appreciated for its airy consistency - moister than a brioche - and its appetizing brown crust. Since the recipe's origins remain vague, the Picardy traditions confirmed the gâteau battu as "regional speciality" only in 1990.
To protect and promote the Picardy treat, several bakers and pâtissiers (pastry cooks) from Picardy gathered in 1993, in Abbeville, to form the "Gâteau Battu Brotherhood".
Since then, the association has been organizing annual festivals and competitions to reward the authentic beaten cake's producers.