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Jun 2, 2003 02:40 PM

Julie Child Recipe for Apricot Gateau

  • d

I'm looking for the recipe for a apricot gateau that is in one of Julia Child's older cookbooks -- not Mastering the Art of French cooking (I have both volumes), but something later -- perhaps Julia Child and company.

Does this ring a bell with anyone?



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  1. h
    Heidi Claire

    Is this the one made with layers of dacquoise and apricot buttercream? If it is, I've also been looking for the recipe and would love to make this again.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Heidi Claire
      Caitlin McGrath

      I can't help you find the recipe, I'm sorry to say. But I remember seeing her make the apricot/dacquoise cake on one of her shows as part of a "what I'd want for my birthday dinner" menu. The cake is an oblong rectangle, and she noted that the great thing about the shape is that you could always slice off the end and eat it, then re-ice the cake with extra buttercream, and your guests would never be the wiser. One of those reasons we love all love Ju;ia Child.

      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

        I've got all her TV show books, and the recipe isn't in there. If you have any luck re-creating it, please post!

        1. re: Erika
          Pat Goldberg

          I think you are looking for her "Los Gatos Gateau Cake" from JC& Company and, indeed, part of her birthday dinner. She describes it as a Dacquoise type of apricot-filled torte.

          Here is the PARAPHRASED recipe.

          Meringue-nut layers
          3/4 c each toasted and skinned haselnuts and blanched toasted almonds
          1 c sugar
          3/4 c (5 to 6) eggwhites
          pinch salt and 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
          3 Tb additional sugar
          1 Tb vanilla
          1/4 tsp almond extract

          pulverize the nuts with the sugar in a blender or food processor. better done in two batches. preheat oven to 250

          Butter and flour two pastry sheets and, using a spatula mark out total 4 12x4 inch rectangles on them.

          Beat the egg whites until stiff and shining, adding in the salt and cream of tartar when they have foamed. Add the 3 Tb sugar at the end while you are still beating, and then the extracts. Fold in the pulverized nuts and sugar, put the resulting meringue in a pastry bag, and fill in the four squares, from the outside to the inside. Bake about an hour on two oven racks, exchanging the two pans about every 20 minutes. They are done when you can push them loose from the pan - but don't force them. Put on a rack to cool.

          The Apricot Filling:

          1 lb dried apricots
          1 c dry white french vermouth
          2 c water
          1 stick cinnamon
          zest of one orange
          2/3 c sugar
          2 Tb orange or apricot liqueur and 1 Tb cognac or rum

          Soak the apricots in the vermouth and water for several hours. Add the cinnamon and zest and simmer at least 10 minutes until the apricots are very tender. Drain the fruit, reserving the cooking liquid.
          Puree the fruit in a food processor or with a food mill (she doesn't say what to do with the cinnamon stick). Boil the cooking liquid until it is a thick syrup, stir in the puree and the liquid and the liqueurs. Cool, cover, and refrigerate.

          Confectioners Butter Cream (make just before using)
          8 oz unsalted butter
          10 oz confectioners sugar (2 cups sifted directly into cup)
          2 egg yolks
          1 Tb vanilla
          3 to 4 Tb orange or apricot liqueur, cognac, or rum

          Beat the butter over hot water until it has just softened, then add sugar. Beat another minute or two until it is light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks and beat anoither minute, then add the vanils and liqueur. Beat over cold water if it is too runny.

          Putting the damn thing together

          1 c confectioner's sugar in a sieve or shaker
          2 c shaved almonds, lightly toasted
          lightly whipped and sweetened cream to pass with the cake {optional}

          Be careful with the cake layers, they are easy to break (but can be disguised as you put the cake together. Save the best one for the top. You will use only two more, the last one is "just in case."

          Put the ulgiest meringue layer on the serving plate or board, and slip a couple of layers of wax paper under it in a way that allows you to pull them out later. Put aside almost 2/3 of the butter cream. Of the remaining butter crean, spread half of it on the meringue, then spread that with half the apricot stuff. Put on another meringue layer and repeat. Top with the most beautiful meringue. If it looks good, dust it with powdered sugar. If it is cracked in a way that the sugar can't cover up, ice it with a bit of the butter cream. In any case, spread the butter cream on all the sides of the cake. Then pat on the almonds. You can put some on top to cover imperfections too. Chill the cake. It can be refrigerated for up to two days or it can be frozen. In that case thaw in the refriegerator for several hours.


          1. re: Pat Goldberg
            Heidi Claire

            That's it! Pat, I'm sending you many virtual kisses. Thank you, thank you. If you lived nearby I'd whip one up and invite you over for a slice or two. The apricot mixture is so fragrant and delicious; I'm certain all of you smart 'hounds know that the cinnamon stick gets tossed before the pureeing begins. Oh, thank you, thank you, again. Heidi

            1. re: Erika

              thank you -- this is exactly the cake i was looking for

              i had it once almost 20 years ago -- and i've never forgotten it -- truly amazing!

              I'm gonna make it for my 40th birthday!

            2. re: Caitlin McGrath
              Heidi CLiare

              Caitlin, that is the cake I'm talking about. It is DIVINE. Wish I could find the recipe again.

          2. Doug, I just looked through the indices of ALL of Julia Child's cookbooks, and there is no such recipe in any of them. Some of the books don't even have "apricot" in the index.

            I do recall her making the gateau on one of her TV shows, and sometimes those recipes never made it into print.

            I'll keep looking--she contributed this and that recipe to this and that book over the years, and until recently, she also wrote up recipes for FOOD AND WINE.

            Meanwhile, here's "her" web site:


            Bon app├ętit!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Tom Steele
              Heidi Claire

              I may be waaaay off base on this but...I think the name of the cake I'm thinking of had the name of a city, and I think it was a southwestern city...or Texan...or something like that. A caterer that I worked for 12-13 years ago used it and I recall seeing the name on a xerox long ago.

            2. Doug - I have a copy of Julia Childs' Menu Cookbook which includes a recipe for "The Los Gatos Gateau Cake." It's described as a "Dacquoise type of apricot-filled torte." If this sounds like what you're looking for, and you don't have access to this book, reply here and I'll type it out and email it to you.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Deenso
                Pat Goldberg

                You are correct. I posted the recipe below.

                Pat G.

              2. It was called "Los Gatos Gateau Cake" I remember the show it was her special birthday dinner show.

                1. I just ran across this request and it was just what I was looking for too. Well I was looking for a apricot filling. Low and behold I actually have the book. :) Wooo Hooo!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: countrycrafted

                    The recipe you are all looking for is in Julia Child & Company (not & More Company, its sequel) and Julia calls it the Los Gatos Gateau because the cake has four mergingues layered up with the buttercream and the apricot filling (of cooked dried apricots), but you only need one perfect (unbroken) one for the top. The rest can have the San Andreas fault in them, and the apricot filling and buttercream will hold all together. Yes it is worth all the work. It is outstanding.