Finally! After 7 failed attempts, I finally get it right this time! You should have guess that I had eaten lots of failed versions of Far Breton by now. I don't actually call my previous attempts failures tho. I just found out 7 ways not to bake a Far Breton. I had tried different types of cake pans, different types of flour and different baking temperatures. I guess I had nailed it with this version.
The browning and coloring weren't what I expected tho, but it is the best I had done so far. More importantly, the texture is on point! I am not sure if this is a cake or a dessert, but whatever the matter, this is definitely a very indulging treat. The sugar level is perfect; not too sugary sweet. The texture is like baked custard, somewhat like a Parisian Flan. And the flambé prunes give this dessert or cake an oomph!
After 7 epic fails and I didn't give up, you should know that this French dessert or cake is worth the time and effort to make. My daughters said that this Far Breton tastes even better than my Kueh Lapis Legit with Prunes. I think I will leave that up to you to decide. In the meantime, let me have some alone time with my slice of Far Breton...
Ingredients: (Make one 9 inch cake)
Prunes Pitted, 180g
Grand Marnier, 80ml
Whole Milk, 500ml
Unsalted Butter, 60g + More For Greasing
Unbleached All Purpose Flour, 75g + More For Greasing
Demerara Sugar, 100g
Sea Salt, Pinch
Egg Yolks, 2
Pure Vanilla Paste, 1/2 TSP
9 Inch Cake Pan (Do not use spring form cake pan as it will leak)
Cast Iron Skillet / Pan
Soak prunes with Grand Marnier in a large bowl.
Cover with cling film and set aside at room temperature for at least 24 hrs.
*The prunes should expand and become plump.*
In a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, add in the prunes and Grand Marnier.
Using a hand torch, flambé the prunes.
*Be very careful when doing this.*
Continue cooking until the alcohol has burnt off and the liquid has almost evaporated.
Remove from heat and set aside to cool down.
Once the prunes has cool down, cover with cling film and set aside at room temperature until ready to use.
In a sauce pot over medium heat, add milk and butter.
Once the butter has melted completely, remove from heat and set aside.
In a large bowl, add flour, semolina, sugar and salt.
Whisk until well combined.
Add in eggs, egg yolks and vanilla.
Whisk to combine well.
By now, the milk should comes to lukewarm temperature.
Gradually, slowly, while still whisking, add in the milk mixture, 1/3 portion at a time.
Continue whisking until everything is well incorporated.
If there is any leftover liquid from the prunes, add in to the mixture as well.
Using a hand mixer or an immersion blender, blitz the mixture for about 1 min.
There should be lots of bubbles forming on the surface.
Cover with cling film and chill in the fridge overnight.
On baking day, preheat oven to 200 degree celsius or 400 fahrenheit.
Sit the cake batter on the counter at room temperature at least 30 mins before baking.
Grease a cake pan with butter.
Line bottom with a parchment paper.
Grease the parchment paper with butter as well.
Spoon about a TBSP of flour into the cake pan.
Tap and roll to cover the pan with flour.
Tap off any excess flour.
Arrange the prunes nicely on the bottom of the cake pan.
Gently ladle the batter into the cake pan covering the prunes entirely.
*If the prunes start to float, gently press down to the bottom of the pan.*
Wack into the oven and bake for about 30 to 40 mins or until the sides are browned and the center is still soft. Rotate the pan on half way mark for even browning.
Remove from oven and set aside to cool down for 2 hrs.
Once cooled, the center will sink while the browned edge still holds it's shape.
Run a knife along the edges to loosen the cake.
Place a larger plate over the cake pan and confidently flip.
Place serving plate over the cake and confidently flip again.
Slice and serve.
*The cake can be kept in the fridge for up to 5 days, but it is best served warm on baking day.*