French Food Facts 2. Cake Salé

Cake salé translates as salted cake, which frankly doesn’t describe it very well at all. It is a savoury cake, with added items such as vegetables, cheese, meat, fruit and nuts, served up as a pre-dinner savoury with aperitifs.
Very popular with the French they can be found in the charcuterie section in the shops.
Generally served cold, I prefer to cut in slices and dry fry it and served up on cocktail sticks as finger food. I find the flavour far superior when warmed through.
Many recipes call for the inclusion of oil, and I recommend the use of a good olive oil to give a richness to the mixture. There is a tendency in many recipes to add as much as 100cl of oil plus 100g of cheese, which is excessive and will make for a leaden result which will be greasy.
I have used a maximum of 50g of cheese in the recipes below and find this is adequate, particularly if you use a good flavoured cheese. I used Beaufort, but equally Gruyère or another mature cheese can be used. Cheddar, although strictly not a French cheese, is widely available here, and can be substituted as well.

Smoked Salmon and Chestnut Cake Salé.
200g smoked salmon
150g plain flour
2 tsp. baking powder
50g cheese grated
3 eggs
100 ml milk
100 ml olive oil
juice of half a lemon.
salt and pepper

If you want to use fresh chestnuts, here’s how. I have used ready prepared chestnuts.
1.Beat eggs lightly in a bowl
2. Cut salmon into small dice
3. Cut chestnuts into 6-8 small pieces
4. Add flour, baking powder and milk to eggs and mix together until well amalgamated
5. Add salmon and chestnuts
6. Stir in the oil and beat for a minute
7. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
8. Pour mixture into a greased and lined 1 pound loaf tin.
9. Bake in a pre-heated oven on 180degrees c. for 45 minutes on the centre shelf in the oven
10. Turn out cake and cool on a wire rack.

Walnut, Apple and Lardon Cake Salé
150g plain flour
3 eggs
2 tsp baking powder
60 ml olive oil
125 ml milk
50g cheese grated.
100g eating apple
50g walnuts
200g lardons
125 ml fromage frais
a scattering of rock salt crystals
juice of half a lemon

1. Crack eggs into bowl and beat lightly.
2. Break up walnuts into small pieces
3. Peel, core and chop apple. Toss in lemon juice to prevent browning
4. Lightly fry lardons and drain well. Leave to cool.
5. Add flour, baking powder, fromage frais, cheese and milk to the bowl. Mix together.
6. Add walnuts, apple, cooled lardons rock salt crystals and mix in
7. Add olive oil and beat for 1 minute.
8. Pour into a greased, lined 1 pound loaf tin.
9. Bake in a pre-heated oven on 180 degrees c. for 45 mins on centre shelf of the oven.
10.Turn out to cool on a wire rack.

One thought on “French Food Facts 2. Cake Salé

  1. Helen, they look lovely. I have tried various ones here in France, but have never made my own – I think I need a recipe for a courgette one!

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