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The curious spit-roasted cake from Pyrénées

The cake (small version) | / CC-BY-NC-SA

What’s this?

This is a strange French speciality coming from Hautes-Pyrénées, but also from Aveyron.

Why strange? Because of its cone shape, with its pike made of cooked mixture!

A mixture made of sugar, floor, eggs and butter, flavoured with rum and vanilla.

The gateau à la broche is between 10 centimetres high and 1 metre long, from 100 grammes to 5 kilos! And we have about 20 coats of mixture.

But how do we get those coats? They make the spit turning on the fire, and put the mixture on it. Again and again, to get coats!

Once it’s cooked, they remove the cake from the spit and they eat it in slices! A pretty rustic cake!

The little history

We find the spit-roasted-cake everywhere in Europe, like in Germany: there, people call it baum-kuchen, ″tree-cake″. Because it looks like a Christmas tree?

A cake they eat only for celebrations and parties.

In France, in Hautes-Pyrénées, it’s also a celebration cake, for wedding or baptism.

But where does it come from? The tradition says soldiers from emperor Napoleon I’s army brought it back from Russia.

In garrison in the Pyrénées and around, they gave the recipe to local peasants… who soon adopted it!

The gateau à la broche has today its own brotherhood in Arreau, and in summer, a cake’s festival takes place in this city.

About the the author

I'm fond of strolls and History, with juicy and spicy details!