We owe the Savoy Cake to the pastry chef of Amédée VI (1334 – 1383), Count of Savoy, Aosta and Maurienne. It was invented in 1358 at Chambéry, when Charles IV of Luxembourg visited the Count of Savoy., Amadeus instructed his chef to prepare a cake as light as a feather. He certainly did that.
The gateau de Savoie has often been called a Savoy biscuit as it’s so light. After the French Revolution, two Parisian pastry chefs, Benaud and Tavot, replaced some of the flour with starch, making this cake even lighter. Purists use a specific cake tin to bake it in, but it’s just as nice in your normal cake tin.
125 g sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
60 g flour
30 g of cornflour or potato/corn starch
Pinch of salt
Zest of a lemon
Preheat the oven to 180 °
Put the 4 egg yolks, sugar and vanilla in a bowl and whisk until the mixture whitens and becomes creamy.
Add the cornflour (starch), sifted flour and grated lemon zest, mixing with a wooden spoon
In another bowl, beat the 4 egg whites until stiff and then fold them delicately into the flour mix in two or three batches so you can leave as much air in as possible.
Pour the dough into a well buttered and floured cake tin (or line with baking paper).
Bake in a medium oven 180 ° for approximately 45 minutes. The cake will be a golden colour when perfectly ready.
Remove from the mould while the cake is lukewarm and leave to cool on a rack.
Sprinkle a little icing sugar over the top and enjoy it plain. It’s also delicious served with fruit compote and ice cream.
More delicious French cake recipes
Madeleines, the classic French cake by a Michelin star chef – made with pistachio and chocolate sorbet
Financiers – another great French classic cake and oh so easy to make
Moreish little chouquettes – the ultimate snack cake
Non, non, nonnette – Burgundian cakes you won’t be able to resist!