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Guernsey Gâche Melée with Butterscotch Sauce

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UPDATE 21st OCTOBER 2014

Apple harvest time again and luckily our tree here at the kitchen shed is laden down with fruit just in time for making my take on the traditional Guernsey Gâche Melée which has been shortlisted for the BBC Good Food Bakes and Cakes Show competition.

Hopefully the 25% dicount on ticket prices for the Bakes and Cakes Show was useful – it seems so long ago since BBC Good Food contacted us to offer the reduced prices. Currently advance tickets come with a 15% discount if you quote 15PO when booking online here.

I’m excited and nervous at the same time about being shortlisted for the show competition and I’m not quite sure what to expect. Whichever way the day ‘pans’ out, who’d have thought I’d be able to say Eric Lanlard has tasted and judged one of my bakes … and how fantastic would it be to say you’ve had tea with Mary Berry ! Thing is, say I do win, what does one say to Mary Berry during afternoon tea ? I’d love to know what you’d ask her – please leave your suggestions.

If you are going to the show on Saturday it’d be great to meet up – I won’t be wearing my straw hat or be surrounded by sunflowers but my face looks the same (ish). I’ll keep an eye out for any familiar faces.

Big thank you to the patron at winebeerthebest@gmail.com for very kindly donating the Calva used the Gâche.


Gâche Melée (pronounced “Gosh Mellar” by the local Guerns) is a centuries old Guernsey apple suet cake or dessert which is traditionally served cold but I reckon it’s even better served warm with a generous spoonful or two of Guernsey cream.

I first visited Guernsey when I was eighteen (a very long time ago) and I’ve been in love with everything “Guernsey” ever since. Our sons caught the bug too and now they both live and work there.

The recipe I’m using is one I scribbled down over ten years ago and draws on information gleaned from The National Trust of Guernsey and some early internet resources. I’ve tried to keep to the traditional Melée recipe, doubled the ingredient quantities to make a tray bake version and added a French twist to enhance the apple flavours by using Calvados (or Calva as the locals call it) instead of lemon juice. Even then I felt it needed a little something extra to match the traditional Gâche Melée which was cooked for up to three hours for it to become gooey and caramelly. I settled for using a butterscotch sauce to get the gooey loveliness without a three hour bake.

I didn’t have any Guernsey cream, so I served it with crème fraîche plus a little extra butterscotch sauce !

Melée:

  • 1 Kg (2.2 lb) Bramley or similar cooking apples
  • 4 tablespoons Calvados or 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 225 g (1 cup) caster sugar
  • 110 g (4 oz) suet (or grated Trex/hard white vegetable fat with 1 tablespoon of flour)
  • 225 g (1 ¾ cups) plain flour – sifted
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 eggs – beaten
  • 2 tablespoons milk

 Butterscotch sauce:

  • 100 g (½ cup) butter
  • 150 g (¾ cup) soft brown sugar
  • 200 ml (¾ cup) double cream

 

Grease and line: 18 x 27 cm (7 x 11 ins) roasting or baking tray

Preheat oven: 170℃ / Gas Mark 5 / 340℉

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  • Peel, core and chop apples into small chunks and place in a large bowl.
  • Pour the calvados or lemon juice over the apples and stir.
  • Leave for 10 minutes.
  • Set aside two or three tablespoons of the apple chunks to sprinkle on top of the mixture just before it goes in the oven.
  • Add all the dry ingredients and stir.
  • Stir in eggs and milk – the mixture is quite stiff.

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Kitchen Shed Top Tip

Do not over mix !

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  • Pour into baking tray, sprinkle with the remaining apple chunks and pop in the oven for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. The Melée is cooked when golden brown in colour and springy to the touch.
  • While the Melée is cooking, make your butterscotch sauce:
  • Melt the butter and sugar together in a saucepan until bubbling. Do this slowly so you don’t have to stir the mixture too much – this will avoid burning it as well.
  • Once the sugar is dissolved take the saucepan off the heat and stir in the cream. Return the saucepan to a low heat and cook gently until nice and thick.

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Kitchen Shed Top Tip

Don’t cook the cream on a high heat or it will separate.

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  • After checking your Melée tray bake is a golden brown colour and springy to the touch, spoon butterscotch sauce over the top before placing under a hot grill for about 5 minutes. Save some of the sauce to serve later and keep an eye on your Melée to avoid it “catching” whilst under the grill.
  • Allow to cool in the tray for a few minutes before cutting into 16 – 20 squares, depending upon how large a serving you fancy. Traditionally served cold but even more delicious served warm with a dollop or two of Guernsey cream and extra butterscotch sauce !

I’m entering Guernsey Gache Melee with Butterscotch Sauce to a few challenges for October 2014:

Ren Behan’s Simple and in Season challenge.
Lucy’s Cook Blog Share over at Super Golden Bakes.
Recipe Of the Week over at A Mummy Too and hosted by Emily.
Bake of the Week hosted by Helen over at Casa Costello.

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I’m entering Gâche Melée for Lurpak’s Bake Club Challenge as the theme for March is inventive square bakes with a twist.

This month’s theme over at Cooking Around the World is “Great Britain” and since Guernsey is British (but not part of the UK) I thought Gâche Melée meets the criteria.

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