Video: How to make gateau de Savoie

[video1]Krimo Guergoua, from the Savoy region of France, shows how to make a gateau de Savoie.


Krimo Guergoua
Krimo Guergoua
Krimo Guergoua and his wife, Isabelle, arrived in Whangarei in their sailing boat in 2006. Two years ago they moved to Dunedin, where Isabelle now works as a nurse and Krimo looks after their young children. He also runs Passion Sucrée, a French patisserie (, and sells his traditional French baking at the stadium market.

He has loved baking since he was a child growing up in the French department of Savoie, near the Swiss border, and thinks of cakes as treasures.

Here, he shows us how to make gateau de Savoie (Savoy cake) and mousse au chocolat (chocolate mousse).

His mother used to make a gateau de Savoie, a light sponge cake, for the family almost every weekend.

He learnt to make it when he was 10 years old.


Gateau de Savoie

Krimo's gateau de Savoie. Photos by Gregor Richardson.
Krimo's gateau de Savoie. Photos by Gregor Richardson.

130g plain flour
40g cornflour
6g yeast
6 eggs, separated (size 6)
200g sugar
a little finely grated lemon zest (yellow part only)



Preheat oven to 180degCWeigh and sieve the flours and yeast into a bowl and set aside.

Separate the eggs.

In a scrupulously clean bowl, whisk the egg whites with a spoonful or so of the sugar until they are firm but not stiff (Krimo recommends starting slowly and increasing the speed).

In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the rest of the sugar until thick and very pale.

Wash the lemon in hot water to get rid of the wax covering and finely scrape off some of the lemon zest. Krimo uses a serrated knife so as not to get any of the white pith.

Put a large spoonful of the egg white into the yolks, and with a spatula, carefully fold the two together to loosen the yolk mixture.

Then add more of the egg white, sieve in some of the flour and continue to fold in, lifting and turning the mixture. Repeat with more egg white and flour and the lemon zest until you have a smooth, thick mixture. Butter a round cake tin, at least 5cm in height, (the cake will rise a great deal) and sprinkle a little flour in the bottom. Pour the cake mixture into it and smooth the top.

Put on the middle shelf of the oven and cook for 20 minutes, checking from time to time to reduce the humidity in the oven and turning the tin. The cake will at least double in size.

After 20 minutes, put a piece of tinfoil over the top to prevent browning and bake for another 20-25 minutes. You can tell if it is done by the firmness of the top and the aroma.

When cooked, unmould the cake and cool on a rack. Dust with sieved icing sugar.

This cake is delicious with chocolate mousse, crème anglaise or fruit.


Mousse au chocolat (chocolate mousse)


200g dark chocolate (at least 50% cocoa mass)
6 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon sugar


Melt the chocolate, taking care it doesn't burn. Krimo likes to put a saucepan over very a low heat and move the chocolate slabs around on the bottom as they melt, so they don't stick or catch. He uses his hand first, then a spoon. Allow the chocolate to cool a little.

Put the egg whites (about 220g) into a completely dry, clean bowl with the sugar and whisk until firm. You should be able to hold the bowl upside down and the whipped whites will stay in it.

Whisk the yolks until thick and fold in the melted chocolate.

Stir a small amount of the egg whites into the yolk and chocolate mix to loosen it. Add the egg whites little by little, gently folding them in and turning, trying not to lose volume, until you have a light thick mix.

Pour into a bowl and refrigerate for at least two hours but preferably overnight. Serve decorated with chocolate shavings.



• Fresh eggs whisk best.

• The chocolate mousse contains raw eggs, so young children, pregnant women, older people and those with compromised immune systems should probably not eat it.

• Thanks to Afife Harris and Centre City New World.

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