Ever since I can remember, when a holiday or birthday or other special occasion comes up, my mother made (and still does) this one particular cake, what she would call “le gateau d’anniversaire” otherwise known as “the birthday cake.” It’s the cake my grandmother used to make for my mom and her sisters. In turn, I have made it for many friends and family and when people ask for the recipe, I used to coyly say, it’s a secret family recipe, but I’d give them a rough idea of how I made it. My mom taught me how to make it by eye. I never really measured anything, I just knew what looked and tasted “right” having eaten many many pieces of this cake over the years.
One day, I decided to ask my mom about the history of this cake. I was sure it went back in our collective family history, and had lots of good family stories attached to it. Instead, my mother very bluntly said, “Oh, I think my mother found the recipe published on the back on the LU cookie package. She made the cake once, and everybody liked it, so it became her go-to cake. It was easy to make, no baking necessary, and you know, there were 4 of us girls in the house, it was one of the few things that everyone could agree upon.” “Oh, ” I replied. Well, that was disappointing! Such a mundane story for a cake that has made the palettes of so many people happy. This cake deserves a better story!
And so, I share it with you and hopefully it will become a part of your family’s traditions and maybe, just maybe it will become a part of some interesting family lore!
This image is from cookeatshare, her recipe is a chocolate cream version of the LU recipe.
LU Biscuit Cake, aka “Le Gateau d’Anniversaire”
- 2 packs of LU Petit Beurre biscuits, Note: you can make this cake gluten free by using Schar’s tea biscuits instead of the LU biscuits
- 2 eggs (beaten well but NOT yet combined)
- 1 cup of butter
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 1/2 cups of strong coffee
- 2 bars (200 gr) of 70% dark chocolate, grated
- optional whipped cream
- Beat the butter and the sugar together until whipped and creamy.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
- Dip the biscuits one at a time into the coffee (this should be a quick dunk, any longer than that and the biscuit will disintegrate)
- Take the newly coffee dunked biscuit and create a rectangle bottom layer on the plate or tray you intend presenting the cake on.
- Spread thinly some of the buttercream, making sure to cover the biscuit layer completely.
- Cover the buttercream with another layer of coffee moistened biscuits and repeat the layering until you have used up all the cookies and buttercream, ending with a top layer of buttercream.
- Spread the grated chocolate on the top of the cake, covering the buttercream entirely.
- If you want, instead of covering the top with grated chocolate, you can cover the sides of the cake with buttercream, cover the sides with shaved chocolate and cover the top of the cake with whipped cream.
- Refrigerate the cake for at least 24 hours. This lets the flavors all come together.
- Let stand 20 minutes at room temperature before slicing and serving.