In December, I visited the home of a regional Swiss cake: Gâteau du Vully. While I’ve made the sweet version before, this was my first time seeing the savory version, so I tried making one at home (recipe below).
When my in-laws were visiting us over Christmas, my husband and I got to steal away for a night in Murten sans les enfants. After strolling along the rampart walls at dusk, we found a restaurant later that evening and tried flammkuchen with melted Gruyère cheese. For dessert, we had meringues covered in Gruyère double cream and served with ice cream. Only if we had been drinking milk along with our meal, could we have had more dairy!
The next morning, we ventured to the town of Sugiez. A friend had recommended this small village as the home of Gâteau du Vully, so we had to check it out. We quickly found the award-winning Boulangerie-Pâtisserie Guillaume, which was filled with this delicious, yet simple Swiss cake.
The sweet version of Gâteau du Vully has cream and sugar. The savory version has smoked lardons and cumin seeds. Both contain dairy and eggs.
After we bought some Gâteau du Vully in Sugiez, we drove to the top of its namesake mountain: Mont Vully (653 m). It was a beautiful winter day, despite the absence of snow. We ate the cake as we walked around the summit and enjoyed the view.
Below is my version of a savory Gâteau du Vully, which took a few tries. While they were with us, my in-laws were unfortunately subjected to one made with coconut milk that didn’t quite turn out. My reinvented cake more closely resembles focaccia bread, as I’ve replaced the butter and egg with olive oil.
Savory Gâteau du Vully
(dairy, egg and nut-free)
2 teaspoons yeast
2/3 cup + 1 tablespoon soy or rice milk, very warm
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
lardons fumés or chopped bacon
1. Mix the yeast and rice or soy milk together in a large bowl. Let set for a few minutes until the yeast has dissolved.
2. Stir in the olive oil, flour, and salt. Form into dough. Knead for about 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
3. Roll out the dough into a circle about 9-10 inches across (22-25 centimeters). Place on a baking tin or sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about 1 hour.
4. When the dough has risen, make deep dents with your fingertips in the dough. Pour the olive oil carefully and evenly over the cake, taking care not to spill it over the sides. Then, sprinkle the cake evenly with the lardons and cumin seeds.
4. Bake in a preheated oven for about 20 minutes at 220°C/425°F until golden brown. It’s best eaten the day it’s made, especially when it’s still a little warm.
A friendly reminder… Don’t forget to check the expiration dates for your epinephrine auto-injectors, if you carry them. We’ll be getting new ones for my son this week.