RECIPE: Orange & Tarragon Gâteau


Orange and Tarragon Gâteau with Candied Orange

Serves 4-6

By Daniel Galmiche

Preparation Time 30 minutes

plus 30 minutes cooling

Cooking Time 30 minutes

Who thought a beautiful juicy orange would partner a bold herb like tarragon? Make sure you wait for the perfect season, as tarragon will be at its best from the end of April until August. It is a shame the oranges are not in season at the same time but, thankfully, you can still find some great ones. When I had the idea of using them together, it took a while to get the right balance, but finally I got the measure right for this gateau. It is really all in the quantity, as you cannot be heavy-handed with tarragon. The end result is magic!


  • 50g/ 1¾ oz unsalted butter, melted
  • 90g/ 3¼ oz/ scant 1 cup ground almonds
  • 40g/1½ oz/ ⅓ cup plain flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 4 egg whites, about 100ml/3½fl oz/scant ½ cup
  • 40g/ 1½ oz/ scant ¼ cup caster sugar
  • finely grated zest and juice of 1 small orange
  • 2 tbsp roughly chopped tarragon leaves, plus leaves from 1 tarragon sprig, to decorate



  • 100g/ 3½ oz/ scant ½ cup caster sugar
  • 1 large unwaxed orange, cut crossways into 5mm/¼in thick slices, discarding the end slices


  • Preheat the oven to 160°C/ 315°F/ Gas 2½. Lightly grease a loose- based 18cm/7in cake tin with about 1 tablespoon of the melted butter and line the base with baking paper. Sift the ground almonds, flour and baking powder into a bowl and leave to one side.
  • Gradually fold in the almond mixture, orange zest and chopped tarragon, a spoonful at a time, until incorporated.
  • Drain the oranges again, add them to the pan containing the syrup and bring to a simmer. Cook for a further 5 minutes until they are tender but still hold their shape. Lift the orange slices out of the syrup and leave to cool on the baking sheet.
  • Whisk together the egg whites and sugar in a large bowl, using an electric whisk, until soft peaks form. Mix together the orange juice and remaining melted butter, then gently fold into the whisked egg whitesPour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and level the top, then bake for 18-20 minutes until risen and golden. Check the cake is cooked by inserting a skewer into the deepest part. If it comes out clean, then it is ready. If not, bake for a further 2-3 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack, bottom-side up, removing the paper and leaving to cool.
  • Meanwhile, make the candied orange. Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Pour 150ml/ 5 fl oz/ scant ⅔ cup of water into a saucepan and stir in the sugar. Heat over a high heat until the sugar dissolves and the liquid becomes slightly syrupy. At the same time, put the orange slices in a small saucepan and just cover with water. Bring to the boil over a high heat, then discard the water. Repeat this again with fresh water.
  • Return the syrup to a low heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Leave to cool. Once cooled, cut each slice in half. Lay the orange slices, slightly overlapping, around the edge of the cake. Brush the warm syrup over the top of the oranges, then sprinkle the remaining tarragon over the top.

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