Saturday, 23 February 2013

Guernsey Gache Melee

So, what on earth is Gache Melee, I can imagine you saying! Pronounced "Gosh mellar", it is a traditional Guernsey apple cake. As is the way with these old family recipes, there seems to be an abundance of different recipes for this cake. Some are very cakey, some more sticky and gooey. The only thing that seems to be the same is that they all contain cooking apples, originate in Guernsey and are very dense.
I’ve no idea where the recipe I used on this occasion came from originally – as with the Crispy Pineapple Bakes, I copied this recipe out of my Nan’s recipe book, which is an amalgam of recipes copied from magazines, handed down through the family, passed on by friends …

I called my mum to ask advice before making this recipe – but she wasn’t a great deal of help! Her advice was that she “just knew when it was right!” Hmm, thanks Mum! So pretty much, this was a case of experiment and see how it turned out! She did, however, warn me that you always had to bake it for much longer than the recipe said – she wasn’t wrong there! The recipe said 30-45 minutes, I baked it for about 2 hours! Although this was possibly slightly long as the edges had begun to go beyond “caramelised”!

The end product was chewy, gooey and caramelly. Tasty, but not quite right in my mind – the edges were overcooked and the middle not quite cooked. Having posted on Facebook about this, I’ve got a couple of different recipes to try – so may give those a go and see if they are more successful.

Gache Melee


  1. 2 medium-large cooking apples (peeled, cored and cubed)
  2. 120g plain flour
  3. 100g butter (at room temperature)
  4. 100g soft brown sugar
  5. Enough milk to make a firm paste


  1. Preheat the oven to 150C and line a brownie tin with baking parchment.
  2. Place the cubed apple into a bowl and sprinkle over the flour. Use a knife to stir the flour with the apples.
  3. Cut the butter into the bowl so that the butter is evenly distributed amongst the flour and apple.
  4. Mix again with the knife, chopping everything together until the butter and apple are well integrated into the flour.
  5. Add the brown sugar and stir everything together with a wooden spoon.
  6. Mix in enough milk to make everything stick together without becoming runny.
  7. Spoon into the prepared tin and place in oven.
  8. Bake (for approx. 1 hour 30 minutes) until golden brown.
  9. Remove from oven and leave to cool in tin.
  10. Once cool, remove from tin and cut into squares.

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