Gateau McMahon

Confession time…. Gateau Mc Mahon is not a kitchen basic…it is actually a composite dessert that is made up of a basic sweet short pasty and a basic Bavarois (bav WAH). Each of these elements can made  and served as separate items but with no where near the impact that this stunning gateau has.   Allow plenty of time, take it step by step and don’t rush – although it is complex Alisha made her first Gateau McMahon when she was only 15 or 16.

Make sure you read through the instructions and have ALL the ingredients before you begin.


Sweet Pastry

  • 150 grams flour
  • 75 grams Butter (Cold)
  • 1/4 Cup white sugar
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 1 Tablespoon Water

Strawberry Bavarois

  • 350- 400 grams strawberries
  • 3 Tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 10 grams unflavored gelatin powder
  • 25 grams Sugar
  • 300 mls pure whipping cream

To assemble and finish

  • 60 grams Strawberry jam
  • 30 grams Icing Sugar
  • 60 grams red glaze (Sieved strawberry jam will do)

 Start by making the pastry

  1. Combine flour, butter and sugar in a food processor.
  2. Process until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  3. Add yolk and chilled water. Process until dough just comes together.
  4. Turn pastry onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until just smooth.
  5. Shape into 2 discs. Wrap in cling wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.


  • You can make the pastry by hand- use a light touch and dont over mix.
  • Some people prefer to use the whole egg and less water
  • If sugar bothers you reduce it to 2 Tablespoons

Shape and Bake the Pastry

  1.  Roll each pastry disc into a circle the size of your round spring form tin (20cm is a good size)
    • Roll out on lightly floured Baking paper as it is easier to handle
  2. Slide (paper and all) onto baking tray
  3. Mark one disc into 8 – 12 segments but leave the disc as one piece
  4. Bake at 180  for 10 – 12 minutes, until just golden
  5. Slide onto cooling rack


Once the Pastry is cooked and cooled make the Bavarois


  1. Hull and quarter  8 of the strawberries.
  2. With the lemon juice and 2 tablespoon of water, place in a small saucepan over very low heat and cook until very liquid.
  3. Strain liquid into a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin powder in while the mixture is still hot. Stir well until the gelatin has completely dissolved.
  4. Place all of the  strawberries (cooked and uncooked), sugar, and 1 tablespoon of water in a food processor and whizz until smooth. Pour out in a large bowl.
  5.  Pour the cream in a bowl and whip until it holds medium peaks – reserve 1/4 cup of the whipped cream for assembly.
  6. Pour the gelatin mixture into the strawberry puree in step 4.  Mix well.
  7. Fold one-third of the whipped cream into the strawberry mixture.
  8. Gently fold in the remaining whipped cream and stir until no streaks remain.
  9. Do Not over mix as you will lose all the air that you whipped into the cream.

Assemble your Gateau

  1. Spread the unmarked pastry disc with jam
  2. Place in the base of your spring-form tin – jam side up
  3. Carefully pour the bavarois mix onto the pastry in the tin
  4. Place in the fridge to set for 4 – 6 hours


  1. While the bavarois is setting carefully split the second pastry disc into its segments
  2. Brush half the wedges with Jam and dust the other half liberally with icing sugar
  3. Once the bavarois is set – carefully remove from tin –  run a knife around the inside before releasing the spring
  4. Place onto serving plate and use the reserved cream to position the pastry wedges alternately on the top

TA DA … You are done

Of course if you don’t like Strawberries – use Apricots and apricot jam or Raspberries and raspberry jam etc

apricot and raspberry



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