Gâteau Basque is a traditional dessert from the Basque region of France. Typically Gâteau Basque is constructed from layers of a wheat flour based cake (a butter-sugar pastry dough, in this case "pâte sablée", not "brisée") with a filling of either almond or vanilla pastry cream, or preserved cherries. The pastry cream Gâteau Basque is more typical in the Spanish Basque Country. This started during the 19th century.
The name is French and means simply "Basque Cake". In the Basque language the cake is called "Etxeko biskotxa" or "cake of the house".
The type of dough used may vary a little. If butter is warmed before mixing with flour the dough will be called "pâte sucrée". If it is cold the mixing process will require more work and the dough is called "pâte sablée" (it is crumblier). The resulting textures are a little different but mostly for the initiated taster. The flour used is a soft wheat flour with little mineral content (that is, a refined flour, common pastry/cake flour) The proportion of sugar used also varies. But the principle of this cake is having a soft shortbreat-type dough 3 to 6 cm thick filled with an almond pastry cream -also called frangipane, and with a shiny egg-coating.