Smoked salmon gateau

Smoked salmon gateau

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(6 ratings)

Prep: 1 hr, 15 mins Plus chilling time

More effort

Serves 8
Layer fish with lemon cream cheese and a gravadlax dressing of brandy, dill and mustard for a sensational centrepiece

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal559
  • fat48g
  • saturates26g
  • carbs3g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre0g
  • protein25g
  • salt4.71g
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  • 700g pre-sliced smoked salmon
  • 350g full-fat soft cream cheese
  • 1 heaped tsp mignonette pepper (coarsely ground black peppercorns)



    Also known as capsicums, bell peppers, sweet peppers or by their colours, for example red and…

  • 284ml carton whipping cream
  • juice of half a lemon



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

For the gravadlax dressing

  • 1 heaped tbsp very finely chopped shallot



    Related to the onion (as opposed to being a younger version of it), shallots grow in clusters at…

  • ½ tsp demerara sugar
  • 50ml brandy



    Brandy is a distilled spirit made from virtually any fermented fruit or starchy vegetable.…

  • 100ml crème fraîche
  • 1 heaped tsp Dijon mustard
  • squeeze of lime juice



    The same shape, but smaller than…

  • 50ml olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • leaves from a few sprigs of fresh dill

To serve

  • 8 watercress sprigs



    With deep green leaves, and crisp, paler stems, watercress is related to mustard and is one of…

  • extra virgin olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • lime wedges



    The same shape, but smaller than…


  1. Wrap the base of a loose-bottomed, 20cm non-stick cake tin with cling film, twizzling it into a knot on the underside, then slot base back in the tin. Cut the salmon into pieces about 15cm long and make a neat layer of slices, presentation side down, on the base of the tin. Start at the outside and push the slices right to the edge; after going all round the edge, fill in the centre with straight pieces of salmon.

  2. Mash the cream cheese until smooth (a rubber spatula is good for this), working in the mignonette pepper and a pinch of salt at the same time. Pour in two-thirds of the cream, a little at a time, and keep stirring and beating until a smooth, lightly whipped cream consistency is achieved. Now work in the lemon juice. If slightly too firm (it should be spreadable), work in the remaining cream and then recheck for seasoning.

  3. Dollop about a quarter of the cream cheese in the centre of the salmon and spread to the edge with the spatula or a palette knife; slowly turn the tin to get an even thickness of about 3mm. Top this with a salmon layer, continuing until both salmon and cheese have been used, finishing with a salmon layer. Press the top down with your hands. Stretch cling film over and refrigerate for at least four hours – or preferably overnight.

  4. Make the dressing. Simmer the shallots, sugar and brandy in a small pan until almost dry and a deep brown colour – about 5 minutes. Tip into a bowl and leave to cool. Whisk the crème fraîche in a bowl with the mustard and lime juice, and whisk in the cold shallots.Whisk in the olive oil, trickling it slowly as if making mayonnaise. Season, cover the bowl with cling film and chill in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight.

  5. To turn the salmon gateau out, dip a knife into a jug of warm water and run it carefully around the inside of the tin, between the gateau and the sides, to release the salmon from the tin. Invert a flat serving plate or board on top, then turn the gateau out upside down and lift off the tin and the cling-filmed base. You will now be left with a perfectly flat top to the salmon-layered gateau.

  6. The gateau is best cut into wedges while set firm, then left to reach room temperature for 20-30 minutes before serving – it will soften slightly and have more flavour being less cold. Just before serving, chop the dill and whisk it into the dressing, which is best served straight from the fridge. Serve the gateau with watercress sprigs drizzled with olive oil and lime wedges for squeezing. Serve the dressing in a jug.

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Comments, questions and tips

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28th Nov, 2019
Not sure if the timing of this recipe was intentional. RIP Gary Rhodes.
26th Apr, 2013
Have made this so many times since it first appeared in GF and it's always a winner, everyone loves it. I sometimes make individual ones just to ring the changes.
23rd Sep, 2012
I made this for a dinner party & it looked & tasted great, although next time I will give slightly smaller portions than the recipe states. I also put it in the freezer for 30 minutes to make slicing it easier, then once sliced left it in the fridge until I served it. By the time all 8 plates were garnished it was just right for eating. Will be making this time & time again.
18th Jun, 2012
I made this for Christmas starter last year and is so very easy to do. I'm commenting on it now as my family keep asking me to make it as they loved it and we're so impressed with my culinary skills. I haven't the heart to tell them just how easy it was to do, I made it the day before and left in the fridge with a plate on top, pressing it down and it came out easily. Please make sure you make the dressing as it goes with it beautifully and is well worth spending that extra 10 minutes. Overall.....a huge hit!!!!
19th Mar, 2012
Did this recipe for Mother's Day yesterday and wouldn't change any thing, very well received. Was even accused of buying it from M&S!! This goes into my folder.
4th Jan, 2012
I made this for a christmas day starter, it was really good! All plates were emptied
20th Dec, 2011
Loved this so much a few years ago, doing it again. It's easy and looks very impressive for even the most unskilled cook.
10th Nov, 2010
Completely decadent! Very impressive and tasty too (although very rich). Great for any special occasion
kabeybaby's picture
19th Feb, 2009
I agree with Judy... I also made for Christmas Day but my Boxing Day guests were delighted that they got to share it as there was so much left. Very filling and very impressive. Will most definitely make again!
29th Dec, 2008
Had this as a starter on Christmas Day. There was too much for 6 so served it again on Boxing Day for another 6 people. Looked and tasted delicious. A winner!!


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