- Thinly slice off the bottom, sides and top from the loaf to make a round, deep cake shape – keep or freeze the crumbs for making into bread crumbs. Slice the loaf widthways into 4 slices. Spread each slice thinly with a little butter.
- For the fillings, mix 100g soft cheese with a pinch of black pepper and the mustard. Thinly slice the cucumber.
- To assemble the loaf, spread one third of the mustardy soft cheese over the bottom slice of buttered bread. Top with 3 salmon slices and a few slices of cucumber.
- Lay the next slice of bread, buttered-side down, on top. Spread with butter and then half the remaining mustardy cheese and 3 more slices smoked salmon and some cucumber. Sandwich together with the next piece of buttered bread as before.
- Finally spread the top of the bread with remaining butter, the remaining mustardy cheese, 3 more slices smoked salmon and some cucumber. Sandwich together with the top piece of buttered bread as before. Press down the layers a little to sandwich everything together evenly.
- Push any overhanging filling back into the layers and spread the remaining soft cheese smoothly all over the outside of the bread. Chill for 2 hours before serving.
- To serve, slice the slice the remaining smoked salmon into 9 strips and roll up to make flower shapes. Place on top of the gateau and decorate with herbs and flowers.
TIP: The loaf will slice more easily if the bread is not freshly baked – 1 day old is best. For longer advance preparation, fill and layer the bread together as above but don’t spread with soft cheese. Wrap in cling film or place in an air-tight container and keep refrigerated for up to 24 hours. Then cover with cheese and serve as above.
Use a bread knife and cut into slices like a cake. For an alternative shape, use a pan-shaped loaf, and remove the crusts in the same way. Slice into widthways slices and sandwich together as above. Decorate and serve cut into square sandwich slices.
During late spring and summer months, larger supermarkets sell packs of edible flowers in the herb section. When choosing your own flowers, remember that not all flowers are edible. Always check before using. During summer months, herb flowers are safe and easy to find flowers to add to salads and use as a pretty decoration. Other common garden edible flowers are fragrant rose petals, marigold and nasturtiums which have been used for many years as decorations, salad ingredients and as teas and drinks as well as in traditional remedies.