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Gâteau St Honoré


jersey13
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Hello out there,

I have to make a birthday cake for my brother in law this weekend and his favourite is the St Honore. I have seen versions with a sweet short base and others with puff pastry as the base as well as different fillings. Which is the authentic version?

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I think it is the shortcrust base although it may not matter if you use that or inhibited caramelized puff, then the filled, caramel dipped choux balls attached around the outside perimeter. There is actually a special St Honore Cream. I have the recipe but not on hand. I can add it later if you are still looking. Since it is his favorite - what does he see as the ideal St. Honore cake? That is probably the direction you should go - but I will be happy to post what I have later this evening

Edited by chefette (log)
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Hmm, I would think the puff pastry base is the authentic one. It also works well with pate brisee. I have never seen it with shortcrust (do you mean pate sucree?).

For the filling, isn't -- again -- the authentic one chiboust?

I see a St-Honore as a very fancy tart. My favourite is a St-Honore aux Fraises: puff pastry base, pate a choux ring around the perimeter and a spiral in the middle, a base of pastry cream topped with strawberry halves to cover, a thin layer of Chantilly and a St-Honore piping decor made with the curved St-Honore pastry tip.

Finish with alternating whole strawberries and caramel-topped choux filled with custard. Seriously delicious because the fruit cuts the richness of all that cream and gives the cake a much-needed shot of colour -- great for Valentine's Day!

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Creme Chantilly is just lightly-whipped cream. Not whipped enough to make even soft peaks, just enough to thicken it slightly so that it pours like a thin Anglaise.

“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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Eerr...not in my books. Chantilly is sweetened whipped cream, whipped to stiff peaks, as you would see on top of a ice cream sundae. It's used to decorate cakes. You wouldn't use it to make a chocolate mousse. For a chocolate mousse, you would use very lightly whipped unsweetened whipped cream. You could, though, use it to decorate your chocolate mousse.

As for a St-Honore tip, it's a round tip with a V cut in one side, so that when you pipe the cream it comes out in a crescent shape. The topping of a St-Honore cake is traditionall made with rows of these curves, which end up looking like waves. When properly done (it's a bit tricky at first) it looks incredibly beautiful. Some chefs pipe the curves in the same direction, but I like to altrnate the rows.

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In the past I have made St. Honore with a circle of Pate Brisee, but you can also do it with puff

Dock and cut a circle of brisee, and bake

Egg wash edge of circle, and make 2 smaller circles inside

Pipe choux in 3 rings: around perimeter, and two inside rings

Egg wash the choux rings

Pipe 25-40 choux balls on a separate sheet and egg wash them

Place everything in a 475 degree oven for 10 minutes than reduce heat to 375 for another 10-20 minutes

While this is cooling make the Honore Chiboust

The Cream is a Chiboust (combination of warm pastry cream and warm Italian meringue)

Alternatively you can make a lightened pastry cream flavored with rum and then pipe whipped cream on top of it.

Pastry Cream

2C milk

100g sugar

40g corn starch

4 egg yolks

75 g butter

vanilla (extract or bean)

boil milk

combine starch, sugar and egg yolks into smooth paste

gradually add the hot milk while whisking

return to the pot and bring to boil and cook stirring about 1 minute

whisk in butter and vanilla

Italian Meringue

50g sugar

25g corn syrup

40g water

4 egg whites

cook sugar, corn syrup, and water to soft ball

whip whites to soft peak and slowly pour hot sugar syrup into whites while whipping

While both the pastry cream and the meringue are warm, fold together

You can flavor with rum

Pipe into the choux balls, dip in caramelized sugar, and attach to the outer ring

Fill the tart with the cream and serve

if you cannot find a St Honore tip you can use a large spoon

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Eerr...not in my books. Chantilly is sweetened whipped cream, whipped to stiff peaks, as you would see on top of a ice cream sundae.

<blush>

My bad. Was mis-informed, and did not think to check any of my multitudinous textbooks for verification.

<slaps own wrist, re-reads message taped to monitor: "Should you think about this some more before you post?">

Edited by chromedome (log)

“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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  • 5 years later...

Hello, 2004.... resurrecting this old chestnut from the vaults...

I've tried making Gâteau St. Honoré a couple times in the past and have been sort of underwhelmed by the flavors in the various recipes I've tried. Maybe this is just a case of setting my expectations too high, since I think the first book I saw it in was Nick Malgieri's Perfect Pastry where it is the cover image: it is stunning in that photo, and I think maybe I projected that a little too much into what is ultimately a very simple flavor combination. Not to mention the fact that I've never managed to wind up with one as gorgeous as that photo... my piping skills just aren't quite there. Does anyone have any advice? Any tips or tricks to turning out a sublime GSH? Or is this just one of those desserts that looks better than it tastes?

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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I think Pierre Herme's version in Chocolate Desserts is very tasty... but it's very non-traditional as well. What with all the chocolate pastry cream, chocolate whipped cream and vanilla poached pears.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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It's been ages, but I learned to make gateau St Honore from a wonderful cooking teacher named Josette King who was the daughter of a French hotel chef. Her version featured a base of pate feuilletee or pate brisee, with pate a choux puffs dipped and drizzled in caramel. The filling was whipped cream stiffened with egg whites and gelatine, and flavored with kirsch. Definitely showy, and very pleasing in texture--you gotta pile on that whipped cream. As for flavor--I thought it tasted good, but this dessert is more about airiness and frou-frou than anything else. How do you feel about stuffing your face with a big ol' cream puff? That's essentially what this is.

You could amp up the flavor some if you make your own puff pastry with good butter. Since ordinary whipped cream can be bland, I've sometimes substituted whipped creme fraiche in a dessert with good results--it gives the dessert a welcome tanginess.

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I think this dessert is more about showcasing your skills as a pastry chef

than taste. Bo Friberg's book says this used to be the 'show me' cake - the 'audition'

would be that you had to make a GSH in under 4 hours. You were given a puff pastry sheet, but you had to replace

it afterwards. It showed off puff pastry, piping, choux paste, caramel skills

and Chiboust is trecherous because it falls so easily. I think that's about what he says.

I mean, the taste is good and all, but I think taste has come a long way in the last 20 years.

Edited by ejw50 (log)
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  • 4 weeks later...

There are some photos on my old blog here of making a St. Honoré: http://candidcake.blogspot.com/2009/04/st-honores-paris-brests-and-bell.html.

Pastry

When I trained in France we always used puff pastry for the base. This was always heavily pricked to prevent it rising. In fact, we often used puff pastry off-cuts since they gave a similar texture and no rise was needed. Rather than balling the off-cuts like with sweet pastry, layer them up and then roll straight out.

Cream

We used various combinations of cream... as mentioned the classic is crème Chiboust which is a mixture of crème pâtissière and Italian meringue. The creation of the St. Ho. is attributed to Chiboust who had a pâtisserie in Rue St. Honoré in Paris. St. Honoré is also, I think, the patron saint of bakers. In the photos above we used an initial layer of straight crème pâtissière with the decorative piping done with Chantilly.

Chantilly (attributed to Vatel?)

In France, Chantilly refers to sweetened whipped cream that may be flavoured (most often with vanilla but even with chocolate).

Piping

Someone mentioned the St. Honoré piping tip. It looks like this:

douille-saint-honore-en-tp_2818367157292507742.png

In the bottom photo on the linked page above, the centre line is done with this kind of tip if you want to see what it produces.

Edited by RichardJones (log)

===================================================

I kept a blog during my pâtisserie training in France: Candid Cake

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