Gateaux St Honoré

Gateaux St Honoré
Gateaux St Honoré

This is going to be my last pastry/crème based post for a while before I move on to cakes and biscuits.

I thought I’d go out with a bang and attempt a Gateaux St Honoré, something Michel Roux calls “the pinnacle of the patissier’s craft”.

Bo Friberg talks about it being the “show me what you can do” test that a prospective employer would set young pastry chefs.

The reason it gets these accolades is because you have to show off so many different techniques to achieve the final result.

The Gateaux, named after the French patron saint of baking, comprises:

  • Layer of puff pastry
  • Layer of choux pastry
  • Choux pastry buns
  • Caramel
  • Crème Chiboust (crème pâtissière lightened with stiffly beaten egg whites)

It is sometimes simplified by using crème Chantilly instead of crème Chiboust and after looking at that list I can see why.

I’m lucky enough to have some rough puff leftover in my freezer, so at least don’t need to worry about making that.

I’m using my existing pâte á choux recipe and at the last minute opted for the simpler crème Chantilly – partly out of time restrictions with guests arriving, but also because I inconveniently ran out of eggs!

Roll out the puff pastry and cut out a circle. Pipe a swirl of choux pastry over the base, starting at the centre and ending at the edges.

Pipe 16 individual choux buns, and place the buns and the base in the oven at 180 for 20 minutes. Remove the choux buns and leave the base for a further 20 minutes.

Make your crème Chantilly and pipe cream into each of the dried out choux buns.

The caramel is made by bringing 1 cup of caster sugar and ¼ cup water to a high heat. Once it starts turning colour, reduce the heat until it reaches a golden colour.

Dip the choux buns into the caramel and place around the edge of the base.

Pipe crème Chantilly in the centre of the base, then sprinkle on cocoa powder or grated chocolate.

I know this is the cheat version, but it looks great!!

Gateaux St Honoré
Gateaux St Honoré

Just as a final note, I thought I’d do a quick summary of my journey so far:

Pastry

  • Pâte brisée
  • Pâte sable
  • Pâte sucrée
  • Pâte á choux
  • Rough puff
  • Chocolate pastry

Crèmes and other fillings

  • Crème pâtissière
  • Crème Anglaise
  • Crème Chantilly
  • Ganache
  • Frangipane

Other bits and pieces

  • Meringues
  • Sorbet

I still have a lot to cover, especially when it comes to crèmes, but figure I can continue learning and practicing them as I move further along.

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