Gâteau St Honoré

Gâteau St Honoré

By
From
Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery
Serves
8

This is the traditional French birthday cake.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1/2 quantity Pâte sucrée
1 egg, beaten, to glaze
1 quantity Choux pastry
125ml cream
natural vanilla extract
220g sugar
125ml water

Crème St Honoré

Quantity Ingredient
1 egg, separated
1 egg yolk
55g caster sugar
2 tablespoons plain flour
1 tablespoon cornflour
375ml milk
1 vanilla bean
125ml cream

Method

  1. Roll out pâte sucrée to a 20 cm round and place on a greased baking tray. Prick well with a fork, and brush edge with beaten egg. Fill a piping bag fitted with a 1 cm plain tube with choux pastry. Make a border around edge of pastry round, 1 cm in from outside to allow for spreading. Brush with beaten egg. Pipe remaining choux onto a greased baking tray in 15 small rounds the size of a walnut. Brush with beaten egg. Bake all the pastry in a preheated hot oven (200°C) for 25 minutes for the choux puffs and 35 minutes for the pastry base or until crisp and golden. Remove from oven. Prick base of each choux puff 2 or 3 times to allow steam to escape and cool on a wire rack. While choux puffs and choux ring are cooling, prepare crème St Honoré.
  2. To make the crème St Honoré, beat 2 egg yolks with sugar until creamy and very light in colour. Mix flour and cornflour with a little cold milk to make a smooth paste and add to egg yolk mixture. Scald remaining milk with vanilla bean, strain onto egg yolk mixture, blend and return to saucepan. Stir over a gentle heat until mixture boils. Whisk egg white until peaks form, add a little of the hot custard, mix thoroughly and pour back into pan. Stir gently over low heat for 2–3 minutes. Chill. Whip cream and fold through just before serving.
  3. Whip remaining cream, flavour with vanilla extract and put in a piping bag. Cut a tiny hole in the side of each puff with the point of a knife and force in cream through the hole. In a small heavy saucepan heat sugar with water until dissolved. Bring to the boil and boil, without stirring, until golden. Spoon a little caramel syrup onto choux pastry rim and secure choux puffs on top. Fill centre of gâteau with crème St Honoré. Return caramel to the heat and cook until it is a rich amber colour. Immediately transfer saucepan into cold water to prevent further cooking. Spoon over the puffs. For a spectacular effect, dip 2 spoons into caramel, then pull and spin caramel strands around the gâteau. Serve immediately.

Note

  • The gâteau may be prepared ahead:

    Two days before: Make pâte sucrée; wrap and store in refrigerator.

    The day before: Make choux pastry. Roll out pâte sucrée and pipe on choux pastry border. Bake. Prepare and bake puffs. When cool, store base and individual puffs in an airtight tin. Make basic custard but do not fold in whipped cream. Store, covered, in refrigerator.

    A few hours before assembling: Place case and puffs in a preheated moderate oven (180°C) for 10 minutes until crisp. Cool completely.

    Just before assembling and serving: Whip cream and fold into basic custard. Fill puffs with vanilla-flavoured cream and continue as directed in recipe.
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