Recreate the Saint Honoré Pastry pastry, named after the patron saint of pastry chefs, that calls upon basic techniques of desserts.
The classics should never be forgotten! I strongly believe that before being able to adventure into the world of dessert creation, you need to master the classics, you need to make them first and make sure you’re damn good at them and only then you can take things one step further and create your own mix of flavors. Recipe creation takes chemistry, takes study, takes experimenting and working on it. If one of them is missing, it just won’t work properly or won’t produce consistent results.
To improve the way you understand recipes or how you combine flavors, the first thing to do is to back to the classics and start baking and cooking! Master those first, make sure you know every element well enough, make sure you understand why they use certain ingredients and not others and only then you can change a few things here and there, only then you can come up with your own mix and your own recipes. Bravery is good, but only when you know what you’re talking about! Yes, you can switch strawberries with raspberries for instance, their texture is somehow similar, but they have a different flavor, but you can’t just replace white wheat flour with rice flour (just a random example) without knowing what the impact of this substitution is.
Long story short though – I went back to basics with the recipe for this Gateau St. Honoré. It’s a cake that’s always been mesmerizing for me and somehow daunting – the flaky base, the choux ring, the caramel, the pastry cream – it just felt a bit too much at first. But when you break it down into elements that you master, it gets easy. One thing I do need to work on is the puff pastry – I’ve only been using shortcuts so far, which are ok, but not when you wanna call yourself a pastry chef!
Gateau Saint Honoré is a cake that has history behind as well – it wears the name of Saint Honore, the patron of the French patissiers and the recipe itself it is said to be almost 2 centuries old. The gateau is made out of a puff pastry or even shortcut pastry and choux pastry which are then filled with pastry cream and glued together around the edges of the puff pastry with caramelized sugar. The center is then filled with either pastry cream, chiboust cream or creme mousseline. I decided to go with a mix of the classic vanilla pastry cream and a caramel pastry cream to complement the sugar glaze. The final cake was delicate, milky and each slice felt like proper comfort food.Print
I am a self-taught baker and pastry-school graduate and I have an affinity for food. But I especially love baking, taking pictures, exploring dessert cookbooks, entremets and writing. I focus on creative desserts and baking techniques that are aimed to both novices and experts in the kitchen and I truly believe that being a pastry chef is not about looking for innovative ways of making desserts, but about learning the basic techniques and then combining them into new, original desserts, relying on textures and flavors.