Food, glorious food... done my way. Pretence of perfection

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Gateau Saint Honoré... ish

Well that was fun! Saint Honoré is the patron saint of bakers and pastry chefs. But even someone with his immense powers could not help me... No doubt if you're checking other posts on this gateau and you'll notice mine looks rather different... I'm such a good chef I let the recipe take me, rather than forcing it into something it shouldn't be... *ahem*


For those of you not in the know (I'm still not) this cake has three main parts: 1. Puff pastry, 2. Choux pastry and 3. St. Honoré Cream.

1. The puff pastry is tough, tough work; mine took hours of labourous attent... ok, £1.59 from the local shop, but I walked there so that should count, no?!

2. Pate a Choux – Cream Puffs Dough
4 ¾ oz. all purpose flour (135 gr)
1 cup water ( 240 ml)
2 oz unsalted butter (58 gr)
¼ tsp. salt (1 gr)
1 cup eggs (240 ml)

Sift the flour and set aside. Heat the water, butter and salt to a full rolling boil, so that the fat is not just floating on the top but is dispersed throughout the liquid (mine still had some butter on the top, don't fret). Stir the flour into the liquid with a heavy wooden spoon, adding it as fast as it can be absorbed. Avoid adding it all at once or it will form clumps. Cook, stirring constantly and breaking up the lumps if necessary, by pressing them against the side of the pan with the back of the spoon until the mixture comes away from the sides of the pan, about 2-3 minutes (mine happened much quicker, it's like making a white sauce). Transfer the dough to a mixer bowl. Let the paste cool slightly so that the eggs will not cook when they are added. You can add and stir the eggs by hand but it requires some serious elbow grease (elbows were thoroughly greased, but it wasn't too much work). Mix in the eggs, one at a time, using the paddle attachment on low or medium speed. Do not add all the eggs at once. Check after a few, the dough should have the consistency of thick mayonnaise. Transfer the dough to a piping bag and use as desired (go mad! I did :-D).

Seriously easy considering the results, even mine turned out (too) well. Sooooo much fun!

3. Saint Honore Cream (Rapid Chiboust or Diplomat Cream)
1 envelope unflavored gelatin (7 gr.) *warning 1*
1/4 cup cold water (60 ml)
1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons sugar (130 gr)
½ cup all-purpose flour (70 gr)
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 egg yolks
2 cups whole milk (500ml)
1 Tb. rum *warning 2*
¼ cup whipping cream (57 gr)
3 egg whites dash of salt 1/2 cup sugar (105 gr)
Vanilla pod (I used essence to hilarious out comes!) *warning 3*

Soak the gelatin in the 1/4 cup of cold water. Put the sugar, flour, and salt into a saucepan and stir together with a whisk. Add the yolks and enough milk to make a paste. Whisk in the remainder of the milk. Place over low heat and stirring constantly, cook until thick. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and the gelatin. Stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Stir in the whipping cream.Set the mixing bowl in cold water and stir until the cream is cool. Place the egg whites in a clean bowl and using clean beaters, whip them with the dash of salt. As soon as the whites begin to stiffen, gradually add the 1/2 cup of sugar and beat until they are very stiff. Fold the egg whites into the cooled cream.

So now you have all the main ingredients.

"Warning 1" refers to reading packet instructions. I didn't because of "Warning 2"... I found that the rum had the affect of making me forget to read the packet instructions on the gelatin. Well maybe not forget but you get the inference ;-) "Warning 3" refers to the fact I used essence and because of "Warning 2" I might have used too much... oh dear... It's been a week since I made it and I still wince :-)

You need to make a circle of the puff pastry, and pipe a few concentric rings of the choux pastry onto it. Put 12* puff balls on the baking sheet
around the "cake" and bake the puff pastry circle and the cream puffs at 400F (205C) until the pate a choux has puffed (about 10 minutes). Reduce the heat to 375F (190C) and bake until everything is dry enough to hold its shape, about 35 minutes longer for the puff "cake" and 8 minutes longer for the cream puffs (just pick them up and take them out as they are done). *And if you have lots of choux puff pastry left over just go mad and make loads X-D

Now either the little gelatin sheet I used wasn't working, or I used too much rum or the too much rum I'd ingested meant I missed something, but my cream just did not set. Things were going so well until this point too, the puff pastry had puffed, the choux balls and choux'ed; what followed was simply comedic gold to any obse
rver, imagine a dam that's springing leaks of cream and some little boy trying to scurry around stopping the leaks with his fingers...

Apart from turning the air blue and the counter top cream things were going quite well... I poured *so embarrassed* the honore cream into my cream puffs and put them straight into into the fridge as quick as possible. I then added another gelatin sheet to see if that would help... it firmed up a but so I poured *blushes* more honore cream into the cream puffs (I'd had a few drinks by then so I was snacking as I went :-)).

Then it was just a matter of praying to Saint Honoré and hoping the cream would set some while remaining inside the cream puffs. At this point you're supposed to dip your cream filled cream puffs into caramel... oooookkkkkkkk then, I instead poured caramel (that's the chocolate looking substance in the pic, I'd used golden sugar so it was darker than usual anyway) onto the rim of the "cake" and fixed the puffs onto it. At this point the rum/apple juice cocktails really started to kick in... I poured more caramel into the base of the cake (with the idea of making the bottom more able to take the cream), then poured the honore cream into the centre... to cover that fact it hadn't turned out well, I just kept on going with the cream puffs...

It might look a mess (guilty) but it tasted great. It went down pretty well at work the next day, there wasn't much time between the lid coming off and the lid going back on the empty box.

Thanks to Helene and Anita for the challenge, I hope you're not too mad at the mess I made of it :-) Roll on next month's challenge, I definitely won't be drinking next time!

40 comments:

Laura said...

Mmm alcohol and hot sugar?! The cream puffs look great and they're the best part!

Nazca said...

lol yes. Nothing was burnt though, I'm quite handy with the pans :-)

The cream puffs were the best bit, so easy too, I'm having cream puffs on everything now!

Freya and Paul said...

Looks aren't always everything and at least you had a good time making it! Besides, as Laura says, the cream puffs look perfect and I bet it tasted great (with all that rum!!!)!
Well done on your first DB challenge!

Meeta said...

Hey now that's what I call merry baking LOL! I really like the huge pile of cream puffs. They are the best part. I was eagerly awaiting your part of the challenge - great job!

Baking Soda said...

LOL Give me cream puffs and caramel all the time! Who needs chiboux? Congrats on surviving a Daring Bakers challenge!!

gilly said...

Great work on your first DB challenge! I really enjoyed your post - in all of its cream puff, alcohol-filled glory - LOL!

Lis said...

HAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAA!!! I'm reading in alphabetical order.. but so far.. BEST POST EVER. I am STILL laughing. Ohh that was great.

I joked about drinking while making mine, but didn't carry through - next time I will! I think your cake looks absolutely adorable and I love the mountain of cream puffs! Your caramel looks like mine on my first 2 attempts. I should have went with them, dammit.

Love it, love it, love it. Best cake made by someone under the influence, ever.

xoxo

Stuie said...

It was very tasty.

Helen said...

Loved your post. I laughed the whole way through and I would loe to spoon some of that cake!!!
Great job and thanks for going full force!

Kelly-Jane said...

Well done! First DB challange under your belt :) I think it looks lovely, mmm.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

No drinking next time ... well, where's the spirit in that!
No burnt fingers even ... geeze louise you got off easy man.
Rum in the cream was truly brilliant and the cream puffs are the cream of this cake!
I say good job!! Carry on!

Ivonne said...

You are so funny!

And I love your warnings.

I think you've done a wonderful job. I love the way the cream puffs are all just beckoning.

Congratulations on completing your first DB challenge!

Nazca said...

Thanks all :-) I did have fun while baking it, the only injury sustained was a sore head the next morning ;-)

Freya and Paul, I'm told regularly that looks don't matter. I don't believe you, any more than I believe them ;-)

Meeta, thanks for highlighting me on your blog. Piles of cream puffs can't be wrong :-)

Baking soda, I was always going to survive, just maybe not in one piece!

Gilly, cream puffs rock!

Lis, so you like my post? Glad I could make you smile.

Stuie, thanks for eating it!

Helen, schadenfreude is a powerful force ;-)

Kelly-Jane, liar :-P

Tanna, life needs a little danger :-)

Cream P, thank you for inviting me!

Peabody said...

Taste is all that matters! Great attempt!

nicisme said...

Absolutely hilarious! I really enjoyed reading this - and it looks great too!

Mary said...

Ooh, baking while tipsy! Caramel and alcohol are a, ahem, daring combination. Aren't you glad you joined us?

Elle said...

Sometimes the cake that looks the least pristine tastes the best. Surely the rum flavor was well liked? I love your post...very funny. I can see you trying to put a finger in the dyke to stop the cream from covering the counter. LOL.

Sara said...

Next month I am going to make the dessert later in the day so I can drink and bake too.

Quellia said...

Wow, using a different sugar sure made a huge difference in the color of the caramel!
And as for the alcohol content of the next months challenge? Well.....
I'm not going to tell you yet! :-)

Marce said...

As I told you last week, it looks totally tempting to me, and I´ve eaten my share of cream puffs this month!
And the post was hilarious with the step-by-step replay of the alcohol infused near-disaster.

Alice Q said...

Awesome, and funny to boot!

Anne said...

nice post! the cake is simply tempting :)

Tara said...

I've been reading all of this months daring bakers posts...

I'm a little scared about joining you all next month, but most of all I am looking forward to the challenge.

Your version looks very tasty and you post is the funniest by far... Look forward to joining you in June :)

Canadian Baker said...

Great gateau! Hope you had fun with your first DB challenge!

Brilynn said...

Can there really ever be too much rum? ;)

Nazca said...

I'm glad everyone enjoyed my post... My name is Mark and I've been Diplomat cream free for one week.

Ilva said...

I think I should have mixed me some nice rum drink too, or even better, I should have used rum when we ran out of water. Next time. I like your cake, it makes me happy!

Patricia Scarpin said...

I love the caramel drizzled over the cake - what a good idea!

Anita said...

If it tasted good, I think it's a success! I think it looks nice, your puffs came out so pretty!

Cat B said...

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

breadchick said...

Those creampuffs are scrumptious looking. Like a gigantic comfy chair...but one you can EAT! Nice work on your first DB challenge and welcome to the group!

Cheryl said...

Now you are making me wish we didn't eat it all already. I want some more. Look at those cream puffs!

Veron said...

he..hee.guess I was not the only one praying to St. Honore. With that run I'm sure everything tasted delicious!Looks great to me.

Kristen said...

I can only imagine how delicious that was. Way to tackle the challenge!

Nazca said...

I'm not sure getting slightly sozzled was one of the allowed variants they had in mind, but... it did seem to work on a completely unexpected level!

Culinarily Curious said...

I had similar challenges with the pastry cream... perhaps taking your lead and indulging in a bit of the rum would have made that part of the process less traumatic for me. But the end result *tasted* amazing even as it oozed out of the cream puffs and onto our fingers...

Cindy said...

Doesn't look professional at all but still yummy !

Nazca said...

Cindy, cheers :-P

lol I know exactly what you mean. Knowing you as I do I can read what you're lovely French, just born for pastry, fingers meant to type :-)

Pascalus said...

This is the most ugly cakes St Honnoré that I have seen in my life! But féllicitations for having tried to do this french cake (the Rue Saint Honnoré of Paris), because it's not easy ...

(Make searches on Google pictures of France)

Good courage ! q(°V°)p

Nazca said...

Pascalus, thanks for you kind words. Luckily I'm an adult so here my comment ends...