With the holidays approaching, well that was aside from roaming about town snapping photos, picking up baking goodies, looking for cool glittery ornaments, stalling and deciding to decorate the house, I finally had time to bake projects on my to do list that were flagged. What a time to try new goodies as it definitely was the season. Too bad it did not snow…I miss the white Christmas we had when I was little. My uncle would bring us down to Central Park in the frosty winter wonderland and ice skate on the pond on Christmas Day. I missed those days when I was little. Life was simpler. There were little expections on us and our innocence.
Anyhow, the project I decided to try was Gateau Saint Honore. I used an amalgamation of 3 recipes to complete this baking project. It was time consuming but in the end well worth it. I guess that goes for all complicated dessert pieces that had step after step of assembling unlike the drop cookies and its understandable why restaurants charged an arm and leg.
First step was preparing the puff pastry and rolling it. Using a circular cake ring cut the pastry into desired size. Next up was making the choux paste. Again I used Keller’s recipe for Eclairs as I found the recipe worked best with my oven. I then piped the choux paste onto the puff pastry and then the pieces of choux paste that goes on the out rims of the finished product.
Baking it at 400F while watching closely at the choux paste as they are the first to burn for approx 18 minutes. Then as always keeping a close eye on the oven as it can have a mind of its own. Once the time was up I reduced the temperature to 350 and proceeded to bake it some more for another 10-20 mintues for drying out.
Next came the creme patisserie and preparing of the caramelized sugar for sticking puffs onto the centre piece. I filled the individual puffs first and then dipped them into the hot sugar. Please be careful as sugar at high temperatures can be hot and if not careful, you could get burned. Once the choux puffs were dipped into the sugar, they were then placed on the silicone mat to harden. Note: I found the results from allowing the sugar to set on the mat had a better result. I then dipped the bottom half of the the choux paste and arranged them onto the centre piece.
I quite liked the Gateau St. Hononre, for its lightness and not over the top sweetness. Next time I will try Herme’s matcha St. Honore.