Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Gateau St Honore

Gateau St Honore: 6-inch diameter puff pastry in the bottom topped with mini chocolate-cream-puffs, egg-enriched cream, decorated with editable silver beads, chocolate "fans" and powder sugar

Single-serving version: 5cm x 20 cm long pastry garnished with sliced strawberry. But I suggest making it wider since puff pastry might not rise evenly, the tilting on a narrower structure will be more noticeable

Around this date of each month our Daring Bakers are presenting you our show-piece with sweat and pride! This month our challenge is Gateau Saint Honore*. Whether you are daring, this cake is really less complicated than I expected. Please head over to Helen's blog and check for the full recipes.

Like every of you, when approach a recipe, first things come to my mind are "time" and "difficulty level". A great thing about this cake is, the puff pastry and pate a choux (dough for cream puffs) can be made days ago. So on the finale you probably don't have much to do other than building blocks. About skill level, Helen opens an option for switching to store-bought puff pastry. I already had mine home-made, but still had a, actually two hesitations about pate a choux since which was my first time to make: 1. Was told that dough easily failed to rise; and 2. it's my own issue. I used to dislike cream puffs as they're too dry to my taste. If you know me well, I only eat cakes or pastries that are very rich.

* According to an info provided by Helen, May 16 is Saint Honore (pronounced o-no-ray) that there is a very traditional cake named after him : Gateau Saint Honore. Its building goes like this: base of puff pastry plus rings of cream dough, topped with cream puffs and hot caramel. Cream filling to fill everything.

To ensure my pate a choux to puff up, first and foremost, was to read Helen's recipe very, very, very carefully, and look up a couple of cookbooks. Interesting, none of them has any concern on rising, seemingly implies that it must come along (thank goodness so as mine). The authors emphasized very much on getting the dough to the exact consistency instead, not sure if it attributes to the expansion, or its final texture, or both.

Considering pate a choux I couldn't stop myself but go for a richer chocolate pate a choux. It is almost the same as Helen's recipe, except replacing half of the water with whole milk, and of course, in addition of chocolate. I also wanted my puffs extra moist; two minutes before baking I threw in three ice cubes onto the bottom of my oven, shut the door immediately in order to create and trap in steam.

Sorry my darling fellows, the caramel show-piece is missing on my cake as last minute something suddenly came up (we're gonna move...); I got to stop after piping the cream which even lacked time in setting. Still, up to here the cake was good enough to make me sing and dance whole day! Which is the most delicious part? The bite all the way from cream puff, cream down to puff pastry! It is arrestingly delicious, moist, creamy, crispy and chewy at the same time! Daring Baker's challenge makes me think out of the box (before never thought of combining puff pastry and cream puffs), and walked out my comfort zone (never says never!). And I'm so proud each of you DB to take this challenge and accomplish it beautifully! *Big Kiss*

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56 comments:

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

It's a really beautiful cake.

Brilynn said...

Is it even fair to have you participate in these events?!! ;) Everything you make is so beautiful, I can't believe that anything we suggest to make will be a challange for someone as talented as you are!

sher said...

How gorgeous is that? Really, really gorgeous! I just love your improvisations--and the way you decorated it is brilliant! But, you are Gattina--and of course it's amazing! :):)

aminah said...

another gorgeous cake from Gattina the great!! Thankyou Gattina for your kind comment. Eli is up and going this morning ... so we are packing sandwiches for a day out island hopping...you can read more on the blog! Have a lovely day !

Ilva said...

Hmmm, I just knew you would produce a beautiful ckae but this is beyond my expectations! Brava!

Freya and Paul said...

Stunning! I love that you used chocolate cream and even though it wasn't in the original recipe, I think I would definitely use it should I make this cake again (not in a hurry!!)!

katiez said...

Yours is the fourth I've seen this morning (another rainy Sunday morning spent with coffee and computer). I love the chocolate - but I love anything chocolate!
It's beautiful and I admire you all for doing these challenging creations. I would happily volunteer as taster!?!

Asha said...

WOW!! That is a daring baker's dream dish!!:))
But then you are a fab baker,no surprise there.Hugs.

Laura said...

Mmmm chocolate!

Orchidea said...

Your St. Honore looks fantastic... perfect. This cake is very popular in Italy and I love it.
Ciao.

Meeta said...

Nice job Gattina. It looks wonderful, but then everything you make does.

Rose said...

I can't believe. Is this a saint honore gateau? Are you sure? GORGEOUS. GORGEOUS. GORGEOUS

Mishmash ! said...

Cooking is art and if that statement is true you re a true artist!! I LOVED the single serving portion...it looks so beautifull....if you give me a plate, I might just sit there looking at its beauty !!!!!

Shn

Truffle said...

What a glorious creation! It looks breathtaking and absolutely delectable.

Veron said...

This is so beautifully decorated. I like those little pearly things and the chocolate shavings. It gives it such elegance.

gilly said...

I knew your take on this challenge would be stunning, Gattina!

Kelly-Jane said...

What a beauty! Love your rose in the middle :)

Sandeepa said...

One more master piece. Simply Gorgeous. Gattina if you ever start a bakery, let me know please

aminah said...

phew! I have spent the good part of the day in the kitchen Gattina...you'll be pleased to see!!

Callipygia said...

I think the "Honore"goes to you, St. Gattina. This is beautiful and I admire/appreciate your love of only rich rich cakes and pastries!

Amy said...

Gattina, that cake is stunning! I love how you used chocolate.

Peabody said...

Oh you rebel...you used chocolate. Fantastic looking as is all of your stuff!!!

Gattina said...

Tanna, yours too :)

Brilynn, I see all our DB, you too, did an excellent job. But I have to admit, my house has many windows that give out superb lighting for photo-shooting, that probably helps my cake look a bit more sharp :)

Sher, I can't wait to see yours!!! If your site has a meter, that hundreds extra visits must be coming from me :)

Aminah, thanks sweetie! Good to know Eli feels better! If any photos up please let me know *kiss*

Ilva, thanks sweet. I like making pastries, like this type. But for real cakes (sponge cake + frosting), I am out :)

Freya, that is chocolate puff but still with white cream. The puff's recipe is 99% close to original. Thanks for your sweet words.

Katiez, I almost joined you for coffee. Today supposed to be rainy day in my area, but sun's out all day :) Thanks for your compliment!

Asha, *big bear hug*

Laura, thanks for dropping by :D

Sabrina, thanks for the info. Next time when I visit Italy, I must look for this cake, really want to taste the real thing :D

Meeta, oh you really sweet *hug*

Rose *kiss kiss*

Shn, oh I can't never thank you enough for all the encouragement *kiss* I was actually suprised it turned out pretty good, compared that I hadn't slaved myself in the kitchen.

Truffle, thank you so much for the kind words.

Veron, thank you so much. They are really time-saver. I still owe Helene's sugar assignement :) When I have time, sure will do it!

Gilly, you just so sweet *kiss*

Kelly-jane, thank you :D

Sandeepa, really thanks for your support. Bakery, no lah :) :) My mom had been cooking for money, tough job, I don't want to do it. But if we live close to each other, sure will call you for high-tea :D

Calli, really thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your encouragement *kiss kiss* You just make me feel great! I know my version probably has nothing resemble to the original, but I have this problem, if I haven't ever tasted that food, I don't know where to put the anchor, ended up I "swim" very very far...

Amy, thanks for your compliment.

Peabody, oh no... only cream got to be white, isn't it? But thanks for your compliment sweetie!

Sara said...

Wow. Just beautiful. You shame us all!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Woaw, you are a real artist! Your creations are ever so beautiful. Really breathtaking, I'm speechless!!!....

Mallow said...

I have to try the chocolate puffs - they look so good! And your cake is stunning!

novice baker said...

hey Gattina,

Impressive Gateau! Can I call you "Si Foo"? :)

Canadian Baker said...

Oh my! Beautiful cake Gattina! Welcome to the Daring Bakers!

Anh said...

This is so beautiful! Love the look of it. Make my dull day in the office sweeter. Right, I'm off for a coffee break to munch on some sweet pastries now. But I wish I could have yours! *wink*

Gattina said...

Sara, oh darling =) My drool was all over my keyboard after seeing your cake!

Rosa, that's so sweet of you *kiss*

Mallow, I love this chocolate puffs very much myself. Try it if you have a chance.

Novice Baker, oh I'm flattered =) maybe the cake's design fools you, it really not that difficult :D

Canadian Baker, thanks for your opening arms!

Anh, hope you'd feel better after the coffee break! Remind me those days I still working, nothing made me any happier then 3:15 (the way we said about the time of coffee break, even it;s probably already 5:30). Thanks for your sweet words sweetie!

Elle said...

Beautiful cake with interesting variations. Guess it's boring to do it to the recipe. Beautiful photos, too.

Alice Q said...

Beautiful, and you're such a rebel! I like the idea of chocolate puffs though - would be a nice contrast with the vanilla cream.

swee said...

wow it looks really beautiful!! love the idea of a choco choux

Nazca said...

Looks delicious. Can I have a slice? I can see you didn't go to my school of through it all on top and just eat the b****r! :-)

Quellia said...

Wow! Chocolate! Let me just pick my jaw up off the ground now!
Looks great!

joey said...

Beautiful Gattina! You are truly talented! It seems like every pastry, cake, and baked good bows to your whim :)

Your cake is a materpiece! :)

kellypea said...

Uhhh....okay, so you're famous with this St. Honore. Jeez. Absolutely beautiful. And chocolate. Sigh. The shape is way cool.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Gattina, I was so excited when I knew you had become a Daring Baker because I knew for sure something AMAZING would come up. And well, I wasn't wrong - this is spectacular!

I'm so making your chocolate cream puffs - I'm dreaming of them already.

My hat is off to you, sweetie!

Sukanya Ramkumar said...

OMG this is really awesome....U are really GREAT.....Gorgeous pictures...I love it..

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Stunning! I am amazed at how creative and talented you are. Wow!

valentina said...

Gattina, you are just amazing. push the bar way up there. i love all the different ones that you made.and the tip about the ice cubes.fantastic.see you on your return.

Anita said...

gattina, beyond gorgeous! how beautiful are the decorations in the center! Thanks for gracing us with another of your creations!
P.S. Have a good time on vacation!

Nora B. said...

Oh, that is gorgeous! And choc too. wow.

breadchick said...

Wow! Did I say WOW!! That chocolate extravaganza is incredible. Welcome to Daring Bakers!!

Cheryl said...

Beautiful job. Love the center decorations.

Cynthia said...

You are indeed a daring baker. This looks fabulous. Congrats.

Anne said...

wow! your cake is absolutely beautiful. Very impressive indeed.

Precious Moments said...

i am speechless!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Culinarily Curious said...

Wow. Just... wow. I look at some of these posts, and I'm just not worthy to be one of you. One additional ingredient changes *everything*. I'm going to try your version the next time I have 5 hours to kill in the kitchen on a million calorie dessert. :)

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Nothing like going out with a bang, huh?! :)

cin said...

wow, Gattina. What a great job you guys do every time!

Linda said...

that's one impressive pile of puffs! lovely! mmmm chocolate!

leonine194 said...

wow wonderful!

$ha said...

Sure, it's wonderful! I love St Honore...

Shella said...

You are a very talented person. The gateau looks awesome. Amazing!!

Tom and Dar said...

This is such a wonderful cake - recipe for it? What is the level of experience to make this?