Food & Beverages

St Honoré cake

This is a classic French torte which was created in the 1800’s and named after the patron saint of chefs, St Honoré.

The traditional elements of this cake are: a puff pastry base, topped with a pastry cream, Chantilly cream or custard, then topped with whipped cream. This is then surrounded by profiteroles which have been dipped in a caramel sauce, sprinkled with caramelized sugar to resemble the halos of saints.

It is quite a time- consuming creation but well worth the effort.
This recipe has just the basic traditional elements in it and you can add to it whatever your imagination allows!

PASTRY BASE
1 sheet of puff pastry for base. Prick the pastry all over. Cut into a circle of about 22 cm in diameter.
To prepare: Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
Bake pastry for 20 minutes then remove.

PASTRY CREAM:
360 ml milk
80 g sugar
3 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla essence
80 g cornflour
40 g butter

Heat the milk and vanilla until just simmering. In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks, sugar and cornflour.
Gradually pour the egg mixture into the milk mixture, whisking vigorously, and cook for about 2 minutes. Whisk in the butter. Remove from heat. Chill with plastic touching the custard to prevent a skin from forming.

CHOUX PASTRY:
125 ml water
60 g butter
60 g plain flour
Half tsp salt
3 eggs lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla essence

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

Line a baking tray with baking paper and set aside.

Place water and butter in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove immediately from the heat and add sifted flour and salt. Mix vigorously with a wooden spoon and returning to heat, mix for a further 2 minutes over a low heat until the mixture leaves the sides of the saucepan. Allow the mixture to cool slightly.

Beat eggs and put them into the mixture in four stages, beating well after each addition. Finally add the vanilla essence.
Place small amounts (level tblsp) onto baking tray and place in oven to cook for 10 minutes and then reduce heat to 180 degrees. Cook for a further 15 minutes.

Pierce each ball to allow steam to escape and leave in oven to cool.  When the profiteroles are cool you can fill them with your preferred filling.

CARAMEL SAUCE:
300 g caster sugar
125 ml water
130 g brown sugar
300 ml cream

Combine sugar and water in a saucepan and cook for about 10 minutes over a low heat. Gently bring it to the boil. Remove from heat, add brown sugar and mix well.

Put back onto stove and add the cream. Cook for a further 2 minutes.

TO ASSEMBLE:
Place the baked puff pastry disc onto the serving plate. Spread with pastry cream, leaving a 2 cm space around the outside edge. Arrange the profiteroles (dipped in caramel sauce) on top of the puff pastry, creating a ring around the outside and so that the caramel-dipped tops are facing up. Sprinkle the caramel tops with pearl sugar.

At this point you can decorate the top of the cake with a drizzling of chocolate or fill with strawberries.
The St. Honoré is best served the day it is assembled, but the separate parts; pastry base, profiteroles and pastry cream; can be prepared a day ahead.

 

*You can find this recipe and more at https://jeannedmoore.com.au/blog

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