We humans like a variety of textures in our patisserie. If you look clearly, the vast majority of the most popular items and classics contain a variety of textures. Think of a simple chocolate chip cookie, the slight crispness from the edges in perfect juxtaposition to the chewy center. Add to this the texture of the walnuts and the slight firmness of the chocolate and we have 4 different textures in a very common product. Certainly exceptions do exist such as gelato, good to eat as is in a bowl, but few would disagree that gelato does become more special by simply adding a cookie or a type of crunch.
Textures in patisserie is something I have thought about a lot, it is my belief that the desire for opposite textures lies deep in our subconscious. When I eat a croissant I usually start on the crunchy end which in turn makes my taste buds crave for the softer center, when I consume the flakey center I yearn the other crunchy end. Textures excite our mouth, are satisfying and it certainly is true that most, will eat a multiple textured item faster opposed to one with less complexity.
St Honoré is full of textures; in fact it is part of its success worldwide. The crisp flakey puff pastry (feuilletage) layer along with the cream puffs (choux) dipped in crunchy caramel and filled with a soft cream is a clear example of multiple textures in an irresistible dessert.
Getting it all together!
The components to make Saint Honoré can be made days ahead and simply frozen. However, the puff pastry should be baked the same day assembled and the pâte a choux should be placed in an oven to re-crisp.
A variety of flavors can be combined. For this particular Saint Honoré I chose a refreshing combination of pineapple, mango, ginger and passion fruit.
- Roll enough puff pastry (On Baking pg 282) to make about a half size sheet pan and 1/12 inch (2 mm) thick, bake at 400°F (200°C). Once the dough has quadrupled and the surface has gelatinized place a perforated sheet on the dough to ensure an even surface. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (180°C) or slightly cooler and bake until fully crisp.
- When cold cut the dough into desired size pieces and sprinkle evenly with extra fine granulated sugar. Caramelize the surface with a torch. Let cool. Spread a thin layer of Mango ginger jam on the surface and set aside.
- Make caramel recipe below and dip the bottom of the choux in the caramel and place on the textured side of a Silpat or on a very lightly oiled marble slab. When caramel has cooled fill with passion fruit cream or vanilla pastry cream. (On Baking pg 502)
- Place the filled choux on the puff pastry and fit a piece of pineapple next to the choux and glaze. Pipe crème Chantilly on the side and finish with vanilla bean and gold leaf.
Caramel for dipping cream puffs-choux
|2 Cups||(16 oz)||Extra fine granulated sugar||480 g|
|¾ Cup||(6 oz)||Water||180 g|
|¼ Cup||(2 oz)||Invert sugar||60 g|
- In a saucepan bring the ingredients to a boil. Using a brush dipped in water wash away any sugar crystals stuck to the side of the pan.
- Boil without stirring and on high heat until a light golden color is obtained. Remove from heat and dip the bottom of the pan in a bowl filled with cold-not ice water for about 5 seconds to stop the boiling process.
- Use immediately.
|2 Cups||(16 oz)||Whipping cream||480 g|
|½ teaspoon||( ½ tsp)||Vanilla bean extract paste||2.5 g|
|2 Tbsp||(1 oz)||Extra fine granulated sugar||30 g|
- Whip the cream and vanilla in a cold bowl and gradually add the sugar. Whip firm.