Saint Honore

by Eddy Van Damme on June 1, 2010

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.

Assembly!

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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)
  4. 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
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Use immediately.

Crème Chantilly

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
  1. Whip the cream and vanilla in a cold bowl and gradually add the sugar. Whip firm.

15 comments on “Saint Honore

  1. Hilary Adams on said:

    What a nice twist… and beautiful, as always!!

    Hope you are enjoying your summer! Glad to see the update this evening… ;0)

  2. Oscar on said:

    Wow, your work blows me away. Thanks for sharing all your knowledge with us.
    Oscar.

  3. Lenny on said:

    Chef Van Damme,
    All the desserts I have made from your beautiful site has turned out without a hitch. I keep telling all my friends about your site.

  4. Vicky on said:

    Another great one! Thank you Chef Eddy for all your sharing.
    Vicky

  5. We made this for the restaurant and the St.honore is most delicious! On the menu from now on.

  6. Jena on said:

    That looks so delicious and beautiful! I hope I can make this someday. It would definitely impress my family.
    I hope to see you at culinary camp next week, Chef Eddy! =D

  7. Diana Wallace on said:

    How beautiful and creative! Love new twists!

  8. another product with an incredible design… keep going chef…

  9. Love this take on the classic…..AWESOME!

  10. Winger on said:

    Really interesting take on a St. Honoré. It looks incredible! I’ll be trying this next for sure!

  11. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    Thank you very much! St. Honore is one of the best desserts out there.
    Eddy.

  12. Ben Davenport on said:

    What a great take off on the classic St. Honre cake recipe!

  13. Very nice variation of the classic Chef. Maybe not everyone knows that the pastry is named after the French patron saint of bakers and pastry chefs, Saint Honore, bishop of Amiens. For a lot of bakers and pastry chefs this pastry has a special meaning.

  14. The difference in textures makes all the difference, you are right. Dipping the choux puff in caramel and then placing them upside down makes them texturally interesting and visually appealing addition. I also love products which you can make ahead of time. Thanks!

  15. Trish on said:

    I love the idea of a passion fruit cream.

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