A Sweet Celebration

Tomorrow is the feast of Honoratus, a 7th-century bishop of Amiens better known as Saint Honoré, who became the patron saint of bakers and pastry chefs. As if having a day set aside to celebrate your status as the heavenly protector of two such esteemed (one might argue, essential) professions weren’t accolade enough, he even has a pastry named after him.

The gâteau Saint-Honoré was invented in 1847 by a certain Monsieur Chiboust, who owned a pâtisserie on the rue Saint-Honoré in Paris.  The French classic involves many steps. It begins with a circle of pâte feuilletée (puff pastry) with a ring of pâte à choux (the pastry used in cream puffs) piped around the edge. Small baked cream puffs are dipped in molten caramelized sugar, then attached to the ring. The base is filled with crème chibouste (a pastry cream lightened with Italian meringue) and topped off with crème Chantilly (sweetened whipped cream), using a special pastry tip known as a Saint-Honoré tip.

Watch Bruno Albouze make it look easy (well, at least possible).

Making the gâteau is not for the faint of heart, so I’ll be leaving it to the professionals. But if you feel inspired after the video — or at least not intimidated — to make one from scratch, there is still time. I am in awe.

If anyone makes one (or has done so in the past), please let me know how it turned out.

Bon appétit !

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