Malto Mario


The Lady & Sons

1,000 Italian Recipes

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Happy Belated St. Honore's Day!

Well here we are, challenge post day again. Time flies when you are slingin' molten hot sugar around your kitchen, pipin' out some delicious cream puffs and rollin' rollin' rollin' the puff pastry, eh?

As per usual, I'm not going to reiterate what most of you have already read on my extremely talented Daring Baker friend's blogs.. by now, I'm sure you know what this month's challenge is and who it is a tribute to. I'd bet you also probably know that this month's wonderful hostess, and French pastry chef, was Helene from Tartelette with help from an equally amazing pastry chef, Anita of Dessert First. Thank you for choosing an awesome challenge this month!!

Right off the bat, before I take you all down with me into the fiery depths of pastry hell, (just kidding!) I want to say that I thought last month's challenge was exceptional because it taught me how to make crepes and that ridiculously tasty Italian meringue buttercream. Little did I know that this month I'd be learning how to make Pate a Choux and Diplomat Cream.. not to mention, honing my skills at making puff pastry! Fantabulous challenge this month. Fanfarkingtabulous.

Gateau St. Honore
Okay raise your hand if you were the first to notice I didn't pipe any whipped cream on!! Mmm hmmm.. as with the rings - I also forgot the whipped cream. Who's the Queen of Dorkdum? I so deserve my crown...

A few Daring Bakers and I went a slightly different route this year MONTH.. apparently e-mail is just to slow in getting our panic attacks sent back and forth to each other, (and by "our" I mean "me") so this month we opted for live chat on Yahoo. Unfortunately, I had to get my freakin' grocery shopping done before I could partake in the making of the gateau along with Sara, Mary and Helene, so they had started before me. Actually, go back and strike the "unfortunate" part of that run-on sentence. It was VERY fortunate for me, because I got to once again, reap the benefits of their trials and tribulations. (secret "heeeeeee!" - shhhh!) I learned from both Mary and Sara that our No. 4 tips were way too small for piping cream puffs and drawing concentric choux circles on our puff pastry bases. I learned that you must cook the custard base of the Diplomat cream until it's of pudding consistency or your Diplomat cream could turn out too thin..

And yes, I am fully aware that I'll be receiving my comeuppance, sooner rather than later, for reaping such rewards. Fully. Aware. I'm already envisioning explosions in my kitchen, sunken souffles for the rest of my life and another appearance of the Mothership in the least likely places.

So anyhoo.. I actually did not have many other problems this month. Oh wait.. me with no problems? MUAHAHAHAAAAA!! As if.

First let's start with the puff pastry. Remember those croissants from way back when? Well I do. That process is still fresh in my memory and I did not want to relive anything like it again for quite some time. It's been, what? Seven months since then? Yeah, not long enough yet. I had made up my mind the minute I saw Helene was giving us permission to use store-bought puff pastry that I was going that route. And then someone (I'm sending the evil eye out to whoever it was - even though I can't remember who you are) mentioned that the only puff pastry I can find in these parts is not made with real butter. I was instantly squicked. And now it made sense as that particular store-bought puff pastry leaves a bit of a waxy feeling in your mouth after you eat it. squick! squick! squick!

So, for TWO days, I tried to find a local store that sold another puff pastry that is known for it's use of real butter. As per fakkin' usual, I find out that the bad juju is setting in, and no one sells it any where within a 50 mile radius of me. Fakk. So, what do I do next? I call them at their headquarters to order some to be over-nighted to me. heee! Lazy much?

Did you already forget about my bad juju? The rather rude phone answerer type person told me they'd have to have a sales person call me back. I mentioned that I was in a time constraint and I wanted to order that day so that I'd receive it by Friday. He assured me, in a rather bored tone of voice, that I'd receive a call in an hour. Mmmm hmmm... that was at 11:30 Thursday morning. At noon on SATURDAY, I started my puff pastry. Fakkers never did call me back. But, I'm happy to say that this recipe wasn't nearly as difficult as the croissant recipe was. But then maybe it wasn't so difficult BECAUSE of the croissant recipe. Either or, I made my own and it turned out wonderfully.

Gateau St. Honore
Actually my Diplomat cream wasn't runny at all.. this is what happens when you leave this gateau out on your counter when you thought you had put it in the fridge 2 hours earlier. Gah.

Moving along to the Pate a Choux.. do you have ANY idea how long I've wanted to learn how to make Pate a Choux so I could make gougeres (cheese puffs!)? A LONG time! I was quite tickled to be put in this position.. I could conquer whatever fear I had about making it because I had the support of the DB's behind me. Party on! Needless to say, Pate a Choux is extremely easy to make and I'm kickin' myself in the ass for not making it years ago. I doubled the recipe and divided it into the cream puffs for the Gateau St. Honore, cream puffs for Hubbs (dipped in chocolate doncha know ;) ) and lil delectable puffs made with gouda cheese, small dice of ham and snipped chives. WOO! I promptly froze those, as I had enough on my plate for one day. :)

Finally it was the cream.. not even going to say much, because I had no problems and it turned out delicious (Thanks Mary! Thanks Sara! *duck*). Actually better than delicious. I guess I did have one problem with it.. stopping myself from eating all of it with a spoon and the scraps of puff pastry I had baked. I flavored mine with Grand Marnier as I did with the Italian meringue buttercream I made last month. It just hit me.. both were so amazingly good, what would be better than a cake made of Diplomat cream frosted with the Italian meringue buttercream! HAHAHA I crack myself up some times.


At this point, both Mary and Sara had finished their cakes. Mary had left the panic session to go pack for her trip back to NY the next day and Sara left to, apparently, wash the molten hot sugar from her hair and extremities. HAHAHAHAA! That post was hysterical. God love her. I still had Helene by my side, and ohhh was she in for 1,000 questions. And, I have to say - even though this post has already ran past the allotted time and the orchestra is now playing the cut to commercial music, Helene did a FANTASTIC job answering everyone's questions this month. Not only did she help me through every step of the process, but it seemed as if she had her laptop hooked to her side 24/7 the whole month, because I can't recall anyone asking a question and her not answering it within a couple hours. She also provided many visual aids that, in my opinion, really helped quite a few of us envision what our final product should look like. Many thanks, Helene, you rock!

Okay.. they are now motioning to me from the wings to get my ass in gear and get off the f'n stage already. Quickly.. my components all came together nicely, even though I might have kinda forgotten to pipe the 4 circles of choux onto the puff pastry. Hmm... I wondered how I ended up with so much Pate a Choux to make 20 cream puffs for the hubby. Doh. But other than that, and 3 tries at making caramel because apparently St. Honore was looking down on Bril and her perfect sugar, instead of concentrating on ME DAMMIT.. *ahem*

Well as you might expect, the boy was not interested in anything but his chocolate covered cream puffs that night, so the cake went in to work with me the next day and it got RAVE REVIEWS! Everyone loved it. I had a small piece and thought it was just delicious.. which I had wondered about from the beginning because I knew the puff pastry and the Pate a Choux weren't going to be very sweet.. but that is a good thing because the cream & caramel were plenty. The other nice thing I enjoyed about this cake was the different textures. That was really, a nice surprise.

Gateau St. Honore
Hi lil thread of sugar that isn' t suppose to be there!

'kay kids, you know the routine by now - start clicking on the Daring Baker list to the right and check out everyone else's amazing posts! You'll be delighted that you did. =)

Ohhh.. sorry! One more thing - a HUGE THANK YOU to all who are so supportive of the Daring Bakers and who want to join up in the ranks! Truly, you guys and gals are amazing Ivonne and I on a daily basis with your interest! As you can see, we are growing steady each month and we look forward to continued growth in the future. But, and there is always a but, due to administrative duties and organization of such a large group of talented bakers, we had to close down membership for June already. But anyone who is interested in joining will be added to the July membership list, just contact Ivonne or I and we'll get you added. Thanks again!


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Comments on "Happy Belated St. Honore's Day!"


Blogger Freya said ... (5/27/2007 4:29 PM) : 

Hilarious post as usual Lis!! You did a great job!!
The creme puffs were the best part for me - I froze about 50 spares with the intention of making them my hors d'oeuvres for every single party I attend in the next 12 months. Which would be about one.
Your gateau looks awesome!


Blogger Alpineberry Mary said ... (5/27/2007 4:35 PM) : 

For some reason your gateau kinda looks like a crown to me. Maybe subconciously you'd like be the queen of your own fabulous dorkdom? =) I will gladly be your royal subject.

And all butter Dufour kicks veggieshortening PepF's arse.


Blogger Laura said ... (5/27/2007 4:39 PM) : 

"Squick" that word pins down exactly what that transfatty pastry sounds and tastes like! Gorgeous cake from the most daring of bakers.


Blogger Kelly-Jane said ... (5/27/2007 4:42 PM) : 

Great post Lisa, and such a pretty gateau, it looks so gooey, crispy and delicious!

I read your Mothership post, you are such a funny writer, and those pictures :) :) :) :)


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5/27/2007 4:51 PM) : 

what a fantastic post as usual , Lis and congratulations on your wonderful gateau. I like the part where you left your gateau out and all that cream flowed out. I , in the meantime kept misplacing my instructions. but all is well that ends well in Daring Bakers land.


Blogger MyKitchenInHalfCups said ... (5/27/2007 6:43 PM) : 

Fanfarkingtabulous. Yes I do believe this is the requisit new word for being crowned Queen of Dorkdom!
You always make me laugh big time Lis!
The cake is Fanfarkingtabulous!


Blogger Gattina Cheung said ... (5/27/2007 6:50 PM) : 

your cake looks so lucious!!! Oh boy, Grand Marnier... my kind of cream! You're luck I wasn't in your kitchen, I will kidnap you and this cake *smooch*


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5/27/2007 6:54 PM) : 

wonderful cake, Lis, I love the creaminess of it all, pass me a spoon, would you?


Blogger Sara said ... (5/27/2007 6:59 PM) : 

I bow down at your feet, Queen of Dorkdom! Great post and thanks for all the help!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5/27/2007 7:27 PM) : 

You are so funny!

You can count me as your first customer for that cake with the Grand Marnier in the buttercream and the cake and the filling!!!

Yours looks so pretty and your cream is amazing. You did an excellent job on that.



Blogger Helene said ... (5/27/2007 7:34 PM) : make me blush...I tell you what every month I look forward to exchanging those mails to you...and yes, my laptopn stays with me the entire day, challenge or not, that's the beauty of my schedule so far!
I was waiting for that post all day long while you were telling me you were making the rounds...I almost told you to get cranking! As always your wording of the challenge did not disappoint. You are my queen!


Blogger Warda said ... (5/27/2007 8:47 PM) : 

You are so funny Lis.
You know what! Jacques made once a gateau saint honore that looks just like yours. I am serious. So that's quite an accomplishment..
But you are The Daring baker so that's better than a chef to me.
Kiss kiss


Blogger breadchick said ... (5/27/2007 9:02 PM) : 

Lis, as usual, I'm snorting coffee, peeing my pants and choking on my cheeseburger all at the same time while reading your post. You crack me up (and kept me laughing all through the making of this!) Your cake looks great! I was expecting this "blob" after the way you described it on IM. Thanks sweetie for all the kind thoughts!


Blogger Canadian Baker said ... (5/27/2007 9:04 PM) : 

Sweet gateau Lis! I wish my cream turned out as nice as yours - I could go for a scoop of it right now. :)


Blogger Deborah said ... (5/27/2007 9:25 PM) : 

What an ambitious cake!! I have had a lot of fun going through all of the blogs today to see all of the creations.


Blogger Columbus Foodie said ... (5/27/2007 11:19 PM) : 

You still made it work! :) And you've got to give me the recipe for those yummy sounding cheese puffs! Now that I know I can make pate a choux, the possibilities are endless.


Blogger Elle said ... (5/28/2007 1:03 AM) : 

You crack me up! The crown of Diplomat cream instead of whipped cream is a great beginning of a very funny post. Your cake is so delicious looking, partly because of all that lovely pastry cream. Who need whipped cream anyway? Rock on Lis!


Blogger Heather said ... (5/28/2007 1:32 AM) : 

Oh Hilarious! I need to get in on the Yahoo chat! However, I don't think any amount of help could have stopped the dang humidity in Kansas.


Blogger Brilynn said ... (5/28/2007 1:40 AM) : 

Oh lis, you always have such great adventures during the DB challenges!


Blogger Anne said ... (5/28/2007 1:46 AM) : 

I had fun reading your post. I couldn't stop myself from laughing :) Your gateau looks really yummy!


Blogger Ilva said ... (5/28/2007 2:31 AM) : 

Your cake reminds me of you, generous and full of goodness! It's beautiful! xxx


Blogger Meeta K. Wolff said ... (5/28/2007 3:33 AM) : 

Oh Lis! YOu had me laughing so hard! OI needed that. Thanks and thanks for your kind words. I love this cake it looks so amazingly luscious and the Grand marnier addition it the best. Would there be room for me to wiggle myself into one of these?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5/28/2007 8:16 AM) : 

OMG Lisa - I came prepared to this post sans drink, so my laptop would be safe from laughing spray! LOL - I love how your write so much!

You did a wonderful job on your gateau! The grand marnier sounds like such a lucious addition - and I agree with Mary - the gateau looks alot like a crown! You are absolutely a queen - and I bow to thee!


Blogger Jenny said ... (5/28/2007 8:29 AM) : 

Ugh, I didn't even think until now to mix my left over choux with cheese for savory puffs! And I've wanted to do that for awhile! Oh well, next time!
Nice work Lis! It looks marvelous!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5/28/2007 9:14 AM) : 

Hey Lis! Hilarious story...Mine's finally up. Ugh. What a weekend. If you know anyone who needs some bricks, let them know my pastry's available. Yours is sooooooo pretty. Don't you just love that cream? YUM!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5/28/2007 10:23 AM) : 

Beautiful... and so funny that you forgot the concentric circle things also... Who needs 'em?!


Blogger Patricia Scarpin said ... (5/28/2007 10:54 AM) : 

You may be the queen of Dorkdum but I love you anyway, sweetie! :)

And about the lack of whipped cream - I think it's fabulous!! The Saint Honore Cream is so delicious, the more the better!


Blogger Anita said ... (5/28/2007 11:41 AM) : 

I loved reading your post! What a great chronicle - it was like being next to you in the kitchen! I think your cake turned out wonderfully!


Blogger Valentina said ... (5/28/2007 12:40 PM) : 

You do things in style.This cake looks scrumptious.My favourite part of the affair was the making of the cream puffs.


Blogger Claudia said ... (5/28/2007 3:17 PM) : 

Well it seems that you have the most of the best part. That cream is amazing, and I'll bet it was even better, if that's possible, with Grand Marnier!


Blogger Lis said ... (5/28/2007 7:44 PM) : 

Freya - hehe thanks!

Mary - Ohh honey, I'm already there. Believe me. And yeah that's the rude telephone answerer type person's place of employment. ;)

Laura - Squick is an excellent descriptive word, isn't it? hehehe

Kelly-Jane - Thanks sweetie! Yeah that cake was definitely taken over by some other being. :D

Sis - ha! Our likenesses keep showing up everywhere, don't they? It's a good thing my head is attached to my neck.

Tanna - har! And you, my friend, are fanfarkingtastically sweet. =)

Gattina - Thanks sweetie!

Marce - I'm sending you a spoon and Phoebe a Milkbone! hehee!

Sara - You're thanking me?? Did you read the part about my reaping the rewards from your experiences? Honey - I am thanking YOU! xoxo

Ivonne - Aww.. I am going to make a diplomat cream cake covered in Italian meringue butter cream just for the 2 of us! =)

Helene - hehehe you should have! lol xoxoxo

Rose - Did he really? Wow. I'm so excited! I wonder if he left his out on the counter too? ;)

Mary!!!! You've made my day, sweetie.. if I could make you smile and get your mind of things for just 30 seconds, well then I'm a very happy camper! xoxo

Jen - I loved your cream! I thought it looked amazingly - well - CREAMY!

Deborah - We aim to please! =)

Becke - There really wasn't a recipe - I just added a good handful of small diced ham (which you can buy pre-diced), I diced up some gouda cheese (but next time I'd use grated, where the lil dices melted it left big gaps), and chopped up some chives (I'd say big handfuls of each) and mixed it in the choux paste. Easy-peasy! Helene gave me the idea! =)

Elle - Thank you sweetie =)))

Heather - next month I'll let you know the time and date and maybe you'll be able to join us!

Bril - I do, don't I? Lucky I guess? heee

Anne - I'm so glad =) And thank you!

Ilva - AWWW! Thanks! You rock! xoxoxo

Meeta - There's always room for your wiggle. ;)

Gilly - Could you be any sweeter? I think not. =) Good call on leaving the drink elsewhere. hehee

Jenny - yep, do it.. then you'll have something wonderful you can grab out of the freezer whenever you want a savory snack.

Kelly - No brick! Beautemous!

Hester - Exactly! Who needs 'em.. much more room for the extra cream. ;)

Patricia - Awww I love you too =)

Anita - Yay! Thank you!

Valentina - Thanks! I agree, the cream puffs were the most fun to make.

Claudia - Ohhhh try it next time! You will not be disappointed.



Blogger Kirsten said ... (5/29/2007 1:16 AM) : 

HA!! As usual, your post is among the best. Other bloggers wax eloquent about the joy of shared baking, and how they made minor modifications to "be unique", but not our Lis.

Instead, Lis hasn't drank the cool-aid, or become Stepford, and speaks to the MONUMENTAL challenge a recipe like this is to the average cooking/baking guy or girl, and makes us laugh in the meantime.


xoxo, Kirsten


Blogger Dolores said ... (5/30/2007 1:13 AM) : 

I'm with you... puff pastry made with trans fats squicks the hell out of me! As for your gateau... glorious!


Blogger sher said ... (5/30/2007 12:34 PM) : 

Of course you got rave reviews. Even with a sick tummy, I'm looking at the pictures and making little mewling sounds. I am torn: Should I stick my finger in the cream or tear one of those cream puffs off? OK, I will pull off a cream puff AND use it like a potato chip to scoop up cream. Then I pop it all in my mouth........heaven.

I bet your hips wanted to eat the entire cake!


Blogger Karen Baking Soda said ... (6/02/2007 5:02 PM) : 

Chips! Can't believe I missed your post. Sorry I'm late to the party and eeh, you were not the only one forgetting about that whipped cream stuff everybody else was masking their cakes with....
It took me reading several (and I mean lots) of gateau posts to figure out all those beautiful piped swirls were whipped cream... Hey, care to share that crown?


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