Bake Off: Gateau St. Honoré Recipe Inspired By The Semi-Final

It doesn't get much better than puff pastry, choux buns, cream and caramel.
Pastry Workshop

It was the semi-final of The Great British Bake Off, and to secure a place in next week’s final, the contestants had to tackle patisserie-inspired bakes.

The technical challenge was Gateau St. Honoré – a french pastry classic named after the patron saint of bakers. While the judges delivered some harsh feedback, we thought the fab four did pretty well (plus what’s not to love about puff pastry, choux buns, cream and caramel?).

If you fancy giving the dessert a whirl at home, pastry chef Olguta Iliescu, who runs the blog Pastry Workshop, has shared her recipe with HuffPost UK.

Get comfy, it’s a lengthy one.

Ingredients:

FYI: Diplomat cream is like pastry cream, but lighter and fluffier.

For the choux pastry:

  • 150ml water

  • 100ml whole milk

  • 100g butter

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon sugar

  • 150g bread flour

  • 4-5 eggs

For the vanilla creme diplomat:

  • 300ml whole milk

  • 3 egg yolks

  • 120g white sugar

  • 30g cornstarch

  • 1 pinch salt

  • 4g gelatin + 20ml cold water

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 50g mascarpone cream

  • 150ml heavy cream, whipped

For the caramel creme diplomat:

  • 300ml whole milk

  • 80g white sugar + 40ml water

  • 3 egg yolks

  • 30g white sugar

  • 30g cornstarch

  • 1 pinch salt

  • 4g gelatin + 20ml cold water

  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 150ml heavy cream, whipped

You will also need:

  • 1 sheet puff pastry (homemade or store bought)

  • 150g sugar to caramelise.

Pastry Workshop
HuffPost UK
Pastry Workshop

Method:

To make the choux pastry:

  1. Combine the water, milk, butter, salt and sugar in a saucepan and place over low heat until the butter is melted. Once it is, turn the heat on high and bring to a boil.

  2. The moment it comes to a boil, remove off heat and immediately add the flour, all at once. Mix well with a wooden spoon or spatula until the flour is well absorbed. Place the saucepan back over medium flame and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes, mixing all the time, until a layer of dough remains on the bottom of the pan – keep the flame on medium to avoid burning, and mix all the time with the spatula or spoon.

  3. Remove from heat and allow the dough to cool down for 10 minutes.

  4. Start incorporating the eggs, one by one, mixing well after each addition. Add the last egg bit-by-bit to make sure you’re not adding too much. The number of eggs used depends on the humidity of the dough and the size of the eggs.

  5. The dough is ready when it falls off the spoon and leaves a streak that doesn’t collapse on itself if you run your finger through it. Spoon the dough into a pastry bag fitted with a round nozzle (like this).

  6. Roll the sheet of puff pastry into a thin layer – about 0.5cm thickness. Cut a circle of puff pastry of about 20cm diameter and place it in a baking tray.

  7. Pipe a circle of choux pastry on the edge of the puff pastry. Pipe the remaining choux pastry on a different tray into small dollops (for the profiteroles).

  8. Bake both the trays in the preheated oven at 350F, 180C for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown, risen and crisp. Allow to cool down.

To make the vanilla creme diplomat:

  1. Bloom the gelatin in cold water and heat the milk in a pot over low heat.

  2. In the meantime, mix the egg yolks and sugar, as well as a pinch of salt in a bowl until creamy and pale. Add the cornstarch and mix well.

  3. Pour in the hot milk then transfer back on heat and cook for 1-2 minutes until thickened.

  4. Remove from heat and add the gelatin.

  5. Cover with plastic wrap on the surface and allow to cool down completely.

  6. When chilled, mix with an electric mixer until creamy again, then add the vanilla and mascarpone and mix well.

  7. Fold in the whipped cream then spoon it all into a pastry bag fitted with a St. Honoré nozzle, (which looks like this).

To make the caramel creme diplomat:

  1. Bloom the gelatin in cold water for 10 minutes, at least.

  2. Combine the 80g sugar with 40ml water in a saucepan and place over medium heat.

  3. Cook for a few minutes, washing down the sides of the pot with a brush dipped in cold water, until it begins to turn golden brown and it has a nice amber colour.

  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool down for 5 minutes. Add the milk and place back on heat. Keep on low heat until the sugar is completely melted.

  5. In the meantime, mix the egg yolks with the remaining sugar, plus a pinch of salt. Add the cornstarch and mix well.

  6. Pour the hot milk over the cornstarch then return back on heat and cook for 1-2 additional minutes until thickened.

  7. Remove from heat, stir in the gelatin and cover with plastic wrap on the surface. Allow to cool down completely. Mix with an electric mixer until creamy.

  8. Fold in the whipped cream then spoon half of the creme into a pastry bag fitted with a small nozzle. Reserve the remaining creme aside.

Pastry Workshop
Pastry Workshop
Pastry Workshop

To assemble the gateau:

  1. Start by making a tiny hole at the bottom of each choux bun then pipe all of them with caramel creme diplomat. Place aside.

  2. Make a wet caramel by combining 150g sugar with 65ml water. When it has an amber colour, remove from heat and allow to cool down for 1 minute.

  3. Take the filled choux buns and dip the top into the hot caramel. Place right away on a sheet of baking paper to set. Work quickly as the caramel tends to cool down and set – if it’s too thick, place it back on low heat for 1-2 minutes then continue dipping the buns.

  4. Once the top of each bun is set, reheat your remaining caramel and dip the bottom of the buns as well, glueing them right away on the ring of puff pastry – try to glue them as close to the edge as possible and make sure you use a thin layer of caramel for this step.

  5. Once all the choux buns are in place, use the remaining caramel creme diplomat to fill the bottom of the gateau.

  6. Top the caramel creme with the vanilla creme, piping it with the special St. Honoré nozzle.

  7. Decorate with choux buns and caramel strings just before serving.

You’ll find more recipes and tips from Olguta Iliescu online here.