Sunday, 16 May 2010
The season, the venue, the caterer, the relatives, these are the factors that usually influence the choice of a wedding date. Not in our case, we chose the day because of what is inside this swanky box - a gâteau St Honoré.
May 16th is Saint Honoré's day and once the cake named for this saint was in every Paris pastry store at this time of the year. Alas no longer only le galette des rois seems to maintain it hold but then it is in every supermarket too for weeks before Epiphany. This year our friends told us to try a patisserie on the rue du Bac only a short bus ride from our apartment. And guess what? They have gâteau St Honoré all the time. While I like my cakes to be made for the special day and then to disappear, like Christmas cake I was thrilled to know I'd be eating cake on the day.
Now this is not just any pastry store - instead of a window filled with prepared cakes and pastries, there is just a glass facade. Inside is a big round table with a sample of each of the cakes under a glass cloche. The cakes are whipped up a la minute in the back.
Here is our cake - those of you familiar with a gateau St Honoré can see they've changed it from a circle to a rectangle. That is a good idea as it guarantees you get two of those pastry cream filled caramel dipped choux puffs with each slice. Perhaps you think that this is a lot of cake for two - well it was our anniversary. As soon as we arrived home we opened the champagne and polished off half the cake and half the bottle, that is only 1 1/2 slices of cake and 1 1/2 glasses each, we finished off the rest that evening.
This photo is to show the pastry cream filling and three lines of pastry cream filled choux pastry that sit on the base of puff pastry. In between those caramel dipped puffs was the most delicious light vanilla flavoured whipped cream.