Updated: Nov 16, 2020
You already have the building blocks for this French Classic. Be bold, dive in, and believe in yourself! For tips and to bake-along live, just follow along with the video.
Preparation: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 30 minutes
Finishing Time: 30 minutes
Sweet Short Crust
3/4 cup + 1 T all-purpose flour
6 T cold cubed unsalted butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Pinch of salt
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup + 1 T water
1/2 cup + 1 T whole milk
7 T unsalted butter
1/2 t salt
1 T + 1 t granulated sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
~4 whole eggs
1 & 1/4 cups granulated sugar
6 T water
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 t vanilla extract
Make the sweet short crust: combine the powdered sugar, flour, and salt in a bowl. Cut in the cold, cubed butter until it resembles sand (you can use a food processor, pastry blender, two knives, or follow my lead and use your hands using the "sablage" technique!)
Pour the mixture onto your work surface and "frasage": using the heel of your hand spread the mixture across the counter top.
Once it begins to combine make a well and add in the egg yolk. Combine the egg yolk with your finger tips and then continue to "frasage" until pastry comes together. You can see my entire sablage and frasage methods beginning at the 2:16 mark.
Form the pastry into a disc.
Flour your work surface and roll our your dough into a circle that is 2-3 mm thick.
Transfer the pastry onto your baking sheet and, using a round cake pan as your guide, cut out a large circle of pastry. (Check out my cuts at the 6:22 mark)
Wrap the baking sheet in plastic and allow the pastry to rest in the fridge.
Pre-heat your oven to 350°F.
For the choux: melt together the milk, water, and butter in a large pot.
Add in the granulated sugar and salt and allow the mixture to come to a rolling boil.
Remove the pot from heat and add in all of the flour at once. Mix rapidly with a heat proof spatula.
Place the pot back onto the burner for 10 seconds and then remove from the burner again.
Mix in the eggs, one by one until the dough drops off of your spatula in the form of a "V". It will be looser than where it started and should come to a point when it falls. (I used 3 and a half eggs this time -- it can change every time! Check out my explanation on this at the 13:56 mark).
Put your choux pastry into a piping bag with a large circular piping tip (or just use a plastic baggie and cut the tip off!)
First pipe a circumference onto the edge of your sweet short crust (you can see this entire piping section on the video starting at the 18:46 mark! Check it out: it is easy to follow as it is from a bird's eye view).
Then pipe a swirl going towards the center of the pastry circle, "crushing" the choux in the middle (flattening it as you pipe the middle-most point).
Follow by piping little chouquettes all around the empty spaces on our baking sheet by piping little blobs of choux pastry.
Beat one egg and use a pastry brush to both egg wash the chouquettes and your spiral/circle choux pastry, as well as even out the choux pastry (you can press down with your pastry brush onto the chouquettes so they don't end up with a large tail). Then do a small cross hatch with a fork dipping in the egg wash (press down in one direction, turn your fork ninety degrees and press down again, creating a hash)
Bake your cake base at 350°F for 25-30 minutes. You can see my finished bake at the 24:38 mark.
Begin your caramel just before your cake base comes out of the oven: put your sugar and water into a pot and bring to a boil. Don't stir your caramel. If you have any sugar on the outside swirl the mixture by moving your pan or use a wet pastry brush to very gently push the sugar back into the pan. Stirring caramel can cause the sugar to crystallize and melt unevenly.
Lightly grease a sheet of parchment.
Take your chouquettes and dip the rounded tops into the caramel. Put the chouquette upside down onto the greased parchment to set (caramel side down). This is what creates the classic flat caramel on top of a Saint-Honoré. For a visual check out the 34:32 mark.
Once all of your chouquettes have dried, dip the bottom of them into the caramel and use that to glue the chouquette onto the circumference of choux pastry. Nuzzle the chouquettes right next to one another. You can see my assembly at the 36:43 mark.
For the chantilly cream: whip together all ingredients until it is thick and will hold its shape when piped.
Pipe the cream, filling up the center of your cake. Do any decoration you want! I put an extra chouquette into the center of the cake. To see my piping start at the 41:19 mark.
My final product is at that 43:03 mark!
Grab a slice of this light, satisfying cake and enjoy!
Sugar burns are a real pain! Handle the caramel with care. If you do burn yourself try to wipe the burn as quickly as possible to avoid the sugar cooling onto your skin where it will continue to burn.
Though this cake sits at room temperature just fine for a few hours, the cream requires refrigeration over night. Your caramel will soften a bit with the humidity in the refrigerator. It can dry out a little once you pull it back out. This cake tastes great the second day!
Substitutions: you can sub in fat-free, 1%, or 2% milk for the whole milk -- I'm not sure about non-dairy substitutions.
"Chouquettes" translates to "little choux"! Typically you'd use a star tip to pipe them and then bake them with pearl sugar (try it out!)