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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Culinary School - Session 16: Gougeres and Gateau St. Honore

Culinary School: Session 16 (09.22.14)

Gougeres and Gateau St. Honore

Burning the candle at both ends...

Yesterday's class marked the second week of Pate a Choux... smack dab in the middle of a heavy schedule of restaurant trails (i.e. industry speak for day-long, hands-on interviews for internships and full time jobs).

So far, the trailing experience has been excellent. Maybe I've been extremely lucky, but I've only encountered kitchens that are almost embarrassingly welcoming: "Here's your apron... there are the gloves... dive right in... have fun!"

The prospect of a job offer notwithstanding (looking to supplement all of those classroom hours with as much practical experience as possible), any peek behind the scenes at a top kitchen or bakery is worth providing 10 hours of free labor. 

...but 10 hours here and 10 hours there has made for a very busy schedule. No napping in the walk-in!

Gateau St. Honore

...and burning the caramel a little too.

Unfortunately, the culinary school syllabus doesn't care who was working the line until 1:00am. Pots of boiling sugar are equally unsympathetic.

Let's just say that the caramel glaze for this session's Gateau St. Honore was a little darker than I would have liked. I suppose you could argue it was deep amber. But I'm willing to admit it was borderline burned.

Bake and learn... and good to have had a practice run before tomorrow's Croquembouche, a frequent dessert atop lists of the "Hardest Desserts to Make".

- Ingredients Running Tally -

More Pate a Choux, more eggs. It's pretty simple, really...

Ingredients used to date (09.22.14):
  • Flour: 6,380g
  • Eggs: 3,850g (77x)
  • Sugar: 4,240g
  • Butter: 3,955g
  • Milk/Cream: 3,900g

- The Recipes -



A Choux pastry in which cheese is added to the dough for a savory puff. While traditional Gougeres use gruyere (a flavorful yet mild cheese that melts well), the pastries can be mixed or topped with other cheeses, and occasionally mushrooms, beef and ham are incorporated.

Focus Techniques:
- Piping uniform 1" Choux.



Gateau St. Honore

A celebration cake named after the patron saint of bakers, Saint Honore, the bishop of Amiens. 

Created by a pastry chef named Chiboust on the Rue-St. Honore in Paris around 1850, Gateau St. Honore begins with a base ring of pastry dough, either Pate Sucree and Pate Brisee. The base is covered with concentric circles of Pate a Choux to create an elevated base and then baked. The cooled shell is circled with caramel-dipped Choux that have been filled with a thick, gelatin-set pastry cream called Creme Chiboust (also known as Creme St. Honore). The cake is finished by filling the interior with decorative waves of Creme Chiboust using a specifically designed piping tip. 

Focus Techniques:
- Piping Choux of uniform height and width.
- Aggressively docking the pastry crust base to prevent bubbling (the dough cannot be weighted given the Pate a Choux circles).
- Making a light amber caramel to coat the Choux and to serve as an adhesive.
- Making Creme Chiboust, a mix of pastry cream, Italian meringue and gelatin.
- Piping with a Chiboust piping tip.

Gateau St. Honore Base

Caramel Dipped Choux for the Gateau St. Honore

Cooling Caramel Dipped Choux for the Gateau St. Honore

More Cooling Caramel Dipped Choux for the Gateau St. Honore

Gateau St. Honor

Take a look at the full syllabus

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