Gâteau Saint Honoré

Named in honour of the French patron saint of bakers and pastry chefs, this stunning French choux pastry-based dessert pulls out all the stops. This version is garnished unusually with roses and twigs.

Equipment and preparation: for this recipe you will need a piping bag, a 1cm/½in plain nozzle, a small plain nozzle and a 23cm/9in metal chefs’ ring.

Ingredients

For the choux pastry
  • 125ml/4fl oz milk
  • 100g/3½oz butter, cut into small pieces, plus extra for greasing
  • 3g fine salt
  • 5g caster sugar
  • 150g/5½oz plain flour, sifted
  • 4 medium free-range eggs
For the gâteau Saint Honoré
  • 1 quantity choux pastry (see above)
  • 300ml/10fl oz double cream
  • 1 vanilla pod, seeds only
  • 200ml/7fl oz fresh custard
  • 100g/3½oz caster sugar
  • 50ml/2fl oz orange liqueur
To garnish
  • 10-12 small white and pink roses
  • small twisted twigs

Preparation method

  1. For the choux pastry, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Line two baking trays with parchment paper. Place a 23cm/9in metal ring on one of the lined trays.

  2. Carefully dip each choux bun into the caramel and then place on the greased baking tray to cool. If the caramel begins to set, warm it gently.

  3. Remove the ring from the pastry base and drizzle the remaining liqueur over the middle. Using an ice cream scoop or a tablespoon warmed in hot water, place half of the custard and cream mixture in the centre of the base.

  4. Fill a piping bag fitted with a small plain nozzle with the remaining cream mixture. Use a small, sharp knife to cut small holes in the underside of the choux buns and fill them with the cream mixture. Arrange the buns around the edge of the flan. Garnish one side with roses and twigs and serve.

James Martin recipes from Saturday Kitchen Best Bites

30 mins to 1 hour preparation time

10 to 30 mins cooking time

Serves 6-8