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Gateau St. Honore with Salted Caramel! A drool-worthy version made at home, and just a bit easier than the traditional! Recipe via MonPetitFour.com

Gateau St. Honore with Salted Caramel

A decadent French pastry made with puff pastry, cream puffs, pastry cream, and salted caramel. 

Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Prep Time 55 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 8 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 3 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 651 kcal

Ingredients

For the Puff Pastry

  • 1 sheet of puff pastry

For the Pate a Choux

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs

For the Creme Patissiere (pastry cream)

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla bean paste or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk

For the Creme Chantilly (whipped cream)

  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

For the Salted Caramel

  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp salt or more to taste

Instructions

To create the pate a choux

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm the water, unsalted butter, sugar and salt together. Once the butter has melted, remove the saucepan from the heat.
  2. Pour in the all-purpose flour and stir together to combine. Move the saucepan over to low heat, and stir the now-formed dough/paste until it no longer sticks to the bottom of the pan (about 30 seconds to 1 minute).
  3. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the eggs, one at a time. It will be slightly difficult to mix the egg into the dough, but just keep vigorously stirring and eventually they'll become incorporated. Temporarily set this aside.

Creating the puff pastry base and pastry puffs

  1. Cut out a 7" round from the puff pastry. You can use a bowl, pan, pot lid - whatever you have that will help you cut out a nice 7" circle (or simply trace it after measuring with a ruler - perfection isn't necessary!). Place this puff pastry circle on one side of a baking sheet fitted with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  2. Fill a pastry bag (no tip attached) with the pate a choux dough that you created in your saucepan. In one continuous motion, pipe the dough out along the edge of the puff pastry circle (creating a sort of wall for the puff pastry). Now, pipe out approximately 16 small mounds on the open side of the baking sheet, spacing the mounds slightly apart. Smooth out any ridges or pointed tips using your fingers.
  3. Bake the pastry for 10 minutes at 425°F, then WITHOUT opening the oven door, bake the pastry for another 18 minutes at 375°F, until they're a deep golden color. Place the pastry ring and pastry puffs on a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

Create the Creme Patissiere

  1. Meanwhile, heat the milk in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. In a medium bowl, whisk the sugar, cornstarch, flour, egg, and egg yolk together.

  2. Once the milk is hot and steam is beginning to rise from it, stir in the vanilla bean paste (if using extract, hold off for now). Then, pour half of the milk into the egg mixture, whisking the egg mixture vigorously as you do. Pour the rest of the milk in, and continue to whisk vigorously.
  3. Transfer the entire batter back into the saucepan and whisk over medium heat. It will take about 5 minutes for the cream to thicken up into a pudding-like consistency. Just keep whisking the whole time.
  4. Once the cream is starting to look like pudding, quickly remove the cream from the heat. If you're using vanilla extract, stir the extract in now. If there are any lumps in your cream, just whisk the cream really vigorously to smooth them out.
  5. Transfer the cream to a clean bowl and cover the cream with a sheet of plastic wrap placed directly onto the cream (this will prevent a filmy layer from forming). Chill the pastry cream in the refrigerator.

Create the Creme Chantilly

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the heavy cream on high speed until indentations begin to appear. Pour in the vanilla extract and powdered sugar, then whisk on high speed until a frosting-like consistency is formed.

Create the caramel

  1. In a medium saucepan, add the sugar + 1/4 cup of water. Do NOT stir the two together. Simply place the saucepan over medium-high heat, and allow the mixture to come to a simmer. Watch the sugar-water bubble for approximately 7 to 8 minutes, watching it go from white-ish/clear to a dark amber color. Do NOT step away from the caramel as it can burn in a matter of seconds.
  2. Once the caramel has reached a dark amber color and is JUST beginning to smoke, quickly remove the caramel from the heat. Carefully pour the heavy cream into the caramel (it will bubble), then stir to combine. Add the salt, and again stir to combine.

To assemble

  1. Fit a pastry bag with a long, narrow filling tip. Fill the pastry bag with the creme patisserie and then pipe this into the pastry puffs. Flip the pastry puff upside down so that the flat side is facing you, then dip the top in the salted caramel. Gently give it a shake to pour off excess caramel, then carefully dip the bottom of the pastry puff in caramel too.
  2. Place the pastry puff onto the pate a choux wall that you created on top of the puff pastry circle. The caramel will act like a glue. Continue until you've got a ring of pastry puffs.
  3. Scoop the remaining creme patisserie onto the center of the puff pastry. Fill a new pastry bag fitted with whatever tip you like (plain, star, st. honore) with the creme chantilly, and pipe the creme on top of the pastry cream.
  4. Stick one final pastry puff in the center of the dessert, then drizzle caramel all over. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

You will end up with extra salted caramel (which I like to refrigerate for later use), and a few extra pastry puffs.