We were honored earlier this year to recognize two Outstanding Pastry Chefs, one of whom is Daniela Herrera of Two Star Commis in Oakland. This gâteau St-Honoré is a bit time intensive—there are five components to put together—but the resulting cake is beautiful and delicious, sure to impress New Year's guests. Here's how to make it.
- 700g bread flour
- 336g water
- 70g butter
- 14g salt
- 7g lemon juice
- 563g butter for lamination
- Combine first five ingredients just until combined (3-4 minutes).
- Transfer to a lightly floured surface and shape into a flat square, cover with plastic and rest for an hour.
- Shape your lamination butter. Make 5-6 folds, 2 folds at a time resting 30 minutes between each set of folds. Rest overnight.
- Roll out to ¼” and cut a round the size of your choux wreath and the vanilla Bavarian.
- Bake at 375°F (190°C) between two sheets of parchment and weigh down with a couple sheet pans so puff pastry doesn’t puff up too much. Bake until golden brown.
- 500g whole milk
- 1.5 vanilla beans
- 112g sugar
- 87g egg yolks
- 42g cornstarch
- 475g heavy cream
- 3 silver gelatin sheets
- Heat milk, scrape vanilla into milk and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to prevent the milk from scorching.
- In a bowl whisk yolks and sugar, add cornstarch.
- Temper the hot milk over the egg mixture. Return the mixture to the rest of the milk and cook until fully thickened and reach the right consistency.
- Pour over a pan and place some plastic over it to prevent it from forming a skin on top. Chill over an ice bath.
- Whip the heavy cream.
- Bloom gelatin in cold water until properly hydrated.
- Whisk the pastry cream until smooth.
- In a pot, place a quarter of the pastry cream and heat just enough to melt the gelatin.
- Return to the remaining pastry cream and fold in the whipped heavy cream. Pour into your mold with the sides lined with acetate and freeze.
Pâte à Choux
- 250g whole milk
- 250g water
- 20g sugar
- 4g salt
- 300g butter
- 150g AP flour
- 150g bread flour
- 350g Whole Eggs
- Combine the first five ingredients in a pot and heat until butter and sugar are dissolved.
- Mix flours and add to milk mixture, with a wooden spoon.
- Cook until the mixture forms into a ball, continue cooking to make sure you’re cooking out as much moisture as you can.
- Place into a mixing bowl and whip with a paddle attachment for a minute on medium high. Slowly incorporate the eggs one at a time. Mixture should be slightly tacky and can hold its shape.
- Place in a piping bag with a round piping tip. Pipe different size rounds no bigger that a nickel.
- Dip your finger in water and press down on any of the choux tips that may be sticking up to smooth the surface.
- Bake at 400°F (200°C) for 10 minutes. Lower temperature to 350°F (177°C) and cook for another 10-15 minutes.
- Shape your cooled choux into a wreath.
- 225g sugar
- Water as needed
- Place sugar and enough water to wet the sugar.
- Cover with a lid until it starts steaming. Cook until a medium dark amber. Quickly pour a very, very thin layer of caramel in a shape of a wreath big enough to cover your pâte à choux.
- Once cooled, you should be able to pick up the caramel in one piece.
- Place over your pâte à choux wreath and place in the oven just until the sugar starts remelting around the choux. It should just take a minute or two in the oven.
Bourbon Pecan Praline Sauce
- 200g toasted and chopped pecans
- 112g heavy cream
- 170g brown sugar
- 100g glucose syrup
- 100g gutter
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp vanilla paste
- 35g bourbon
Heat cream, sugar, and glucose, salt and butter, bring to a boil, making sure to constantly stir the mixture. Lower heat and cook for another two minutes. Add baking soda and stir continuously. Finally add the vanilla and bourbon. Keep warm.
Chef Daniela Herrera.
Photo by Alfonso Gonzales
Hero image: Gâteau St-Honoré by Commis's Daniela Herrera. Photo courtesy of Daniela Herrera