Happily Ever After St Honore

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An enchanted rose and pistachio pudding, fit for a princess

When we started planning our Beauty and the Beast dinner we knew our dessert had to have rose. We also wanted it to be as pretty and gilded as a ball gown, and as French as a mime eating a baguette on the banks of the Seine listening to ‘La Vie En Rose’.  We settled on a tower of choux pastry (a cross between a ‘Saint Honore’ and a ‘Paris Brest’) filled with creamy pistachio crème patissiere and raspberry mousse, topped with rose Chantilly cream and a rose glaze, and decorated with pistachios and rose petals.

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The decoration was inspired by Belle’s iconic ball gown and Beast’s fabulous gilded tails as they twirl around to the dulcet tones of Mrs Potts (we went for blue and yellow inspired by the animated classic here but you can tone it down if you’re not so into food dye).

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Pistachio, Rose and Raspberry St Honore

Ingredients

Choux pastry – for each St Honore you’ll need one ring and 3 puffs.

Raspberry Mousse

Pistachio Creme Patissiere

Rosewater Glaze

Royal Icing

Edible Gold Paint (Gold Lustre Dust mixed with Vodka)

Chantilly Cream (300ml thickened cream whipped to soft peaks with 2Tbs powdered sugar and 1tsp Rose Water)

Pistachios and Dried Rose Petals to Decorate

Method

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Using a serrated knife carefully slice each choux ring in half.  Spoon or pipe pistachio creme patisserie in the bottom half of each ring.  Take one half of your rose water glaze and dye it blue (or your colour of choice) and dip the top half of each ring in the glaze to coat.  We then splashed ours with some edible gold paint for an extra gaudy touch. Pop the glazed tops back on the rings and sit them aside.

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Poke a hole in the base of each puff with a small knife and pipe raspberry curd filling in each.  Dye the remaining glaze yellow and dip each puff to coat the tops.  Place three puffs on each chop disk and pop in the fridge to set.

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If you want to fancy them up a bit, pipe some drop lines of royal icing around the top of the St Honore. Leave it to set, then paint with edible gold paint.  Decorate the St Honore with your Chantilly Cream and top with rose petals and crushed pistachios.

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Choux Pastry

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Watching Choux be made on Masterchef or Bake Off you’d be forgiven for thinking that if you don’t weigh your flour to the microgram and cook them in a humidity regulated chamber the dough will suddenly self combust killing everyone in a four block radius – it’s not that dramatic.

I follow Julia Child’s recipe from Mastering the Art of French Cooking but if you’ve got a choux recipe that works for you – go for it.

To make six St Honore (plus some puffs for snacking), you’ll need to double this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 85g (6 Tbsp) butter
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3/4 C plain flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 extra beaten egg (egg wash)

Method

Preheat the oven to 220C (425F).  Line two trays with baking paper – if you want super precise puffs, here is where you can draw on your templates to the bottom of the paper, for each St Honore you’ll need one 8cm circle and three 3cm puffs.

Pop the water, butter, salt and sugar in a saucepan and heat on medium until the butter is melted.

Once the butter is completely melted, take the pot off the heat, add your flour and beat vigorously to blend, then pop back on the stove over a medium heat and continue beating with a wooden spoon for 1-2 minutes until if forms a ball and begins to film the bottom of the pan.

Remove from the heat again.  Beat in the eggs one by one, making sir the each egg is fully absorbed before adding the next – the more eggs you add the longer it’ll take to absorb but it’ll happen!

Transfer the dough to a pastry bag and pipe your choux shapes onto your pre-lined baking tray.  Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the top of each pastry with a little egg wash – this is a good opportunity to flatten any peaks left from the piping.

Bake for about 20 minutes until they have puffed up and turned golden brown.  The puffs should feel nice and crusty – take them out of the oven and cut a small slit in the side of each puff.  Pop them back in the oven – with the  heat turned off and the door ajar, for a further 10 minutes.

Leave the puffs to cool on a wire rack.

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Raspberry Mousse

This is not a traditional mousse texture but I’m not sure how else to describe it – the thick, sharp curd is folded into whipped cream to create a soft creamy mousse which give a lovely tart contrast to the sweet rose glaze.

Ingredients

300ml thickened cream

1 batch of Raspberry Curd – I used this recipe

Method

Whip the cream to stiff peaks.  Place the curd in a large bowl, fold in one third of the whipped cream, slowly and gently fold in the remaining cream.

Pop in the fridge for an hour or so to firm up before piping.

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Pistachio Creme Patissiere

Ingredients 

1 cup Pistachio Praline Paste (you can buy this or make your own – I used this recipe)

1 quantity creme patissiere (I used this recipe but added Pistachio Extract in place of the Vanilla)

300ml thickened cream whipped to stiff peaks

Method

In a large bowl, fold praline paste into the creme patissiere until well combined.  Fold in one third of the whipped cream until fully combined, then gently fold in the remaining cream.  Pop in the fridge for an hour or so to firm up before piping.

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Rose Water Glaze

Ingredients

2 egg whites (these won’t be cooked so use pasteurised egg whites or powdered if you’re worried)

500g Icing Sugar

2Tbs Rose Water

2Tbs Lemon Juice

Method

Whisk egg whites to soft peaks.  Add the icing sugar and beat in until stiff.  Add the lemon juice and rose water, mix until the icing forms ribbons which take around 10 seconds to sink back into the mixture – you want it to be thin enough to dip but thick enough to give a nice opaque coverage.

Bon appétit!

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