THE BEWITCHING KITCHEN TURNS 10! (AND A GIVEAWAY)

Ten years. I have a hard time even finding what to say. It is true that I tend to stick with routines, but I’m a bit surprised not only that I’ve reached the 10 year mark, but that I still love food blogging. More now than ever, actually. My interest in baking has a lot to do with it, obviously, but it goes beyond that. I like the feeling of having formed a community of readers, many of them food bloggers also, who always cheer me up with comments, feedback and inspiration. Ten years. More than 1,200 posts. It blows my little mind. To celebrate the occasion, a cake is obviously needed. It had to be special. I chose a cake I’ve been in love with for my whole life, but felt a bit intimidated until now to make it from scratch. Gateau Saint-Honore, a true classic in French patisserie. Light it is not, but festive? Festive is its middle name.

GATEAU SAINT-HONORE
(from Helen Fletcher’s Pastries like a Pro)

Lightened Pastry Cream
2 teaspoon gelatin
1 + 1/2 tablespoons cold water
2 + 2/3 cup milk, hot
8 egg yolks
1 cup sugar (200 grams)
6 tablespoons flour (60 grams)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream

Soften the gelatin in the water and set aside. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a non-reactive saucepan.  Whisk in the flour.  Add the milk slowly, whisking well and scraping the corners of pan with a rubber spatula to make sure all of the egg yolk mixture is incorporated.

Place over medium heat and, stirring constantly, bring to a boil.  Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from the heat and add the vanilla.  Tear the gelatin into small pieces and stir it into the hot liquid (there is no need to liquefy it, the heat of the mixture will do this for you).  Pour into a storage container, cover the surface with plastic wrap, poke a few holes in it and refrigerate overnight to chill.

Slightly whisk the pastry cream to soften it.  Whip the cream to stiff peaks.  Fold into the pastry cream.  The mixture is ready to pipe.

Basic Choux Pastry
1/2 cup water
4 tablespoons butter (60 grams)
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sifted bread flour (100 grams)
3 whole eggs
1 + 1/2 tablespoons beaten egg (about half of a beaten egg)

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper. Draw a 10 inch circle on one piece of parchment. Set aside.

Combine the water, butter and salt in a small, heavy saucepan.  Heat until the butter is melted and bring to a rapid boil. Add all the flour at once and stir rapidly until a large ball of dough forms that cleans the bottom and sides of the pan.With the pan still over heat, mash and flatten the panade with a spoon against the bottom of the pan.

Stir, bringing the bottom of the mixture to the top. Continue turning the panade and mashing it for 1 full minute. Remove the mixture from the heat and flatten it again in the bottom of the pan. Cool for 5 minutes. Place the panade in a food processor or the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle. Add the eggs and beaten egg. Process or mix until completely blended and a smooth paste forms.

At this point, gently wad up the parchment and soak in warm water for 5 to 7 minutes.  When finished, gently shake off some of the water, but not all of it.  Place on the baking sheet.  Fit a pastry bag with a #8 plain tip and fill the bag with the choux paste.  Pipe the choux paste on the inside of the circle. With the remaining paste pipe 20 walnut size puffs onto the second baking sheet after soaking it also. With a wet finger, lightly press down the pointy tops so they are round.

Bake for 25 minutes or until a deep golden brown. Cool completely.

Pate Brisee
3/4 cup sifted all-purpose flour (85 grams)
1/3 cup sifted cake flour (35 grams)
1/2 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons butter, cut in small pieces and refrigerated (105 grams)
2 tablespoon beaten egg
1 teasoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons ice water

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a processor bowl fitted with the steel blade, combine the flours and salt; process briefly to mix.   Add the butter and place in a circle over the flours. Pulse until the butter is cut into large pieces.

Mix the egg, lemon juice and ice water. Pour over the flour/butter mixtureand pulse until it lumps together in its about the size of peas. Do not over-procress and especially don’t let it form a ball.  Pour it out onto a work surface lightly dusted lightly with flour and push together into a ball. Form into a thick disc.

Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before rolling. Roll into a round about 11 inches. Trim the dough into a 10 1/2 inch round. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet, dock with a fork and refigerate about 30 minutes or until it is firm. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden, firm and crisp. Cool completely.

Assembling the cake.
Place the pate brisee base on a 10 inch round.   Set aside. Fit a pastry bag with a #2 plain tip. Make a hole in the bottom of each puff with a toothpick or cake tester. Enlarge it so the pastry tip will fit inside the puff.  Fill the bag with pastry cream and pipe the cream into the puffs.  Clean the bottom off so no cream oozes out.   Set aside. Reserve the remaining pastry cream.

Make the caramel below.

Caramel
1/2 cup water
2 cups sugar

Place the water in a small saucepan. Add the sugar. Bring to a boil. Wash down the sides of the pan with a brush dipped in cold water. Boil the syrup hard until it just starts to color. At this point you must work quickly.  The syrup will continue to color as you work. With a spoon dipped in the hot caramel, drizzle caramel around the edges of  the pate.

Quickly place the choux paste ring on top of the base. Working quickly and carefully, dip the bottom of the small puffs in the caramel and attach them to the top of the choux ring.  Quickly and very, very carefully dip the bottom of a small puff in the caramel and place it on the ring. Continue until the ring is covered with puffs.

Finishing the Gateau St. Honore
1/4 cup water
1 cup sugar

Place in a small saucepan.  Prepare as above for the Caramel.  However, this time take it to a dark amber. Cool for 30 to 40 second and Immediately spoon it over the puffs.

Fill the inside of the ring halfway up with pastry cream.Fit a pastry bag with a #8 open star tip and fill with the remaining pastry cream. Pipe large swirls over the pastry cream. Refrigerate for a few hours before serving.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: I wanted to use a tried and true recipe from an author I trust. Helen Fletcher’s recipes never disappoint me. Keep in mind that there are quite a few variations of this amazing gateau. For starters, the base can be either laminated dough or a pate brisee. The former is obviously a lot more involved, and the method changes also, because when using laminated dough the whole thing is baked together at the same time – the ring and usually additional inner circles (think of them as a maize) piped over the base. They add a bit more pastry component under the creamy topping. When using pate brisee, the ring is baked separately and later “glued” to the base with caramel.  For my first attempt, I opted for pate brisee.  I made it in a particular weekend in which I went into crazy baking mode. It was…  intense to say the least. So pate brisee it was.

The traditional cream is a Chibouste, patisserie cream lightened up with what is essentially a meringue. That was how the cake was designed back in 1847 in the bakery at Rue St Honore in Paris. I used whipped cream, following Helen’s recipe.  It is – if you can believe it – a bit richer. But a 10th blog anniversary does not come often.  You do need something to lighten up the patisserie cream, otherwise the dessert would feel quite heavy and dense. Plus, you cannot really pipe “cream pat” (yeap, we are besties).

It is now full disclosure time. If you’ve been around my blog for a while, you should know that rarely patisserie stuff goes in smooth-mode with Sally.  Take a look at the central choux puff. It is bald. I had saved the sexiest of them all for the center stage, and of course that was the one who did not get the final caramel glaze.  I howled in shock when I noticed. But having been through a few ordeals with the preparation of the caramel, I could not bring myself to make more to coat just that one. Plus, I thought that some spun sugar carefully placed all over it would look nice and hide its nakedness.  Spun sugar.  Do you see ANY spun sugar on my gateau? No you do not. (pause to sob). I tried. I tried four times. I followed youtube instructions, I used thermometers, I burned fingers. The only thing spun was my brain. The mess in the kitchen? Unreal. I managed to come up with some abstract caramel thingie to stab on decorate the naked puff, and pretended that was my intention from the beginning. So I now desperately need to conquer the spun. I lose battles. But I refuse to lose the war.

Decoration messed up or not, it did not matter. The picture below shows all that was left from the cake by the time a get-together for some Tesla-afficcionados was over. The cake was delicious, even if I say so myself. It is of course, very rich, but it feels light and airy, not sure how that is even possible, having witnessed the amount of eggs, butter, and sugar involved. Let’s call it a French Miracle.

And now for the giveaway… It is a wonderful book that I believe will have even patisserie-phobes grabbing a whisk and marching to the kitchen with a big confident smile. The title says it all: Patisserie Made Simple. And it delivers what it promises.

I love this book, and if you would like a copy, I will enter you in the giveaway if you leave a comment. No matter where you live, I will ship it to you if you win it. I will reveal the winner on June 30th.

I want to thank all  who  enjoy hanging out here in this virtual spot, and invite you to follow with me as I start my  second decade of food blogging. Ten years… oh, my!

ONE YEAR AGO: The Bewitching Kitchen turns 9!

TWO YEAR AGO: The Bewitching Kitchen turns eight!

THREE YEARS AGO: The Bewitching Kitchen Turns Seven!

FOUR YEARS AGO: Bewitching Kitchen Turns Six!

FIVE YEARS AGO: The Bewitching Kitchen turns Five!

SIX YEARS AGO: The Bewitching Kitchen turns Four!

SEVEN YEARS AGO: The Bewitching Kitchen Turns Three! 

EIGHT YEARS AGO:  The Bewitching Kitchen turns Two!

NINE YEARS AGO:  Bewitching Birthday!

TEN YEARS AGO: Welcome to my blog!

 

66 thoughts on “THE BEWITCHING KITCHEN TURNS 10! (AND A GIVEAWAY)

  1. Wow! Ten years, congratulations! I’ve been making your Pao de queso buns for almost that long. They’re delicious. We liked them so much the first time that I immediately made them again. The second time, I broke the blender— and we went out to buy another one THAT MINUTE so that I could continue!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Here’s a toast for your 10 year milestone, Sally! Originally, I started following you for your sourdough recipes. But your clever writing style, great sense of humor and your never ending energy for tackling even the most difficult cooking and baking projects have kept me coming back for more. I may not have the energy or talent to tackle many of the projects you do but I sure enjoy reading about your adventures. Thank you and here’s to the next 10!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Next ten…. can you imagine? Right now I cannot… but very strange things happen!

      thanks for such a lovely comment, that for sure gives me energy to keep going…

      Like

  3. Huge congratulations, Sally dear!!! What a great milestone! I am remembering our many conversations years ago, debating what ti name this blog, and how we went round and round, throwing out one name after another. When you landed on “Bewitching Kitchen,” we instantly knew it was right! What a perfect name for this delightful, always fascinating excursion into culinary bliss, and how it has bewitched us for all these ten years! Here’s to the next ten, my dear friend! Sending love and hugs…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I remember our exchanges about the name – that delayed the beginning of the blog for a couple of weeks, I just could not make up my mind…. Now it seems such a natural name…

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  4. sally . . . a hundred million congratulations and felicitations on your incredible milestone celebrated with just the right cake ! Even if you have not quite made a baker out of me I too have been ‘around’ for more than a few years of thorough enjoyment and I am so glad, not just for your sake but very much ours, that you feel like keeping on giving us a wonderfully friendly place to come and visit and learn. Well, for many of us there is also the friendly smile we sometimes see from your darling husband and . . . well, you know we are always ready to say hello to the pups, especially that rascal newcomer Bogey QT . . . do hope you all are celebrating for the duration and thank you again for being there . . ..

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Congratulations on your 10th blogversary and the selection of such a tasty cake in celebration … I think the individual components sound very tasty but when combined look amazing.

    I laughed when I read about your spun caramel ‘topper’. I’ve tried to make caramel threads in the past and failed miserably. Which is why you’ve never seen a croquembouche tower on my blog. Ok, there ARE other reasons but it’s a good excuse. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Well done on 10 years of blogging and coming so far with your baking Sally! Baking is never so easy to master. I remember in my first cooking job my boss giving me a recipe for a wonderful lemon tart that would always be called a slice of heaven after I sorted it out. It had 12 eggs in it and was a big, high tart. I failed the first 4 times and thought she was about to either kill me or fire me but then showed me one time and I made it every day for years afterwards with not one fail. I still am not sure what I did wrong.

    I’m rather excited you tried to make a Gateau St. Honore. I use to make profiteroles all the time back then for the cafe… umm.. about 25 years ago and one day at home when a foodie friend in France sent me crystalised violets I thought I must attempt a croquembouche and decorate it with the violets. I didn’t get around to attempting the spun sugar and didn’t own a cone to build it up against but otherwise it was not bad at all. Not sure why you said about not piping creme pat. I always did at work. There was never an issue.

    I need cook books. Some of mine were lost in our flood. I did save the really important ones though like Kenji’s and a pink satin bound Thai one. My brand new kitchen is about to go in with gorgeous granite bench tops. Can’t wait to move back in and get back into it plus I have a party in the Hunter Valley vineyards in August to cook for over 20 guests I’m freaking out over so need some practice.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Congratulations on a very successful decade. You have entertained us, inspired us and made us dream about how, when we have time, we will ‘have a go’. Looking forward to the next 10 years of enjoyable recipes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I actually think so too… but I still stabbed it with the sugar “decoration” which was the only thing salvageable in the pathetic display of caramel work by yours truly.

      Like

  8. Congratulations on 10 years, Sally! I always enjoy reading your blog. Your baking accomplishments are amazing! Don’t put my name in the hat for the book. It would be a shame to not go to someone who would actually use it. I just wanted to add my congratulations. Give the pups a kiss for me. All the best to you and Phil!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. how great!! Both 10 years and the gateau!! I am not a baker..but read your recipes and admire! I use a lot of your non baking recipes and enjoy them all!! Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Congratulations on your 10 year anniversary Sally. I love virtually consuming all your fabulous patisseries. This one is particularly stunning even without the spun sugar. I can only imagine the mess in your kitchen. I would love the book but think your reader who lost everything in the flood needs it more. How sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Happy Blogiversary!! I’ve enjoyed your blog for almost 10 years and look forward to more creative baking and awesome photos to come. I’d enjoy looking through that book but wouldn’t really do it justice so you can leave my name out of the hat. (I regularly check cookbooks out of our local library, mostly just to look at, but I also try occasional recipes) I agree with the comment re the flooded-out person being in more need. Happy Baking and Blogging!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Sally! What everyone else said and more. Congratulations on 10 years. You were one of the ones who inspired me to blog with the BBA Challenge. I read every word of this and loved the twists and turns. How did you not collapse in exhaustion! You look so beautiful presenting the cake, like it was a snap!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I almost collapse in exhaustion indeed. And I was sooooooooo upset when attempt number four failed. You could ask Phil for a full report, but then I would have to threaten them with divorce… HA!

      Like

    • How sweet! well, I hope you stick around, and I hope you find plenty to cook from in the archives… The index is kept up to date, for the most part, maybe only two or three recent posts might be still out of it.

      Like

  13. Congratulations on your 10th Anniversary of food blogging! Your posts always make me hungry and wish I had your culinary skills. You are actually an artist and create so many beautiful mouth-watering delights!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wonderful to have you (and Karl) as readers of my blog, as you’ve been around the Bewitching in “real life” also… thank you!!!! and for all the shares on Facebook, truly appreciate it!

      Like

  14. Congratulations Sally!!! Be proud!!! Thank you for always sharing your time, thoughts, experiences and recipes! I look forward to your blog and although I may not muster up the courage to try some of your recipes, I am still inspired!!!

    Thank you 😘

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Happy anniversary and your gateau is magnifique! I love it “naked” and not being a huge fan of caramel, it would have been to my liking! Thank you for all of your wonderful recipes and stories…and most of all for keeping things “real” we all have trial and tribulations in the kitchen and thank you for sharing yours!

    Liked by 1 person

    • tribulations are always around…. but I think it’s important to keep a good sense of humor and not let them make us too mad. A little mad is ok. I suppose 😉

      Like

  16. Congratulations on your 10th Anniversary! I love reading your blog and am totally in awe of your magnificent cakes. Not to mention that I also adore those dogs!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The pups are adorable… but when Bogey QT ran away with parchment paper with powdered sugar and cookie dough last night, I wasn’t particularly thrilled (sigh)

      Like

  17. Many congrats on 10 years! I’ve been at it a bit longer and I know that doing a full ten is quite an accomplishment! Love the gateau…even without the spun sugar…it just melts anyway. Doing the rest of it is a big job and it looks so professional! Of course I’d love to win the book, but mostly I’m commenting to wish you a happy next 10 years blogging.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yes, it is a pretty intense commitment to keep a blog for so long, but it also becomes a little easier, the composition, the photos, in the beginning it all seems quite overwhelming.

      Like

  18. Please enter in giveaway.

    I love working with choux pastry for both sweet and savory recipes. It easy to work and always looks like alot more trouble than it is.

    Like

  19. Ten years???!!! It has been year after year of bewitching kitchen times with you. I must say the spell you cast is certainly magic of the most delicious, delightful kind. And my of my, who knew you would become a patisserie wizard, although it should come as no surprise the way you kick butt with those exercise regimes! I am so grateful you take the time to share your recipes and life with us. Looking forward to the next ten together. Happy Blog Birthday To You, Sally!!!

    Cheers,
    Anne W.

    Like

  20. Congratulations Sally, ten years is a long time in the virtual world. I started reading your blog because of the way that you report both your successes and your challenges. It is encouraging to know that the beautiful desserts and breads are not without effort. I no longer feel as bad when I need to start over! Thank you for your honesty.

    Like

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