Pastry Chef Chiboust who in 1846 created the St Honoré; a cake named in honor of the pastry shop that was located on the Paris street Rue Saint-Honoré and also in honor of St. Honoré, the patron saint of bakers and pastry cooks.
Thaw store-bought puff pastry in the refrigerator overnight. To make you own puff pastry, look it up. Roll puff pastry out on a lightly floured surface into a 0.11''/3mm thick sheet. Prick pastry generously using a fork or a pic-vite roller docker to prevent dough from puffing up too much. Cut into a 8''/20cm disks. You can make one or 2 large disks instead. Place disks of dough on a humidified silicone mat or parchment paper. It prevents dough from shrinking. Keep refrigerated or freeze for later use. Save scraps, overlap them and chill. Repeat the rolling process and chill again to rest. Cut pastry sheet into 3.5''/9cm individual disk if desired and refrigerate.
Bring to a boil, water, milk, butter, trimoline and salt. Remove from the heat, stir in flour until fully incorporated. Turn the flame back on, stirring dough swiftly on medium-high heat for about 3 min or until it forms a ball and film on the bottom of the saucepan. This initial cooking causes the starch in the flour to gelatinize, which will help the pastry hold onto steam and puff up. Transfer dough in mixing bowl and beat on low with the paddle attachment for about 3 min or until most steam is gone. This prevents eggs from cooking if added too early. Add eggs at once and mix until smooth on low speed. Pipe out eclair onto a non-stick perforated silicone liner. Pipe a thin 1/2''/1.2cm thick ring of dough on the edge of the pastry. For the large piece only, pipe out a snail’s shell from the center; this will strengthen the base of the cake and stabilize the filling. Pipe out 30 or more small puffs. Dust powdered sugar and bake. At that point, the unbaked shells can be made in advance and kept frozen for weeks.
Bake in a preheated 350ºF/180ºC oven. Bake pate a choux in the middle of the oven for 40 minutes; one sheet at the time. Do not open the oven door during baking or it will deflate. Then, turn oven off leaving the door ajar for 15 minutes. The small puffs wont need more time to dry out though. Remove from oven and let cool completely on wire rack. If using a convection oven, the baking time may be shortened by 5 minute or so.
In a chilled mixer bowl, whip to medium peaks. Chill until ready to use.
Soak gelatin in cold water to soften, and drain. Bring milk, sugar and vanilla to a boil. Meanwhile, beat yolks, sugar, flour and starch. Pour hot milk gradually into the yolk mixture. Return saucepan to the stove, bring to boil and cook for 2 minutes whisking swiftly. Turn off the heat and add the gelatin. Cover the custard and set aside. In a clean mixer bowl, beat room temp egg whites along with the cream of tartar. Meanwhile, cook syrup to 245ºF/120ºC. Pour hot syrup in a thin stream down the side of the mixer bowl. Increase speed to high and whip until the meringue is formed but not too firm. In the mean time, smooth out custard with a whisk and mix in one-third of the Italian meringue. Then, with a rubber spatula fold remaining meringue. Transfer Chiboust onto a clean baking tray to cool. Fill puffs and refrigerate.
In a small saucepan combine corn syrup, water and sugar. Cover and cook mixture on hight heat for 5 minutes; this will self clean the sides of the saucepan. Avoid stirring mixture until caramel stage is reached. Remove the lid, reduce heat to medium high and cook to light amber caramel. Immerse the bottom of the saucepan in cold water to stop cooking.
Dip one-third of each filled puff in caramel and place it head side down on a silicone mat or greased parchment paper or a nonstick pan. If caramel hardens, reheat it. When the caramelized puffs have set, begin to assemble the cake. Dip each bottom puff in caramel and place them side by side on the ring of dough; about 18 choux – depending on the size of course. Use 3 puffs for the individual cakes. Fill St honoré with a thick layer of Chiboust and top with a nice finish using the St Honoré pastry tip for best results. St Honoré can be finished with vanilla whipped cream as well. Top large Saint Honoré with a puff and sprinkle some crushed caramelized nuts (see Paris-Brest recipe) for individuals. Serve within a day. Enjoy!