Pâte à Choux (choux pastry, profiterole, cream puff) is a light pastry dough used to make *croquembouches , éclairs, French crullers, beignets, St. Honoré cake, gougères  and Indonesian kue sus. It contains only butter, water, flour, and eggs. Like Yorkshire pudding or David Eyre’s pancake, instead of a raising agent, it employs high moisture content to create steam during cooking to puff the pastry.
Choux pastry is usually baked but for beignets it is fried. In Spain and Latin America, churros are made of fried choux pastry, sugared and dipped in a thin chocolate blancmange for breakfast. In Austrian cuisine, it is also boiled to make Marillenknödel, a sweet apricot dumpling; in that case it does not puff, but remains relatively dense. They are sometimes filled with cream and used to make cream puffs or éclairs.
Origin: A chef by the name of Pantanelli invented the dough in 1540, seven years after he left Florence, along with Catherine de’ Medici and the entirety of her court. He used the dough to make a gâteau and named it Pâte à Pantanelli. Over time, the recipe of the dough evolved, and the name changed to Pâte à Popelin, which was used to make Popelins, small cakes made in the shape of a woman’s breasts. Then, Avice, a pâtissier in the eighteenth century, created what were then called Choux Buns. The name of the dough changed to Pâte à Choux, as Avice’s buns resembled cabbages/choux in French. From there, Antoine Carême made modifications to the recipe,
resulting in the recipe most commonly used now for profiteroles.
 A croquembouche or croque-en-bouche is often served at weddings, baptisms, and first communions is a traditional French dessert. The name comes from the French words croque en bouche, meaning ‘crunch in the mouth’. This is a form of choux pastry that is generally served as a high-piled cone of chocolate, cream-filled profiteroles all bound together with threads of caramel. It is also decorated with sugared almonds, chocolate, flowers, or ribbons. Sometimes it may also be covered in macarons or ganache.
 A gougère, in French cuisine, is a baked savory choux pastry made of choux dough mixed with cheese. There are many variants. The cheese is commonly grated Gruyère, Comté, or Emmentaler, but there are many variants using other cheeses or other ingredients.
The St. Honoré cake is named for the French patron saint of bakers and pastry chefs, Saint Honoré or Honoratus (600 AD), bishop of Amiens. This classic French dessert is a circle of puff pastry at its base with a ring of pâte à choux piped on the outer edge. After the base is baked small cream puffs are dipped in caramelized sugar and attached side by side on top of the circle of the pâte à choux. This base is traditionally filled with crème chiboust and finished with whipped cream using a special St. Honoré piping tip. [Wikipedia]
This is a very time consuming dessert to make. However, it will be the King of the desserts on the table (Pavlova being the Queen!) and feels like eating several desserts in one bite. In this recipe, I used cooked cherry-preserves (for pie filling), but using imaginations, fresh fruits for filling and decorations can be used to make the cake in desired colors and variation!
Patê à Choux - Delux St. Honoré Cake
Recipe by: Fae’s Twist & Tango (fae-magazine.com)
DIRECTIONS IN ORDER OF PREPARATION
Patê à Choux
• 240 ml/ 1 cup water
• 113 g/ 4 oz/ ½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
• 1 tsp sugar
• ½ tsp salt
• 150 g/ 1 cup + 2 Tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour sifted
• 4 large eggs (option: for shiny finish, 1 more egg for egg wash – beat one egg with 1 Tbsp water)
◊ Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Draw a 16 cm/ 6” diameter circle on corner of the parchment paper 5 cm/ 2” away from each side, turn the parchment paper over so the circle is on the reverse side, and set aside.
◊ Place the rack in the middle shelf of the oven and preheat the oven to 250°C / 475°F.
◊ In a medium non-stick saucepan, add water, butter, salt and sugar and heat over medium high heat and bring to boil (but not to keep boiling). Make sure that the butter melts before the water boils by stirring constantly.
◊ Remove from heat and add the flour mixture, all at once. Stir with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula until combined.
◊ Return saucepan to the heat and stir constantly until the dough comes away from the sides of the pan and forms a thick smooth ball (1~2 minutes).
◊ Transfer the dough to the electric mixer bowl, using the paddle attachment (or stir by hand), beat on low speed to release the steam from the dough (1 minute). Once the dough is lukewarm, start adding one egg at a time. Mix until a smooth thick paste, until dough will fall from the spatula in a thick dollop.
◊ Spoon the dough into a piping bag with 13 mm/ ½” tip. Pipe a ring of dough about 2.5 cm/ 1″ thick around so that it outlines parchment paper circle. Pipe a second ring of dough inside the first ring, and third ring of dough inside the second ring touching tightly, so they are concentric.
~~If making a ring Pâte à Choux, a Paris-Brest with no decorations on the top, pipe the third ring of dough on top of the circle where the first and second rings of dough meet, to have a triangle of piped dough.
◊ There should be enough extra dough to pipe at least 8 small chouxs, or as many as you can, spacing about 5 cm/ 2″ apart. (Option: for shiny finish, gently brush the tops of the dough with an egg wash.)
◊ Place the baking sheet in the oven and turn off the oven.
◊ Bake for 10 minutes and then turn on the oven temperature to 180°C / 350°F. Continue to bake for 30 minutes more or until the shells are a nice amber color.
◊ Take out of the oven and let the shells completely cool and dry out on a baking-cooling-rack.
• 3 large eggs at room temperature – whites and yolks separated in two separate mixing bowls
• ¼ cup sugar
• pinch of salt
• ½ cup all-purpose unbleached flour
◊ Place the rack in the middle shelf of the oven and preheat the oven to 160°C / 325°F.
◊ Cut a 23 cm/ 9” round parchment paper for the bottom of the cake pan.
◊ First, beat egg-whites, with half of the sugar and pinch of salt, until stiff and peaks.
◊ Separately beat egg-yolks with other half of the sugar, until foamy and creamy.
◊ Gradually sprinkling flour into the yolk mixture, fold in the flour with a silicone spatula, scraping the sides of the bowl. In three parts, carefully fold in yolk mixture with egg-whites until somewhat mixed, not to destroy the white egg foams completely.
◊ Empty the batter in the pan, slightly tilt and rotate the pan to smooth the top, and bake for 20 minutes, until golden on top, or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
◊ Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool in the pan for 5 minutes.
Invert onto a baking-cooling-rack, remove the parchment paper and leave it like that to cool completely.
• ¼ cup sugar
• ¼ cup water
• 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
• 1 tsp rose water
◊ In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water, over high heat, bring to a boil. As soon as the sugar dissolves, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and rose water. Cool in refrigerator until use.
• 2 cups heavy whipping cream
• 4 ~ 5 Tbsp powdered sugar
• 2 tsp rose water
◊ In a mixing ball, beat the cream and sugar together, until it holds stiff and peaks. Put in the refrigerator until use.
• 2 Tbsp heavy cream
• 60g/ 2 oz bittersweet chocolate chips
◊ In a small saucepan, heat the cream over medium heat just until it boils. Turn off the heat.
◊ Add the chocolate chips in the hot cream and stir until melted and smooth. Set aside until ready to use. If made in advance, put in microwave safe dish, cover and refrigerate until ready to use, and rewarm in a microwave or over hot water when ready to use.
How to assemble the cake
• 24 pieces canned/bottled cherries or fruit of choice for filling/decoration
1 First, cut the pastry ring in 8 equal slices. Then using a serrated knife and very gently, slice them horizontally into top layer and bottom layer. Put the bottom layers back together in their original pre-cut shape on a serving dish. (This process helps when ready to cut/separate the cake in 8 servings without destroying the shape.)
2 Spread ¼ of the whipped-cram over the bottom layer choux.
3 Drizzle thick -syrup of the cherries (if canned cherries) over the whipped-cream, and 16 cherries (2 each on every slice) all around the rim of the choux.
4 Lay the sponge cake on top of the ring, bottom side facing up. Brush the cake-syrup generously all over the sponge cake.
5 Spread another ¼ of the whip-cream over the moist sponge cake.
6 Cover with the 8 top layer of the ring, precisely lined with the bottom 8 ring pastry.
7 Put the rest of the whipped-cream in a piping bag with sharp narrow star tip, puncture the bottom of the small puffs and pipe and fill them with whipped-cream.
8 Pipe small amount of whip cream in eight evenly separated rim of the cake and place one small choux on each.
9 Pipe the rest of the whipped cream in the center of the cake and place eight cherries, one in front of each choux.
10 Spoon warm chocolate glaze on each of the eight small choux. The masterpiece is ready to be served!
~ Bon Appétit! ~
So, what’s cooking in your kitchen?