French style “piece monte”

For the 5th anniversary of my friend’s son I had to make a Saint Honore….well things didn’t worked as i wished but in the end everything was fine..no stress, no panique and I realized a nice piece monte composed by a round puff pastry, choux filled with vanilla pastry cream and caramel! all made with love and passion. All home-made.

First step: the preparation of the puff pastry. This consist from folding 6 times  (or 3 times double folding) your pastry to get nice layers. You must let the pastry to rest for minimum 30 minutes before each folding.

Here are some photos with the steps:

First prepare a dough with flour, salt , water and a bit of butter.

Then let this dough to rest for an hour in the refrigerator together with the butter and start the folding process by placing the square of butter on the square of pastry.

 

Fold to obtain a pocket, enclosing the butter.

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Now you start rolling and folding.

 

Roll the pastry as long as you can to reach around 2 mm thickness and then fold the pastry from each side to the middle and then in half to obtain 4 layers pastry. Refrigerate for 30 hour (or more if you want, you can go shopping, dancing whatever). Then repeat this process tree times to obtain a so called ” 3  times double folding”. This gives you those nice hundreds layers.

Now you can roll out and cut your pastry as big as you need (mine as 24 cm diameter).

Second step, the vanilla pastry cream

For that you need:500 gr milk, 40 gr butter, 20 gr corn flour pinch of salt, fresh vanilla seeds, 100 gr sugar, 2 egg yolks and 2 entire eggs.

Bring to boil  milk and vanilla in a pan. In a bowl whisk the eggs, sugar and corn flour. Pour the liquid on eggs whisking vigorously and then heat this continuing mixing until you obtain a thick cream. Transfer it in a bowl, let to chill a bit and then add the butter whisking. Film it to contact with a wrapping foil to not let the cream dry.

Third step make the “choux pastry”

For this you need: 125 gr water, 125 gr milk, 100 gr butter, 3 gr salt, 8 gr sugar, 150 gr flour, 4 eggs.

Bring to boil water, milk, sugar,s alt, butter. Then add flour from once and whisk with a wooden spoon. Replace the pan on the gas continuing mixing until the pastry detach from the pan. Transfer it in a kitchen robot whisk with the paddle attachement to chill the pastry and then add eggs one by one until you obtain a nice shiny pastry not to liquid and not to hard.

Fill a pipping bag with the pastry and pipe 2 mm diameter little choux.

Brush them with some egg .Sprinkle some icing sugar (this will keep them round)

Now the tricky way!! THE Baking!

Tips: Pre-heat your oven 250° C. Put the choux inside for 2 min and then turn the oven off (no not open oven door). Let the there for 14min. Re-warm the oven at 160°C and bake them for another 14 min. Take them out and let them cool down on a rack until you fill them with the cream.

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Now you are ready to “construct your cake, sticking the choux to the puff pastry with  hot caramel made from water, glucose and water. Watch out your fingers:)

The result of my cake:

Enjoy this beautiful cake with a glass of champagne!

 

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