Staring out as a ring-shaped brioche filled with pastry cream, the St. Honoré Cake has transformed greatly since it was originally created. The very first St. Honoré Cake was invented in the year 1846 by a man named Chiboust. Paying homage to both the saint and the name of the street, Saint Honoé St, with his cake but giving it his own name to the filling.
At this time, 1840’s, the world of pastry was evolving especially for the French pastry. It was a time of change from tall, inedible pièces montées to simpler creations that were more flavorful and could be eaten down to the base. This time period was also a time for development of the St. Honoré Cake, the original was very different from the cake we consider to be the ”classic.” The only similarity is a crown of puffs circling a round base with cream filling. Swiss chef Joseph Favre and Pieree Lacam, pastry chef to the Prince of Monaco, recall that the first Saint-Honorés were made with a circle of brioche dough surrounded by small brioche balls. In one of the earlisest print of the Saint-Honoré recipe (Louis Bailleux’Le Pâtissier Moderne, published in the 1850’s) the brioche bas was spread with a layer of choux paste and then baked. Cream puffs were then dipped in a cooked syrup made of glazed fruits and placed around the base, sprinkled with some pink or green sugar. Glazed fruit were also placed between the puffs and lightened with whipped cream.
According to Favre, the original filling used was whipped cream perfumed with certain berries, flowers, or vanilla. Although during the summer in Paris cream became hard to find, so pastry chefs substituted a pastry cream lightened with beaten egg whites. As a result pastry chefs decided to create their own interpretations. Some of the ideas that were being passed around were Bavarian cream with apricot, pineapple, strawberry or raspberry; and for an orange filling, glazed orange quarters replaced the cream puffs.
There are many components to the St. Honoré Cake five to be exact. This five would include: puff pastry and choux pastry base,...