Strawberry gâteau St Honoré

I often like to take on a ‘challenge bake’ over a weekend, where I can spend a few hours attacking a complex sounding recipe – hopefully producing something delicious at the end. This one has a few processes, so takes a couple of hours, not including chilling time.

I can’t say I’ve nailed the presentation here (do I ever?) as my custard is slightly too runny and my choux buns are a little too big, but I couldn’t complain about the flavours. Crispy choux pastry, with vanilla cream custard and strawberries. There’s not much to wrong with there.

This was made pre my type 1 diabetes diagnosis, so if I made this again, I would remove the sugar from the pastry base, add splenda to the custard in place of the sugar, leave out the sugar drizzle and and use raspberries rather than strawberries in order to cut the carbs.

Strawberry gâteau St Honoré
Strawberry gâteau St Honoré

Recipe from BBC Good Food

Serves 12.

  • Cals per slice: 419
  • Carbs per slice: 38g

For the pastry base

  • 100g plain flour
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 85g butter
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1 egg, separated

For the choux pastry

  • 50g butter
  • 70g plain flour, sifted into a bowl
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 tbsp flaked almonds

For the filling

  • 2 tbsp custard powder
  • 2-3 tbsp caster sugar
  • 300ml milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 284ml pot double cream

To finish

  • 750g strawberries, hulled and halved if large
  • 100g caster sugar
  • icing sugar, for dusting

Method

  1. Make the pastry for the base: whizz the flour, almonds, butter and sugar in a food processor to fine crumbs. Add the egg yolk (reserve the white for later) and a few drops of water if necessary, then pulse until the dough comes together. Wrap in cling film, then chill for 1 hr.
  2. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Roll out pastry on a large square of baking parchment, then trim to a 26cm round using a cake tin or plate as a guide. Carefully transfer the pastry still on the paper to a large baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 mins until golden. Cool on the paper, then transfer to a large, flat serving plate. Can be made 2 days ahead.
  3. To make the choux pastry, line a large baking sheet with baking parchment. Heat the butter in a pan with 125ml water until melted, then increase heat until boiling. Remove from the heat, then add the flour in one go, quickly stirring until everything comes together as a thick paste. Leave to cool for 10 mins. Beat the eggs in to the paste, using a wooden spoon, a little at a time, until you have a thick, glossy mixture. Spoon 12 equal-size blobs of choux, a little apart, over the baking sheet. Lightly whisk the reserved egg white, then brush over each blob of pastry. Sprinkle with flaked almonds.
  4. Bake the buns for 25-30 mins until crisp and golden. Remove from the oven, carefully split each bun, then return to the oven for 5 mins more to dry out the insides. Cool on a rack, then scoop out any soft insides. Can be made 2 days ahead – if they go soft, briefly crisp them up in the oven.
  5. To make the filling, mix the custard powder and sugar in a pan, then blend in a little milk to a smooth paste. Add the rest of the milk, then gently bring to the boil, stirring, until you have a thick custard. Remove from the heat, then stir in the vanilla. Transfer to a bowl, then cover the surface with cling film. Cool. Can be made 2 days ahead.