Foodie-Goodie #1: Saint Honoré pastries
Some nights ago, we hosted a dinner at home with two nephews of my DH and a very good old friend, AR — who was once the chief in charge of the fine dining restaurant at the Eiffel Tower. My dear nounou-turned-cook was a tad bit pressured, knowing that she was going to subject her Asian cooking to one of the best chefs in town… but we were not worried. AR is a very nice man who has a special place in his heart for discovering Asian cuisine!
He was happy about the Malaysian fare we prepared: Malaysian Chicken Curry, Spring Rolls, Vinegared Salad (aged for 2 days), and my favorite match to the curry: dried, fried, and crunchy “dilis” (tiny fishies!) and red native peanuts. For the French, though, desserts are best when they are not home-made. At least that’s what I read somewhere. Your dinner guests are flattered when you take the trouble of (and spend the money on) purchasing enticing les petites gateaux from the finest patisseries around town.
So that’s what we did. I walked down to one of the best patisseries called “Carette,” established since 1927. Yummmm! A bit pricey in comparison — but well worth every cent. The people behind the counter must have thought I was a looney because I came, bought 6 pastries, left … then came back 8 minutes later, to get another 4. I figured 6 pieces might not be enough for 6. It is always reassuring to have a little more than you need. In pastries, and in life — in general. 🙂
And this is when I discovered the best of the lot. Among the Tarte 2 Citrons, the Opera, and the Tarte Framboises…the Saint Honoré was my personal favourite. (But then again, anything that has generous amounts of cream will be my favourite!)
Saint Honoré is meant to be bought — not for the faint-hearted-wanna-be-home-based-pastry-chef! It was named after the French patron saint of bakers, Saint Honoré (surprise, surprise!). Its base is a flaky pastry dough, filled with thickened pastry cream. On top of the cream filling is a layer of cream puffs, filled with custard, and dipped in a thin caramel. And of course, on top of the little cream puffs, is yet another dose of more cream — flavoured with fresh vanilla! Get it? Cream, cream, and more cream! Yummmm? O.U.I.
The last piece which I had for lunch today (left-overs must be eaten, right?) just deserved a parting shot (before taking its place on my hips). Et… voila!