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May 16

The month of Mary: A Marian Month

Saint of the day:
Saint Honore or Honoratus of Amiens

Patron Saint of bakers, confectioners, bakers of altar bread,

candle-makers, florists, flour merchants, corn chandlers, oil refiners, and pastry chefs

St. Honore or Honoratus of Amiens's Story 

He was born in Port-le-Grand (Ponthieu) near Amiens to a noble family. He was said to be virtuous from birth. He was taught by his predecessor in the bishopric of Amiens, Saint Beatus (Beat). He resisted being elected bishop of Amiens, believing himself unworthy of this honor. According to hagiographic tradition, a ray of light of divine origin descended upon his head upon his election as bishop. There also appeared holy oil of unknown origin on his forehead.




The Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Amiens




According to a legend, when it was known in his hometown that he had been proclaimed bishop, his nursemaid, who was baking bread for the family, refused to believe that Honoratus had been elevated to such a position. She remarked that she would believe the news only if the peel (flat wooden paddle used to move loaves to and from a hot oven) she had been using to bake bread put down roots and turned itself into a tree. When the peel was placed into the ground, it was transformed into a mulberry tree that gave flowers and fruit. This miraculous tree was still being shown in the sixteenth century.

During his bishopric, he discovered the relics of Victoricus, Fuscian, and Gentian, which had remained hidden for 300 years.

His devotion was widespread in France following reports of numerous miracles when his body was exhumed in 1060.

After his death, his relics were invoked against drought. Bishop Guy, son of the Count of Amiens, ordered that a procession be held, in which an urn holding Honoratus' relics were carried around the walls of the city. Rain is said to have fallen soon after. In 1240, during construction of the cathedral of Amiens, the relics of Honoratus were carried through the surrounding countryside in a quest for funds.

In 1202, a baker named Renold Theriens (Renaud Cherins) donated to the city of Paris some land to build a chapel in honor of the saint. The chapel became one of the richest in Paris, and gave its name to Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. In 1400, the bakers of Paris established their guild in the church of Saint Honoratus, celebrating his feast on 16 May and spreading his cult.

He is also the patron of a Carthusian establishment at Abbeville, which was founded in 1306.

In 1659, Louis XIV ordered that every baker observe the feast of Saint Honoratus, and give donations in honor of the saint and for the benefit of the community.

He is the namesake of the St. Honoré Cake.

A statue of Honoratus stands in the portal of Amiens Cathedral.




St. Honoré Cake

Saint Honoré Gâteau Recipe.

Yield ≈ 10 Servings

Saint Honoré cake is traditionally filled with crème Chiboust using a special Saint Honoré pastry tip. Although many other variations exist, vanilla whipped cream, or creme diplomate or a combination of both; Chiboust and Chantilly are common as well. Crème Chiboust is a crème pâtissière (pastry cream) lightened with Italian meringue suitable for soufflé recipe as well. Crème Diplomate is a pastry cream lightened with whipped cream.
The Chiboust cream is suitable for all recipes calling for pâte à choux and it was widely used back in days for its profitability.

Pastry Chef Chiboust who in 1846 created St Honoré; a cake named in honor of the pastry shop that was located on the Paris street Rue Saint-Honoré and also in honor of St. Honoré, the patron saint of bakers and pastry cooks.


Puff Pastry
use store-bought frozen puff pastry ≈ a pound (450g).

  1. Thaw pastry in the refrigerator overnight.

  2. Roll puff pastry out on a lightly floured surface into a 0.11 inch (3mm) thick sheet.

  3. Prick pastry generously using a fork or a pic-vite roller docker to prevent dough from puffing up too much.

  4. Cut into a 8 inch (20cm) disk; for 8 servings.

  5. You can make a larger one or 2.

  6. Place disks of dough on a humidified silicone mat or parchment paper to prevent dough from shrinking and keep refrigerated or freeze for later use.

  7. Save scraps, overlap them and chill.

  8. Repeat the rolling process and chill again to rest.

  9. Cut pastry sheet into 3.5 inch (9cm) individual disk if desired and refrigerate.

Pâte à Choux

  • 1/2 cup (125ml) water

  • 1/2 cup (125ml) milk

  • 8 Tbsp (125g) unsalted butter

  • 1 tsp (5g) salt

  • 2 tsp (10g) granulated sugar

  • 1 cups (150g) all-purpose flour

  • 4 to 5 ea. (200g to 250g) large eggs

  • Powdered sugar for dusting


  1. Bring water, milk, butter, sugar and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan.

  2. Remove from heat.

  3. Using a wooden spoon, quickly stir in flour.

  4. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until mixture pulls away from sides for about a minute.

  5. Transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or whisk if using a Magic Mill Mixer.

  6. Mix on low speed for about 1 minute to get the steam out and cool down a bit, then add two-third of the eggs at once and beat on low speed until a soft peak forms when batter is touched with your finger.

Saint Honoré Piping

  1. Pipe a thin 1/2 inch (1.2cm) thick ring of dough on the edge of the pastry.

  2. For the large piece only, pipe out a snail’s shell from the center; this will strengthen the base of the cake and stabilize the filling.

  3. Pipe out 30 or more small puffs. Dust powdered sugar and bake.

  4. At that point, the unbaked shells can be made in advance and kept frozen for weeks.


  1. Bake in a preheated 350ºF (180ºC) oven.

  2. Bake pâte à choux in the middle of the oven for 40 minutes; one sheet at the time. Do not open the oven door during baking or it will deflate.

  3. Then, turn oven off leaving the door ajar for 15 minutes. The small puffs wont need more time to dry out though.

  4. Remove from oven and let cool completely on wire rack. If using a convection oven, the baking time may be shortened by 5 minute or so.

Chiboust Cream

  • 2 cups (500ml) whole milk

  • 1 Tbsp (15g) granulated sugar

  • 1/2 Tbsp (7.5ml) vanilla extract

  • 4 ea. (80g) egg yolks

  • 2 Tbsp (30g) granulated sugar

  • 2 Tbsp (20g) all purpose flour

  • 2 Tbsp (20g) corn starch

  • 4 grams gelatin sheet or powder. (The gelatin stabilizes the Chiboust but optional).

Italian Meringue

  • 4 ea. (120g) egg whites, room temp

  • 1/2 tsp (2g) cream of tartar or lemon juice (it stabilize the whites)

  • Syrup

  • 0.8 cup (150g) sugar (granulated or cubes)

  • 3 Tbsp (45g) water

  • A few drops of lemon juice or 2 Tbsp (30ml) of corn syrup (this prevent sugar from crystalizing).

Chiboust Method

  1. If using it, soak gelatin in cold water for a few minutes and drain.

  2. Bring milk, sugar and vanilla to a simmer.

  3. Meanwhile, beat yolks and sugar to blend.

  4. Add flour and corn starch.

  5. Turn off the heat.

  6. Pour in hot milk gradually into the yolk mixture whisking constantly.

  7. Return saucepan to the stove. Bring to boil and cook for 2 minutes whisking swiftly.

  8. Turn off the heat and add the softened gelatin.

  9. Cover the custard and set aside.

  10. In a clean mixer bowl, add the room temp egg whites along with the cream of tartar.

  11. Set mixer speed to medium-low and beat. In this method the meringue is never formed before adding the hot sugar but rather remains in liquid stage and slightly foamy.

  12. For the syrup, cook on medium high heat for 5 minutes; covered.

  13. Remove the lid and continue to cook until syrup reaches 240/250ºF (118/121ºC).

  14. Pour hot syrup in a thin stream down the side of the mixer bowl.

  15. Increase speed to high and whip until the meringue is formed but not too firm.

  16. In the mean time, smooth out custard with a whisk and mix in one-third of the Italian meringue; swiftly.

  17. Then, with a rubber spatula fold in half of the remaining meringue then the other half.

  18. Transfer Chiboust onto a clean baking tray. Use it warm or at room temperature.

  19. Fill puffs and refrigerate. Save remaining Chibloust for the St Honoré.


Wet Caramel

  • 1/4 cup (60ml) light corn syrup or glucose or add a few drops of lemon juice

  • 1/4 cup (60ml) water

  • 1.1 lb. (250g) sugar cubes or granulated sugar


  1. In a small saucepan combine corn syrup, water and sugar.

  2. Cover and cook mixture on hight heat for 5 minutes; this will self clean the sides of the saucepan. Avoid stirring mixture until caramel stage is reached.

  3. Remove the lid, reduce heat to medium high and cook to light amber caramel; 335°F (165ºC).

  4. Immerse the bottom of the saucepan in cold water quickly to stop cooking.

Whipped Cream / Chantilly (optional)

  • 2 cups (500ml) heavy cream

  • 1 tsp (5ml) vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean, scrap out seeds

  • 1 Tbsp (15g) sugar

  • Whip all ingredients in a chilled mixer bowl to soft peaks.


Saint Honoré Assembly

  1. Dip one-third of each filled puff in caramel and place it head side down on a silicone mat or greased parchment paper or a nonstick pan. If caramel hardens, reheat it.

  2. When the caramelized puffs have set, begin to assemble the cake.

  3. Dip each bottom puff in caramel and place them side by side on the ring of dough; about 18 choux – depending on the size of course.

  4. Use 3 puffs for the individual cakes.

  5. Fill St honoré with a thick layer of Chiboust and top with a nice finish using the St Honoré pastry tip for best results. St Honoré can be finished with vanilla whipped cream as well.

  6. Top large Saint Honoré with a puff and sprinkle some crushed caramelized nuts (see Paris-Brest recipe) for individuals.

  7. Better served the same day!. Although caramel does not like humidity, this cake can bear the refrigeration for a day – Enjoy!

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