Pink Sugar Heart Attack indeed.
I was discussing this dessert series with some friends a while ago, in particular to brainstorm Chibiusa. I had planned a strawberry shortcake for her, which was fitting but… well, boring. My friend Katie (who happens to run the awesome Sailor Moon tumblr Ai no Message : A Message of Love) chimed in with an absolutely magical suggestion: cotton candy. It couldn’t have been more perfect. To expand on the idea and to create a bit of a link to Usagi’s dessert, I decided to go with something involving cream puffs. Thus, the strawberry and cotton candy Gâteau Saint Honoré was born.
For those who aren’t familiar with the delightful Gâteau Saint Honoré, here’s a quick description: the confection traditionally consists of a layer of puff pastry ringed with caramel-dipped cream puffs. The center is piped full of chiboust, a fluffy filling that consists of pastry cream lightened with a meringue. The cake is named for the patron saint of bakers and pastry chefs.
ACT SIX: CHIBIUSA
Strawberry and Cotton Candy Gâteau Saint Honoré
Yield: 4 individual Gâteau Saint Honoré. They are big enough to share, if you’re feeling generous.
Timing notes: It is best to allow yourself about 4-6 hours to complete this recipe, as the cream must be thoroughly chilled and the puff pastry also requires some chilling time.
Strawberry Chiboust, recipe follows
Pâte à Choux, recipe follows
Blitz Puff Pastry Rounds, recipe follows
Cotton Candy Toppers, recipe follows
White Chocolate Glaze, recipe follows
6 large strawberries
10 oz. white chocolate (285g)
Vegetable oil, about 1 tsp
1. Create the white chocolate garnish. Melt the white chocolate together with the teaspoon of vegetable oil. Spread it evenly on a silicone mat or piece of parchment, jiggling the sheet lightly to level it out. Once the chocolate is almost entirely set, use a sharp knife that has been gently warmed over a flame to cut out eight white chocolate wings. I did this freehand, but don’t hesitate to create a paper template first if you aren’t used to working with chocolate. Using a small punch-cutter, cut out 4 small stars. If you want, fill some melted chocolate into a piping bag and pipe some detailing onto the wings. It’ll look great plain as well, though!
2. If your glaze is cooled off, warm it up so it’s a bit runny. Carefully pick up your puff pastry rounds and dip the choux rim into your glaze. Let the excess drip off and then place them onto the plate you intend to serve the desserts on.
3. Using a toothpick or chopstick, poke a hole into the bottom of each cream puff. Using a piping bag with the end snipped off to the size of the hole, fill some strawberry chiboust into all but four of the cream puffs. Once you’ve filled the cream puffs, dip the tops of each cream puff in the glaze as well. Set them aside and allow the glaze to firm up.
4. Spoon or pipe some chiboust into the center of your puff pastry rounds and smooth it into a level surface with the choux rim. Place three cream puffs on each pastry round, spaced equally apart. Using the large star tip, pipe a rosette of chiboust in the center of the rounds.
5. Trim the leaves from your berries and cut them in half. Arrange the berry halves in the spaces between your choux, tilting them inward a bit at the top.
6. Take your hollow creampuff and cut a slit on either side to hold your white chocolate wings. Push the wings into your cream puff, then place it on top of the chiboust rosette. Repeat for all your desserts. At this point you can refrigerate your desserts until it’s time to serve.
7. Right before serving, place a cotton candy ball on top of each dessert. Top the cotton candy with a white chocolate star if desired. You can also add additional garnish if you like, for example I rolled modeling chocolate balls in some gold dust and used them as accents.
1/2 cup (120ml) strawberry puree (blended strawberries, strained)
1/2 cup (120ml) milk
1 oz (30g) sugar
3 large egg yolks
.75 oz (20g) corn starch
Pink gel food coloring
.2 oz (6g) gelatin
2 tbsp (30ml) water
8 oz (225g) sugar
3 large egg whites
1/4 cup (60ml) water
1 pinch cream of tartar
1. Pour gelatin into water and allow to bloom. Set aside. Combine strawberry puree, milk, sugar, egg yolks, and corn starch in a saucepan. Cook on medium-low, stirring constantly until thickened. Still stirring, boil it for about a minute to eliminate any starchy taste. Remove the cream from the heat. Allow it to cool for just a moment before adding in the gelatin. Stir until smooth, then add pink food coloring a few drops at a time to enhance the pink color. I used about 3 drops of gel color.
2. In a clean saucepan, combine sugar and water. Place egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a bowl with a hand mixer ready), but do not beat them yet. Boil the sugar without stirring, until the mixture reads 240°F (115°C) on a candy thermometer. If you don’t have a candy thermometer, keep a cup of cold water on hand and test the sugar by dropping a bit in it. The sugar is hot enough when it forms a soft, somewhat squishy ball when dropped in the water.
3. Remove the sugar from the heat. Immediately add the cream of tartar to the egg whites and begin whipping them on high speed. When they are at soft peaks, gradually drizzle the hot sugar into the whites while still beating. Try not to hit the beaters with the sugar drizzle. Continue to beat the meringue until stiff, glossy, and cooled to lukewarm.
4. Be sure your pastry cream is still a bit warm. If it’s cooled completely, warm it up just a bit. Fold 1/3 of the meringue into your cream to lighten it. Then, carefully fold in the remaining 2/3 of the meringue. Be gentle with it so the meringue doesn’t deflate. Fill the cream into two pastry bags: one with a relatively small round tip (bigger than a #6, though, if you please), and one with a large star nozzle. Using tips that are too small will deflate your cream as you pipe. Put the bags in the fridge until it’s time to assemble your dessert.
Pâte à Choux
2 tbsp + 2 tsp (40ml) water
2 tbsp + 2 tsp (40ml) milk
2 tbsp (30g) butter
1/2 cup (60g) bread flour
1 tsp (5g) sugar
One TINY pinch of salt
2 large eggs, mixed
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C) and line a sheet pan with ungreased parchment or a silicone mat. In a saucepan, combine the water, milk, sugar, salt and butter. Bring to a rolling boil, then dump in the flour and mix vigorously. The mix will form into a ball. Continue mixing it; you want to dry the batter out some. In a non-stick pan, the dough should begin to leave a film on the bottom. Dump the hot dough into a bowl and stir it until it’s cooled down.
2. Gradually add in the egg and beat with a mixer. Your goal is NOT to use all of the egg, but to achieve the proper consistency. Depending on how dry your dough is, you may use more or less than the recipe calls for. Add about 1/2 an egg at a time, mixing throughly after each addition. The dough is at the proper consistency when it’s just stretchy enough for you to take a pinch of it between your hand and stretch it to 1″ long. If you make it too wet it won’t rise, and if it isn’t wet enough it won’t expand properly.
3. Fill the dough into a piping bag with a medium-sized round tip and pipe 20 cream puffs (so you have a couple of extra). They should be quite small (1″ diameter at most), and a couple of inches apart. Keep in mind they will expand quite a lot. Bake until dried out and nicely browned.
4. Reserve the remaining choux paste in your bag for the puff pastry.
1 cup (200g) sugar
1/3 cup (80ml) corn syrup
1/4 cup (60ml) water
Pink gel food coloring
Special Material: whisk with snipped tines
1. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Stir together and set them on medium heat. Once you put the syrup on the heat, do not stir it! You may swivel the saucepan slightly if you need to mix it further.
2. Cook the sugar to 320°F (160°C), using a candy thermometer or a cold water test. (To do cold water test, drop a bit of sugar into a cup of cold water. If it forms brittle threads that snap and break when bent, the sugar is ready.)
3. Once the sugar reaches 320°F (160°), remove the saucepan from the heat. Pour the sugar into a heat safe glass bowl to make sure it stops cooking, and then carefully stir in your food coloring. You can also add a drop of flavoring oil at this stage if you’d like. Once you’ve moved your sugar, you have about a 10-15 minute window to work in. Dip your whisk into the sugar and pull it up. You want to hold it for a moment, until the sugar begins falling down in long threads. Once it does, move the whisk back and forth over a lightly greased cooling rack. Once you have created a few layers of sugar thread, curl the threads into a loop/ball and set it aside. Repeat until you create 4 cotton candy balls. If the sugar becomes too hard to thread, gently warm it in the microwave in 20 second bursts. Try not to stir it too much, as it may sieze.
Blitz Puff Pastry
4 oz (115g) bread flour
4 oz (115g) pastry flour
1/2 lb (225g) cold butter, cut into large cubes
1/2 cup (120ml) cold water
1 tsp salt
Flour, for dusting
1. Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C) and line and grease a large cookie sheet. Have a second, smaller cookie sheet handy as well, as well as a heavy baking pan of some sort. Dissolve the salt in the water and set aside. In a food processor, combine the flours and butter and pulse briefly. You want huge chunks of butter to be left, about 1″ large. Transfer the mix into a bowl.
2. Pour on the water and mix the dough until it’s ragged and barely coming together. Allow it to rest for 15 minutes.
3. Roll the dough out into a long, large rectangle. Fold the outer sides inward, then fold the dough in half. This should create four layers. Check out the Minako entry for photos of this process. Repeat this process three times, then re-chill the dough for 20 minutes.
4. Roll the dough out to about 1/8″ thickness. Cut out 4 large rounds, 4-5″ in diameter. Place them on your baking sheet upside down, about 4″ apart. Take your remaining choux dough and pipe a rim on each of your puff pastry rounds.
NOTE: This will make more than you need. Making a smaller batch would be quite annoying. Keep the extra in the freezer for later use, I assure you it’s extremely handy to have around!
5. Bake your puff pastry until well-browned and cooked throughout. The bake time can vary quite a lot, but mine took about 25 minutes. If any of them come out of the oven unevenly puffed, you can gently press on the choux rim while the puffs are still warm to level them out.
White Chocolate Glaze
6 oz (170) white chocolate
1.33 fluid oz (20ml) heavy cream
Pink food coloring
1. In a small bowl, pour heavy cream over white chocolate and microwave in 30 second intervals until the chocolate is melted, stirring between each heating. Once totally melted, add your food coloring a few drops at a time until you like the look of the color. Sometimes white chocolate is stubborn about melting those last bits, so strain if you have to. Set aside, rewarming slightly before use so it’s not hot but still pourable.
While this pastry is definitely on the sweeter end for my palette, the strawberries and crisp puff pastry prevent it from becoming cloying. My husband is less obsessed with tart flavors than I am and declared this as the tastiest of the Sailor Moon desserts I’ve done. (For what it’s worth, my favorite in terms of flavor has been Makoto’s strawberry and pistachio cake.)