Friday, May 16, 2008

Feast of St. Honoré

Today, May 16, is the Feast of Saint-Honoré, the French patron saint of bakers and pastry chefs. There's even a special cake, Le Gâteau Saint-Honoré, to mark the occasion. No doubt every pâtissière in France is offering this classic cake today. It consists of a pastry base surrounded by a ring of pastry-cream laden profiteroles and crowned with caramel. Mon Dieu!

My paternal great-grandfather was named Honoré and although I never knew him, I'm compelled to think of him today and wonder about him. My daughter is researching her ancestry. Perhaps she will find something fascinating! Sacrébleu!

While I have no plans to create the famous French cake this week, I'll be baking a birthday cake for my daughter, as soon as she tells me what she would like. She's usually very specific, like "Chocolate-Orange Layer Cake with Grand Mariner Ganache adorned with a trio of Kumquats", or "Raspberry Almond Layer Cake with Framboise and Candied Rose Petals". Last year it was "Pineapple Chiffon Cake". One never knows. I suggested cupcakes for ease in transport. We'll see...

May is a great cake-baking month - there's Mother's Day, graduations, first communions, weddings and wedding showers, and, of course, birthdays. Even if you don't have a special occasion for which to bake a cake, bake one anyway in honor of St. Honoré, and share the wealth of deliciousness. You'll be glad you did.

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