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The meringue cream

and the vast world of pastry creams

31 March 2022

Friends of Erre4m welcome back to our blog. Today we continue our journey into the very wide world of pastry creams. The cream we are going to discuss in this post is not very well known, but if I tell you Saint Honoré, I know that things will probably have changed.

Today, as you might guess, our research tour moves to the country of our transalpine cousins, France. Anyone, at least once in his or her life, has tasted the Saint Honoré cake (whether original or modified); that is, the cake made with puff pastry or sponge cake and decorated with caramelised or chocolate-frosted cream puffs, placed on the edge or bordering the surface and garnished with two-coloured decorations of a fluffy cream that is also the filling inside.
Here, the cream used for this world-famous cake and often called Saint Honoré cream itself, actually has a very specific name and that is the surname of the person who invented it: August Julien Chiboust. 

CHIBOUST CREAM to be exact. Tradition has it that this master confectioner's shop (we are in the mid-19th century) stood on rue Saint Honorè in Paris and, icing on the cake, the patron saint of French pastry chefs is Saint Honoré or Honoratus (bishop of Amien in the 6th century AD). We could therefore say that the whole thing makes no bones!

But then, after this preamble, why meringue cream? Simple, because the master pastry chef Chiboust did nothing more than lighten a normal custard with Italian-style meringue. Et voilà la crème Chiboust in all its (apparent) simplicity!

Thanks to its excellent lightness, Chiboust cream is used as a filling for cakes and mignons or for desserts by the glass.

Now to the preparation. While the cream is still boiling, rehydrated animal gelatine sheets are added and then combined with freshly prepared Italian meringue. 

Normally, the percentages representing the proportion between the parts making up the Chiboust cream are as follows:

60% custard
39% Italian meringue
0.5-1% animal gelatine

In itself, this preparation is not complicated although, as with all things, it does require some care:

  • The milk for the cream must be whole and fresh, avoiding UHT milk 
  • Corn starch is recommended for the cream because it produces a more stable product.
  • The starches and gelatine must produce a stable cream that allows the right creaminess of the Chiboust
  • The flavourings are according to taste and range from vanilla, chocolate, coffee, dried fruit pastes, fruit, liqueurs according to the taste of the person preparing the custard
  • The egg whites are to be used fresh and at room temperature to obtain an excellent meringue 
  • To prevent the Chiboust cream from graining (i.e. separating) the two masses (the custard in the Italian meringue) must be mixed gently but continuously and without prolonging the operation too much to prevent the heat from coagulating the proteins of the whipped egg whites causing them to become grainy

And as usual, here are some footnote recipes. I propose a triptych to give you a fairly complete picture of how to prepare Chiboust Cream.

CHOCOLATE CHIBOUST CREAM

175g fresh whole milk
125g fresh liquid cream
150g yolk
20g corn starch
300g dark chocolate 70%
8g animal gelatine sheets
300g Italian meringue

PROCEDURE

  1. Proceed as for the vanilla Chiboust cream
  2. Prepare the custard with the first 4 ingredients of the recipe
  3. When cooked, first add the chocolate, then the softened gelatine, and lastly the meringue

VANILLA CHIBOUST CREAM

250g fresh whole milk
45g yolk
38g caster sugar
25g corn starch
¼ vanilla bean seeds 
3g animal gelatine sheets

ITALIAN MERINGUE

30g water
100g sugar
88g egg white

PROCEDURE

  1. Weigh all the ingredients
  2. Prepare the Italian meringue by heating the milk to 85°C in the meantime
  3. When the meringue is ready prepare the custard with the first 5 ingredients of the recipe
  4. When cooked, add the softened gelatine, mix and add the Italian meringue a little at a time using the Chiboust cream immediately

FRUIT CHIBOUST CREAM

450g fruit puree
250g fresh liquid cream
150g egg yolk
38g caster sugar
30g corn starch
15g animal gelatine sheets
450g Italian meringue

PROCEDURE

  1. Weigh all the ingredients
  2. Prepare the Italian meringue while heating the fruit puree with the cream to 85°C
  3. When the meringue is ready prepare the custard with the first 5 ingredients of the recipe
  4. When cooked, add the softened gelatine, mix and add the Italian meringue a little at a time using the Chiboust cream immediately

ENJOY YOUR WORK AND COMMENTS!!!

Blog by Enrico Gumirato Pastry Chef and Trainer