Two Valentine’s Day desserts you’ll love to share

Chef Edward Hayden shares two decadent dishes to enjoy this week

Gateau Saint Honoré: named after the patron saint of bakers

This luxurious dessert was named after the patron saint of bakers, so perfect for dedicated bakers. A real show-stopper

Ingredients, serves 4-6

1 x 20cm circular disc puff pastry

For the white chocolate pastry cream

1 vanilla pod

300ml milk, or 200ml milk and 100ml cream

3 egg yolks

25g plain flour

50g white chocolate, chopped

50g caster sugar

250ml whipped cream

For the choux pastry

50g butter

125ml cold water

1 pinch sugar

1 pinch salt

75g strong flour

2 large eggs

For the spun sugar

150g granulated sugar

Cold water


1. To make the pastry cream, split the vanilla pod lengthways and put it into a large saucepan with the milk or the milk and cream mixture. Bring these almost to the boil.

2. In a separate bowl, mix the egg yolks, flour, chopped white chocolate and sugar together with a whisk until pale in colour.

3. Pour the scalded milk onto the egg and sugar mix and return this mix to the saucepan. Using a wooden spoon, stir this mixture over a low heat for a couple of minutes until the mixture thickens.

4. Pour this into a clean bowl, immediately cover it with clingfilm to prevent the formation of a skin and allow to cool. When it is completely cool, mix it with the whipped cream.

5. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4 and lightly grease two flat baking trays.

6. To make the choux pastry, put the butter, water, salt and sugar in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. It is important that the mixture comes to the boil – if you just melt it and do not allow it to come to the boil the mixture will go dramatically wrong. Take the saucepan off the heat.

7. Sift the flour and add it to the boiling liquid. Stir rapidly with a wooden spoon. Return to heat and beat continuously until the mixture comes clean away from the sides of the saucepan. You are cooking the flour at this stage. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and allow to cool for about five minutes.

8. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs together, then slowly beat the eggs into the cooked paste. I tend to use an electric whisk as the mixture can be quite stiff. Add the eggs little by little, beating thoroughly between each addition.

9. Spoon or pipe nine to 12 small profiteroles onto one of the prepared trays. Lay the circular piece of puff pastry onto the second tray and pipe the remaining mixture in a circle around the edge of the puff pastry. Bake both trays for approximately 30-35 minutes until they sound hollow when tapped underneath. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool on a wire rack.

10. To make the caramel for the spun sugar, use a couple of tablespoons of water to dissolve the sugar and bring the mixture to the boil. Boil, without stirring, but rather swirl the mixture slightly for even colouring of the caramel. Continue to cook until the mixture turns a light nut brown colour. Plunge the base of the saucepan in cold water to halt the cooking process.

11. Fill the profiteroles with the white chocolate pastry cream. Dip the profiteroles in caramel and use this as a glue to stick them around the edge of the band of the puff pastry ring. Fill the centre of the cake with the remaining pastry cream.

12. Using the remainder of the caramel, dip two forks into the caramel and swirl them across two or three wooden spoon handles that have been placed on the edge of your worktop, working back and forth to create thin threads of caramel. Form the spun sugar into a ball and place on top of the cake and serve.

TIP: When making the spun sugar, ensure you put some newspaper on the floor to catch the excess as it can make quite a sticky mess.

Baked chocolate pudding with pears: a decadent version of pears Belle Helene

Baked chocolate pudding with pears

This is a sinfully decadent version of pears Belle Helene with a baked chocolate pudding base

Ingredients, serves 6

For the pudding

175g butter, softened

175g sugar

3 large eggs

175g self-raising flour

25g cocoa powder

For the pears

6 baby pears

50g caster sugar

1 pint cold water

For the chocolate sauce

225ml pouring cream

110g dark chocolate, chopped

1 measure of Baileys, optional


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4.

2. Add the butter and sugar to a large mixing bowl and beat for four to five minutes.

3. When this mixture is creamy and fluffy, add in the eggs, the flour and cocoa powder and mix thoroughly until completely combined. It is important to scrape down the bowl at this stage to ensure that all of the butter has been incorporated into the pudding mixture. If you find the mixture is a little tight, you can add a dessert spoon of milk to loosen it up.

4. Divide the mixture between 6 well-greased individual pudding basins, dariole moulds or ramekins.

5. Place the puddings onto a baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

6. Lightly press the puddings into shape if they have risen excessively and remove from the tin immediately.

7. Peel the pears carefully, leaving the stalk intact. Place the pears in a medium-sized saucepan with the caster sugar. Cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Simmer for approximately 10-15 minutes until just tender. Allow to cool.

8. To make the sauce, put the cream into a small saucepan and bring to a rapid boil. Pour the boiled cream onto the chopped chocolate and mix well. Whisk in the Baileys if desired.

9. To serve, trim off the top of the chocolate puddings if necessary to allow the poached pears to sit neatly on top. Smother with oodles of the dark chocolate sauce.

TIP: If desired you could spoon a little of the cooking juice from the pears onto the chocolate pudding for added flavour.

Edward Hayden has lots more recipes online

Recipes by Edward Hayden, see @edwardentertains on Instagram for more Photography by Harry Weir, assisted by Brian Clarke