The Religieuse EH16

  • The EH16 Religieuse

    The pastry chef to be thrilling your palate in 2018 will be announced soon...

    EquipHotel’s defining dessert is back. Following the Rock’n’Roll version by Laurent Favre-Mot in 2014, and previously the chouquette-inspired creation by Philippe Conticini in 2012, this year it is Benoît Castel who takes on the responsibility of concocting the EH16 Religieuse.

    To rise to the challenge, our Pastry Chef has drawn inspiration from patisserie traditions but also from his favourite products of the moment to create a mouth-watering dessert:
    « Revisiting a Religieuse is quite an undertaking! I decided that it was essential to keep all the basics of this traditional cake, starting from a large and a small choux pastry case, a body and a head ».


    In terms of flavours, the Chef has turned to indulgent flavourings: the combination of chestnut and blackcurrant, with a hint of blackcurrant pepper. “In November you can still get hold of blackcurrants, but it is also chestnut season. I like blackcurrant because of its tangy side which softens the sweetness of the other flavours. The chestnut adds a sweet note which dampens the acidity of the blackcurrant. So these two flavours balance each other out perfectly. I love working with blackcurrant pepper. It is something that reinforces and prolongs the taste in the mouth and adds quite a hint of crispness.”

    A chestnut-filled pastry case, a ball of light blackcurrant flavoured cream and a small shortbread acting as a ruff, a little reference to the patissier’s hallmark. “The shortbread is my signature in all of my desserts. Here it replaces the traditional buttercream ruff which usually adorns the Religieuse (note: which means ‘nun’ in French)”. A golden coif adds a chic and distinguished finishing touch to the dessert.

  • The creator: Benoît Castel

    « Not ‘just’ a chef... »


    Photo Benoit Castel


    He learnt his trade as an apprentice at the Duchesse de Bretagne, then moved to the capital at Pâtisserie de l’Eglise. He then flourished under the supervision of Hélène DARROZE for three years, then moved across to another famous establishment: the patisserie facility of the COSTES group. Finally, seven years spent at the Grande Epicerie de Paris (Le Bon Marché) provided him with another springboard in his profession.


    Throughout his career, he has demonstrated his ability for creation, innovation, leadership, and made his reputation as a leading name in the exclusive environment of French Haute Patisserie. Benoît Castel is not just a chef… because he also has the soul of an entrepreneur. Having put his energy into the creation of the biscuit brand MOON STREET whilst also being associate vice president of the consultancy BRIOCHEF, he is also highly-involved in the Left Bank outfit Joséphine BAKERY.


    Benoît Castel has also retained a childlike soul. He is curious about everything, works passionately and is open to others. He naturally draws inspiration from his meetings, his culinary discoveries and his travels to enhance to his creativity. It is impossible not to follow what Benoît Castel is doing. He is literally a fountain of ideas, constantly bubbling over, concocting, imagining and building projects night and day, signing them one by one with a little shortbread biscuit.


    No, Benoît Castel is not just a pastry chef, he is a “recreator” of patisseries.

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