Croquembouche Recipe

why it works

  • Preparing a template for the choux puffs will ensure uniform size and aid in assembly and appearance.
  • Dusting with powdered sugar helps the puffs spread evenly in the oven, minimizing splitting and cracking.
  • Poke a hole in the baked puff to let the steam escape and create a gap for the filling.
  • Returning the puffs to the turned off oven after baking will help keep them crispy.

I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve made a croquembouche…of French celebratory cake served at weddings, baptisms and first communions.Back in culinary school, I made my first croquembouche (literally translated as “crunch in the mouth”) for a demonstration to promote pastry chef Joan Chan’s cookbook recipes. flour tooHer croquembouche was a towering masterpiece, with caramel-covered cream puffs surrounded by threads of golden spun sugar. Tall, pointed cones are the most popular (and the one I’ll stick with), but puffs can be arranged to resemble a church, a wishing well, or even a baby carriage, depending on the situation. can also be garnished with sugar-coated almonds, sugar flowers, candied fruit, nougatine (caramel mixed with toasted nuts), macaroons, etc. presentation.

The croquembouche after all assembled during the development of this recipe did not compare. One was too short (I made a mistake with the number of puffs on the first layer). , because it’s one of the more difficult pastries to make at home, thanks to the multiple components and the time required to complete it all. This is all to say that your first croquembouche may not look anything like the one pictured here, but It will still be delicious.

make cream puff

Croquembouche relies on puffs. many They are made from flour, butter, water and/or milk, and pâté à choux, which is a cooked paste of eggs. You should use batch. Also add a little sugar to the choux to make it slightly sweeter. When testing this recipe, I mainly played around with the puff dimensions to see which size would lead to a stronger, more aesthetically pleasing structure. On the other hand, the rounded puffs, which were only an inch long, held very little filling and all made for chewy croquembouches. I found the 1.5-inch puff to be the ideal size, balancing the creamy filling with the crunchy candy shell. A quarter inch difference may not seem like a big deal, but when dealing with towering structures like this, it adds up.

Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

Piping a croquembouche shoe requires a bit of planning. Usually, when blowing a puff, you blow with your free hand, but in the case of a croquembouche, you must not wave your wings. I recommend drawing a circle on parchment beforehand to make a template for the puffs. One batch of choux makes 50 puffs, enough for 12 servings (about 4 puffs per person).

Once they’re all piped, dust the puffs with powdered sugar. Doing so reduces the chance of cracking or tearing and helps with even color development. Once the puffs are baked, poke a small hole in the bottom of each and then slide them into the turned off but still hot oven with the door cracked. This keeps the puff as dry as possible and retains its crunch. If you decide to pre-bake the puffs, you can freeze them for up to a month before refreshing them in a warm oven until crisp.

Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

I chose to stuff the puff with creme legerre. This is mainly because I like the combination of custard pastry cream and fluffy whipped cream. However, if you’re curious, you can absolutely fill the puff with pastry cream (vanilla, chocolate, lemon) or whipped cream (sweetened, flavored, or plain). You can make it and store it in the refrigerator. Filled puffs soften over time, so you should fill the puffs at least two hours before you plan to serve the croquembouche.

Assembling the croquembouche

Another main ingredient in croquembouche is caramel. This particular croquembouche requires a batch for soaking the tops of the puffs and two batches of him for gluing the soaked puffs together. Many recipes advocate dipping the caramel in one batch. When Assemble, the caramel will harden when it cools, so it will be difficult to handle even if you reheat it, so you will need 2 servings of golden syrup. Follow Stella’s advice and stir the caramel to dissolve the sugar. Once the sugar syrup boils, shake the pan to swirl to evenly caramelize.As the sugar syrup caramelizes fast Once colored, judge doneness by sight alone instead of a thermometer. I avoid providing temperature as a guide because the amount of caramel produced is too shallow and can lead to inaccurate readings.

As soon as the color becomes medium amber, carefully pour the caramel into a microwave-safe bowl. During testing, I caramelized the caramel to varying degrees of caramelization: from a light honey color to a burnt sugary color. I prefer an amber color.

Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

At this point, wearing latex gloves to avoid burning yourself with the hot sugar, dip the top of each puff into the caramel before placing it back on the baking sheet, caramel side up. Be sure to work as quickly as possible, as this will make it difficult to apply evenly. However, if this happens, simply place the bowl in the microwave and reheat until the caramel has loosened.

Once the caramel coating has set, I like to sort the puffs and group them by size. This will help create even layers in the tower. not available). I collect the 9 largest puffs for the first layer. They are all similar in size. Then do the same with the next layer of 8 puffs. This step isn’t required, but it helps speed up the assembly process while using the right number of puffs per layer.

To make sure the croquembouche is ready to be assembled, place parchment on a cake stand or turntable (this will catch any caramel drippings), followed by 8 inch disposable cake rounds. Arrange the nine pre-selected puffs in a circle over the cake round and measure the width of the base.

Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

As soon as the second batch of caramel is ready, start assembling the croquembouche. Remove one puff at a time from the placed circle, dipping the rounded edge into the caramel, returning it to the empty space, angling it slightly inward to promote an even gradient, and turning a few times until the caramel has set. Hold for seconds. Once the bottom layer is glued in place, repeat this process for successive layers of eight puffs. Dip each puff into the caramel and place it in the space between the bottom two puffs. Hold it at a slight inward tilt. place.

It is inevitable that there will be spaces here and there in the layer that are too large to be left empty but too small to fit the entire puff. Dip it and place it sideways in an empty space. , note that you want to keep the caramel as fluid as possible. When you reach the penultimate layer, dip the bottom of one puff and stick it to the bottom of another puff. Then dip the rounded ends of the joined puffs into the caramel and stick on top before dipping the last puff. puff.

If the caramel has not completely set, dip a fork into the bowl and work it in a circular motion from top to bottom around the croquembouche to form thin shiny threads. It can be kept at room temperature for several hours.Resist the temptation to keep the croquembouche longer (whether at room temperature or in the refrigerator) because the sugar is hygroscopic, causing the caramel to become sticky and eventually melt. please. As you serve the croquembouche, take a moment to admire the work, snap a few photos, and then break it into the fine smithy.

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