Croquembouche

Croquembouche is a traditional French dessert made of pâte à choux filled with crème pâtissière, piled into a conical shape and bound together with toffee. It was designed by Antoine-Marie Câreme in the 1700’s to display as a centrepiece at French weddings, baptisms and celebrations.

It took us two 2.5hr classes to complete this piece of work. The first 2.5hr was spent on making and shaping the nougatine base. Not only are you racing with time to shape, mould and cut this delicious crunchy goodness but you also need to work quickly to avoid burning all 10 fingertips. This was my first and only class (so far) I couldn’t stop cursing the nougatine. By the end of it, all 10 fingers were mildly blistered – but at least it was completed. From then on, all nougatine makers have my full respect.

The second class comprised of making the pâte à chouxKirsch crème pâtissière, toffee and assembling it together. I felt I was cruising along fine until I dipped the crème filled choux pastry as well as my fingers into the 200℃+ toffee! Thank goodness for my very organised neighbour who had prepared a bowl of ice water for accidents as such. Those who are concerned, yes my fingers did blister up *cue for readers to give sympathy*.

This croquembouche seriously was no mean feat! Biting into a choux pastry without the crème pâtissière oozing out everywhere was no mean feat either. After a mouthful of sweet crunchy toffee blended with the smooth crème pâtissièreand softness of the choux pastry, it was all worth the while burning my fingers for (well, sort of).

Anyone else getting married soon? (my Facebook tells me there is a bunch of you out there! ). You don’t need to be French to place orders for a croquembouche 🙂 It would be an honour to burn my fingers tailor make one for you. Please contact me at: latelierdestephanie@gmail.com for more information.

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6 thoughts on “Croquembouche

  1. Looks AMAZING Steph! Bravo. This is something I would love to learn how to make, but after reading your description of the process i’m not so sure now…I like my fingers 😉
    – Erin

  2. I’m a fan from the beginning. You are creating terribly complicated recipes and dessert structures and you impress me every time. Talented girl. But, can I get a taste this time?

  3. Wow, your sugar work is really impressive! This is something I have wanted to do since I saw it on masterchef but again am a bit intimidated. I enjoyed reading your comment on “custard ethics” and agree about ‘Larousse Gastronomique’ being the essential guide book! Look forward to following your blog.

    • Thanks Alfie! I really appreciate it. It’s actually not very hard unless you want to make sculptures – which is what our class will be doing in a few weeks time. Will post up some photos then. But you do have to work quickly so the caramel doesn’t harden up. Give it a go, it’s quite fun (until you burn your fingers that is!). There’s a very quick video on youtube on how to make spun sugar: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21AoY24Kqpg

      Let me know how you go! Would love to see some of your photos! 🙂 Make sure you have a bowl of ice water ready next to you.

      Regarding “custard ethics”, haha yes I felt I had to clarify the (French) terms and thought it’d be interesting to point out the different names just by adding one extra ingredient!

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