Monday, April 26, 2010
Over Easter long weekend, I finally managed to tackle it - the elusive croquembouche. I started at about 1 pm (this time without a dinner party or non-cooks trying to tell me what to do going on in the background). Four hours, eight eggs and a burnt sauce pan later (which I managed to scrub out - whew) - I had it - a 2 foot tall croquembouche!
A croquembouche is essentially puff pastries (or choux pastries in the book), filled with custard then stacked into a tall cone shape held together by rich thick caramel. Event croquembouches use about 100 puffs and are about 3-4 ft tall. You can rent or buy a croquembouche cone from a catering shop to get the cone shape. Or you can do what I did - rolled up some newspaper into a cone and line it with baking paper.
It took about 40 choux patries (many of which were quite flat and not very well puffed, but they were okay once I turned them on their sides). Though on the small side - the results were certainly delicious!
One word of warning though, choux pastry and caramel do NOT keep in the fridge. We put 1/2 our croquembouche in the fridge thinking we could save it for later (there were only three of us that night as I was afraid of another eminent disaster). Unfortunately, I discovered the next day a gooey sticky pile of pastry with runny caramel on top. Very not cool.
(will post ingredients and methods soon!)