Croquembouche (or Chocolate Glazed Cream Puffs) by Dufflet Rosenberg, Dufflet Pastries
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You Will Need
Cream Puff Pastry:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Have ready two cookie sheets greased and floured and a pastry tip fitted with Ωî plain tip. In a medium saucepan, combine the water, butter, sugar and salt. Bring to a full rolling boil. Immediately remove from the heat and add the flour all at once. Stir with a wooden spoon until mixture forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the pan. Return to low heat and continue cooking for a couple of minutes.
Transfer mixture to food processor fitted with metal blade. Process for 10 seconds to release steam. With the motor running, pour in the eggs and continue processing for 30 seconds. The mixture should be smooth and shiny.. If itís too stiff, add a little water. Place pastry bag over large measuring cup; fold sides over the cup.
Fill pastry bag with mixture and squeeze down into bag. Pipe puffs about 1.5î in diameter and Ωî high; 1î apart. Bake for 10 minutes, lower temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown. Remove trays. Using a small knife, make a º ì slit on the bottom of each puff to release steam. Turn oven down to 200 degrees; return puffs to oven and continue baking until inside of puffs are dry and outside is crisp (10 to 20 minutes).
Puffs can be stored in airtight containers refrigerated for one week or frozen.
Yields approximately 4 dozen.
Light Pastry Cream Filling:
Heat the milk until very hot. Whisk the yolks in a heavy bottomed saucepan; gradually beat in the sugar and salt. Continue whisking 2 to 3 minutes, until the mixture is thick and lemon coloured. Whisk in the sifted cornstarch/flour. Slowly add the hot milk or cream. Place saucepan over medium heat and whisk until mixture comes to the boil and thickens. The mixture will be lumpy; whisk until smooth. Lower the heat and continue beating 2 minutes to cook the flour. If the mixture is very thick, add a few droplets of milk to thin. Remove from heat and beat in the butter and vanilla. Transfer to bowl, stir to cool then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Whip Ω cup 35% cream until firm peaks. Beat cold pastry cream until smooth, fold in whipped cream.
Fill pastry bag fitted with ºî plain tip with the light pastry cream. Pipe filling into the hollow center of each puff. Arrange first layer of puffs on a serving tray to determine size for final assembly.
In a large, heavy saucepan, stir together the sugar, water and cream of tartar until sugar is completely moistened. Place saucepan over medium heat, swirling the pan constantly. The sugar will dissolve, then come to the boil Stop swirling at this point and let the mixture boil until it turns a pale, amber gold colour. Note the caramel will continue cooking once removed from the heat; lower the saucepan into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Ideally, the temperature should be around 350 degrees F.
Dip the top of puffs in caramel; set aside on parchment paper. Rewarm caramel if needed on low heat. (or prepare another saucepan with caramel). Dip only the sides of each puff in caramel to join together in a ring on the serving platter. Continue building the pyramid with puffs, making sure each puff sticks to the one beside it. If caramel hardens, rewarm on low heat again. Dip a fork into the remaining caramel and spin caramel threads over the croquembouche.
Refrigerate. Best served within 2-3 hours. Serves 10-12
Optional Chocolate Glaze:
Place all of the ingredients in stainless steel bowl over simmering water. Stir until fully melted. Do not overheat ñ remove from heat before fully melted and continue stirring.
Set aside until ready to use. To reheat, warm again over double boiler to 88-90 degrees F.
Dip filled cream puffs in chocolate glaze to cover the tops. Set aside on tray to chill until set. Best served within 2-3 hours.