Croquembouche

Croquembouche -- pate a choux puffs with a creamy filling, dipped in hot caramel, and stacked into a pyramid

Croquembouche

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  • Prep Time

    minutes

  • Total Time

    minutes

  • Servings

    servings


Ingredients

  • For the Pate a Choux Puffs

  • ½

    cup whole milk

  • ½

    cup water

  • 4

    ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter

  • 1

    teaspoon coarse salt

  • 1

    cup all-purpose flour

  • 5

    large eggs

  • 1

    large egg yolk

  • ½

    cup heavy cream

  • Caramel Cream

  • cups sugar

  • ¼

    cup water

  • 2

    cups heavy cream

  • ¼

    cup creme fraiche or sour cream

  • ½

    teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • Pinch of coarse salt

  • Carame (for the assembly)

  • 1

    cup sugar

  • 2

    tablespoons water

  • 1

    teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Directions

For the Pate a Choux Puffs Directions 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. 2. Make the puffs: Bring milk, water, butter, and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove from heat, and whisk in flour. Return to heat, and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until mixture pulls away from sides of pan, about 4 minutes. Transfer to the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed to cool slightly, about 1 minute. With machine running, add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Transfer dough to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch round tip. 3. Whisk together yolk and heavy cream. Pipe about one hundred 1-inch puffs (about the size of a quarter) onto each prepared sheet. Gently brush with egg wash. Bake until puffs rise and are golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks. (Puffs can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 day.) 4. Transfer caramel cream to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch round tip. Insert tip of pastry bag into base of each puff, and fill each. Return to sheets in a single layer as you work. 5. Assemble the croquembouche: Dip top half of each filled puff into caramel (be careful not to burn your fingers), letting excess drip back into pan. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Let stand until caramel is set. 6. Carefully dip bottom half of 1 puff into caramel, letting excess drip into pan. Transfer puff, hot caramel side down, to a serving platter. Repeat with 9 more puffs, forming a connected ring as you work. Repeat with more puffs, layering rings to form a 6-layer pyramid, using 45 or 50 puffs total. (If the caramel begins to harden, reheat briefly over low heat.) 7. Attach sugar cookies to sides and base of croquembouche, using royal icing or caramel as "glue." 8. To make a second croquembouche, make another batch of caramel, and repeat with remaining filled puffs. (Alternatively, serve the remaining puffs on the side.) Serve immediately, or let stand at room temperature for up to 2 hours. Cook's Note Don't worry about making it perfect -- a homemade look is part of its charm. Use the cookie stars to hide gaps between puffs. Caramel Cream Directions 1. Prepare an ice-water bath. Heat sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until mixture boils and sugar dissolves, washing down sides of pan often with a wet pastry brush to prevent crystals from forming. Reduce heat to medium, and cook until sugar turns dark amber, 5 to 7 minutes more. Immediately remove from heat, and carefully whisk in 1 cup cream. Return to medium heat, and cook until sugar melts completely and mixture boils. 2. Remove from heat, and pour into a bowl set in ice-water bath. Let caramel cool, stirring often, for 10 minutes. Stir in creme fraiche, vanilla, and salt. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 5 days. 3. Just before using, beat remaining 1 cup cream until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into caramel sauce, using a rubber spatula, until incorporated. Whisk to thicken, about 1 minute. Caramel cream Directions 1. Prepare an ice-water bath. Bring all ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat, washing down sides of pan often with a wet pastry brush to prevent crystals from forming. Cook, without stirring, until sugar dissolves, 5 to 6 minutes. Raise heat to high, and cook, swirling pan to color evenly, until syrup is amber, about 5 minutes. Remove caramel from heat, and set bottom of pan in ice-water bath for a few seconds to stop the cooking. Use immediately. amel (For Assembly) Caramel Directions 1. Prepare an ice-water bath. Bring all ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat, washing down sides of pan often with a wet pastry brush to prevent crystals from forming. Cook, without stirring, until sugar dissolves, 5 to 6 minutes. Raise heat to high, and cook, swirling pan to color evenly, until syrup is amber, about 5 minutes. Remove caramel from heat, and set bottom of pan in ice-water bath for a few seconds to stop the cooking. Use immediately.


Nutrition

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