Sunday, December 27, 2009

Behold the Croquembouche

Every year, I try and tackle some new fancy dessert for Christmas Eve dinner. This year, I decided I wanted to learn how to make a croquembouche. I watched several You Tube videos and read a bunch of reviews on-line before deciding to use Martha's recipe.

The creme puffs were surprisingly easy to make. I did learn that you really do have to cook them a long time or else they deflate and are soggy inside. We just ate the batch that I pulled out too soon.

Aren't they pretty? The vanilla pastry cream was divine and filling the creme puffs was really simple.

I had planned on sticking the cream puffs together with caramel, but apparently it takes more that 30 minutes to learn how to make caramel and spin sugar. After the second batch refused to make pretty little strands of caramel, I ditched it and decided to hold the whole thing together with chocolate. I did not have a mold and I did not use a foam center, I just stacked them in layers right before leaving for the dinner. It worked perfectly and frankly everything is a bit better with chocolate - right?

Yum! The host was eating cream puffs while the rest of us were having appetizers. I'd say it was a hit!

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