Thursday, December 16, 2010


Monday December 13th was my Dad's and boyfriend Tomas birthday. And for their birthdays Tomas mom made him a cake and my mom made my dad his cake. Therefore when it came to Tomas I wanted to make him something else instead of a cake. Well I was looking at some of my old Food Network magazines and I saw this picture of a Croquembouche and knew that Tomas would love it since he loves cream puffs. So I decided to give it a try. I first started of by trying the recipe in the magazine, but I failed. My dough was too runny and therefore my cream puffs never puffed. So I researched online and I found a recipe at Easy French that was actually easier so I made a second batch as well. When it came to the filling I didn't want to do the one from the Food Network magazine because it called for to many eggs and vanilla beans and I didn't want to spend too much. So I found this great filling recipe on (which I changed a little). The one thing I did do from the magazine was the caramel crunch web that I swirled around the tower of creme puffs. Therefore I took three recipes and combined them to make the Croquembouche for Tomas. For being my first time making this I think I did a fairly good job, even though my tower is a little slanted, but the most important thing is Tomas loved it.

Cream Filling
2 (3.5 oz ) boxes of vanilla pudding mix
2 cups heavy cream
1 cups milk

Choux Pastry (dough)
1 cup water
6 tablespoons butter
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup flour, sifted after measuring
3 large eggs

3 cups sugar
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 cup water

First make the cream filling by mixing the vanilla pudding mix, heavy cream, and milk together. Cover and refrigerate. Preheat the oven to 400*F. In a saucepan mix the butter, salt and sugar with the water, and heat until the water boils. Remove from the heat and immediately add all of the flour. Beat with a wooden spoon until the dough forms a ball and detaches form the sides of the pan. The website warns that this next step is a workout and they were right. Add the eggs one at a time , fully incorporating each before adding the next one. To make the cream puffs, works with two tablespoons, one to scoop and one to scrape. Place mounds of dough on nonstick cookie sheets space them apart. Dip finger tips in water to smooth down the rough edges of the dough. Bake for 20 minutes. remove immediately from the oven and prick each puff with a toothpick to help the steam escape. After all the puffs have cooled you can now fill the puffs. Either you can cut off the tops and fill with the prepared filling or you can use a piping bag and tip and pierce a hole in the puff and fill with the filling. Place filled puffs bake in the fridge until ready to use.

To make the caramel crunch mix the sugar, corn syrup,and water in a saucepan, cover and bring to a boil over high heat; don't stir. Uncover and boil; swirling the pan, until the syrup turns a deep amber color, about 20 minutes. Immediately dip the bottom of the saucepan in a large bowl full of ice for a few seconds to slow down the cooking. Transfer the caramel to a liquid measuring cup and slightly cool. Draw about a 7-inch circle on a piece of parchment paper. Partially dip each puff in the caramel mixture and then arrange the puffs around the circle. Keep building the tower up until it comes to a point. Line your working area with parchment paper because things will get messy. Dip the tip of the fork in the caramel and wave it in circles around the tower to create a web of caramel strands. Let set. Cut the parchment paper around the tower and use two spatulas to carefully transfer the Croquembouche to a platter. Serve and enjoy. :)

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