CroquembouchePreparation time: 90 mins. (approx.) | Yields 28 choux

This Croquembouche Recipe is a very famous French dessert. It is prepared with Choux pastry balls, which are piled in the form of a cone and wrapped with caramel threads. The dessert looks very tempting and has a very good taste.

Ingredients:

For Choux Pastry:

¾ cup water
6 tbsp unsalted butter
¼ tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
Egg wash for brushing

For Pastry Cream:

1 cup whole milk
2 tbsp cornstarch
6 tbsp fine granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract

For Caramel:

1 cup sugar
½ cup water
½ tsp lemon juice

Procedure:

Preparation Of Choux Pastry:

1. In a saucepan, combine water, butter, salt and sugar and bring the mixture to boil over medium heat.
2. Remove the pan from heat and then add flour to the mixture. Stir gently to mix well and then return the pan to heat.
3. Cook the batter over medium heat until all the liquid absorb in the flour and becomes heavy. When the batter starts to pull away from the sides of the pan remove the pan from heat and transfer it to a large mixing bowl.
4. Slight cool down the batter by stirring with wooden spoon, then add an egg and start to mix it evenly. It will absorb in the mixture and forms texture like shiny mashed potatoes. Similarly add remaining eggs and mix them well after each addition of egg.
5. When the batter becomes smooth, transfer it to the piping bag with no tip attached.
6. Take a large or two medium baking sheets, lined with parchment sheets. Pipe out the prepared choux pastry batter onto the baking sheet in such a way that the height and width of the pastry is around 1-inch and the distance between each pastry is also about 1-inch. Using wet fingers flatten the top of the choux pastry to make it even from top and then brush the top with egg wash (1 egg lightly beaten with 1 tbsp water and pinch of salt).
7. Place the baking sheets in preheated oven at 425◦F for 10-15 mins. or until well-puffed and turn into light golden in color. After that reduce the temperature to 350◦F and continue baking for 10-15 mins. more until become light brown and little dry.
8. When the choux pastries are done, cool it to room temperature completely.

Preparation Of Pastry Cream:

1. In a heavy saucepan, boil ¾ cup of milk with sugar at medium heat, then remove from heat and cool for 5 mins.
2. In a mixing bowl, dissolve cornstarch with the remaining milk and then beat this mixture with whole egg and yolks.
3. Pour 1/3 of boiling milk into the egg mixture and gently start whisking so that egg would not starts to solidify.
4. Now return the remaining sugar-milk mixture to boil, start pouring the egg mixture to the milk, stir constantly to avoid making lumps, and continue to stirring until the cream thickens and comes to a boil.
5. Then remove the pan from heat and beat in the butter and vanilla.
6. Transfer the cream to the stainless steel bowl, cover with plastic wrap refrigerate to chill.

Preparation of Caramel:

1. In a saucepan, combine sugar, water and lemon juice and cook until all the sugar dissolves completely and turn into golden syrup.
2. When the caramel is ready, transfer the pan over the bowl filled with ice water and leaves it as it is for few mins. You may also follow the procedure as mentioned in the video for making caramel.

Assembling:

1. Fill the prepared pastry cream to the piping bag and fill the choux with the cream by inserting the tip of the piping bag into the choux in the center.
2. When all the choux are filled, take a round platter of 8-inch size, dip one of a side of choux in the caramel and place it onto the corner of the platter in such a way that its glazed side down. Similarly place choux in the same manner forming a large ring of platter size, now in order to give it conical shape, place the glazed choux on top of the first layer of choux forming another ring but little smaller. In the same way place the remaining choux in the ring pattern and the choux holding with each other by the caramel glaze coating.
3. In the end you have a beautiful conical shape Croquembouche, now in order to give it the same look like you enjoy eating it outside, drizzle the remaining caramel from top so that a web of caramel threads are formed.
4. You can decorate it further by placing some edible flowers and bounties on the choux.
5. However, if you want to learn assembling the Croquembouche in a perfect manner then watch the video below which clearly shows you how to fill and assemble Croquembouche.

photo source : 1