Thursday, May 27, 2010
The Daring Bakers - Piece Montee (Croquembouche)
The May 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Cat of Little Miss Cupcake. Cat challenged everyone to make a piece montée, or croquembouche, based on recipes from Peter Kump’s Baking School in Manhattan and Nick Malgieri.
I have always wanted to make a croquembouche, ever since Cookie made one for Simon and Vicky's wedding on A Country Practice way back in the early 1980s, and this month was my big chance. (I used to want to be a country vet just like Vicky when I was in primary school - it is a big leap from that to becoming a city lawyer!) Unfortunately, because of time constraints due some pretty full on personal things in my life at the moment, I only had time for the bare minimum, and my croquembouche is not the thing of wonder that I might have hoped. However, it is done, looks something like it is supposed to, and tastes good.
Here are my cream puffs:
I liked the method for making these in the recipe - so much easier than making a roux. Unfortunately, my puffs were a little flat, which influenced the final shape of my croquembouche. No matter - they tasted good!
I chose to make the vanilla pastry cream recipe provided by Cat:
Even though I only had 17 puffs, I only had enough pastry cream to fill half of them, so I filled the remainder with whipped cream.
I was originally going to use caramel to glue my croquembouche together, but after seeing the video of the Aussie guy on YouTube making a croquembouche with chocolate glaze, I was converted and did that instead. He made it look so easy!!!!
I filled the puffs, then melted chocolate, dipped the bottoms of the filled puffs into the chocolate, and arranged them on a 9" round pastry board. Finally, I piped chocolate drizzle all over the assembled croquembouche.
Thanks to Cat for choosing this challenge. She will have the recipe up on her site. To check out what the other Daring Bakers did with this challenge, visit the Daring Bakers blogroll.