Fun & Easy Croquembouche Recipe
The name is derived from the French term croque en bouche, which means “crunches in the mouth.” A croquembouche, also known as a croque-en-bouche, is a French dessert made up of choux pastry puffs stacked into a cone and wrapped with caramel threads. It is commonly served at weddings, baptisms, and first communions in Italy and France.
A croquembouche is made up of profiteroles (usually filled with cream) stacked into a cone and bound with spun sugar. Other confectionery, such as sugared almonds, chocolate, and edible flowers, may be used to decorate it. It’s often topped with macarons or ganache.
Croquembouche is the perfect centerpiece for parties and other gatherings where the dessert takes center stage!
Prep Time: 5 hours, 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 6 hours, 30 minutes
Vanilla Pastry Cream Ingredients:
- 1 ¼ cups whole milk
- 3 egg yolks
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup butter
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 8 eggs
- 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup water
Making The Pastry Cream For Croquembouche:
In a small saucepan, warm the milk over low heat until it is just hot enough to steam. While the milk is warming, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, flour, and cornstarch until the mixture is completely smooth.
Once the milk is steaming, add half of it, whisking constantly, to the egg mixture. Add the milk and eggs back into the hot milk, continue stirring, and heat it for 1-2 minutes, until the custard reaches 170F on a digital thermometer and is very thick. Remove from the heat, stir in the vanilla extract, and chill the cream before filling profiteroles, about 2 hours.
Making The Choux:
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter in the water. Add salt and flour, and stir until a sticky batter is formed. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until the batter is smooth.
Preheat oven to 400F and grease 2 baking sheets. Spoon the prepared choux dough into 24 small rounds on each baking sheet. Bake for about 30-35 minutes, until the profiteroles puff up and turn golden brown. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes before filling with the prepared pastry cream.
To Fill Croquembouche Profiteroles:
Spoon the chilled pastry cream into a bag fitted with a plain tip. Insert the tip into the underside of a profiterole and pipe about 1 teaspoon of pastry cream into it. Repeat with the remaining profiteroles. Place the filled profiteroles into the freezer for at least 3 hours.
Making The Carmel:
Spoon 2 1/2 cups sugar into a medium saucepan and pour 2/3 cup water over it. Draw a spoon through the sugar to wet it and turn the heat up to medium-high. Once the mixture is up to a simmer, wipe down the sides of the pan with a damp pastry brush. Allow the sugar mixture to boil for 15-20 minutes until it turns pale golden brown.
Remove the pan from the heat and immediately plunge it into a bowl of ice water for 5 seconds to stop the cooking process. Allow the caramel to cool for about 5-10 minutes until it has the consistency of maple syrup. When it has cooled to this point, be ready to work fast.
Assembling Your Croquembouche:
Dip 12 profiteroles, one at a time, in the caramel and arrange them in a circle on a parchment-lined serving platter or baking sheet, using the caramel to glue them together. Continue building the croquembouche by dipping and “gluing” another, smaller ring of profiteroles on top of the first one. Continue the process until the classic cone or tower shape has been achieved. Lightly drizzle the remaining caramel over the croquembouche to form a cobweb of spun sugar. Affix sugared almonds, metallic dragées, or flowers for decoration.
This croquembouche recipe makes 48 medium-sized servings.
Here is a great video detailing how to make Croquembouche
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