Monday, August 29, 2011

The Croquembouche Challenge 2

Making a croquembouche has been by far the most challenging cooking project I have ever undertaken. When I had told people when I initially decided to do it I often got a got a response that seemed a bit apprehensive. Was it really going to be that hard? I mean its a few profiteroles stuck together right? right? WRONG!

It was actually the most stressful cooking experience of my life. The toffee was setting and the profiteroles were falling off, the custard was too thin and seeping out. It just seemed like everything was turning sour. I did it in two stages. I made the profiteroles in the morning and then waited for them to cool before filling with custard. The custard was too thin so i put them in the fridge to thicken and cool.

After about 20 minutes of starting the toffee mix I took them out and they were no longer seeping everywhere. I thought I could get a head start and started to dip the profiteroles in the toffee before it had started to colour. This was a mistake and it did not harden as needed it just became very chewy. I soon realised this and waited until the colour had changed before dipping the rest of them.

When the toffee is ready is when the time crunch starts to happen. You dont want to burn it but you dont want it to set so you need to work quick! I ended up abandoning dipping the profiteroles half way through and used the dipped ones on the bottom for it to be more solid.

When creating the croquembouche I basically glued a layer of profiteroles together in a circle with the toffee and built it up to a conical shape.

As you can see it is not perfect but I am quite chuffed for my first time!

What do you think?

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