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Croquembouche

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Croquembouche

Postby strictlysalsaclare » Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:32 am

Morning everyone

Have any of you lovely folks either made, bought or eaten a croquembouche? If so, is there normally a base on it? I'm asking because I would like to make one for a good friend of mine (and risk burning my fingers on all that caramel in the process!). She has a bit a running joke re this dessert relating to The Great British Bake Off; i.e. if anyone disturbs us during the final, please bring a croquembouche round to apolpgise! Not that we did this, because we were watching the programme ourselves! My friend also has cerebral palsy, so cannot make it herself very easily. Although her husband is a good cook, I'm not entirely sure he's ever fancied making one!

Basically I would like to invite them over to us for afternoon tea as they don't live that far from us, and surprise her with a home-made croquembouche. I have found 2 recipes in by book collection ( not looked online yet!) and they both require a base of some kind. I was just wondering if this was de rigeur or not. I have a suitably sized flat plate with an upturned rim that I can serve it on.

Many thanks everyone and I look forward to reading the replies!

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Re: Croquembouche

Postby Sakkarin » Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:58 am

Last time I made a croquembouche was 1999. Which was also the first time - so I'm no expert...

I think the important thing is to make sure whatever they are being stuck together with is up to the job or it will fall to bits. And make sure you have enough balls for the size you are doing!

EDIT: Make more choux than you need and make a savoury gougere too. Lovely!

Good luck, choux pastry takes an awful lot of elbow grease.

This video has the first row placed inside a ring:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWwLcyl1Xuc


This video has it constructed on a cone: fast forward to 1'35" for a homemade cone.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbrjoR5gD0M

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Re: Croquembouche

Postby Joanbunting » Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:21 pm

I have made a few and what you need is one of these:

http://www.lakeland.co.uk/r80276/Croquembouche.

Once you get the hang it is rather good fun and not difficult. Good luck!

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Re: Croquembouche

Postby DEB » Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:14 pm


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Re: Croquembouche

Postby Stokey Sue » Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:38 pm

I made one a long time ago with moderate success, a friend made a few

I only heard of croquembouche moulds quite recently, we used to make them more low rise (more Box Hill than Matterhorn :D ) but solid not hollow
This I suspect is slightly easier in some ways, as it requires less precision gluing

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Re: Croquembouche

Postby strictlysalsaclare » Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:34 pm

Thanks for all the hints and advice, especially Stokey Sue's, I shall take that one on board.

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Re: Croquembouche

Postby Alexandria » Sat Nov 04, 2017 12:33 am

Good luck ..

This is an amazingly incredible dessert ..

The bakers in the family are my mom and mom in law .. Glad they live two hours north by car !!! :birthday-diet


Have a wonderful weekend ..
Barcelona, soulful & spirited, filled with fine art, amazing architecture, profoundly steeped in culture & history, and it engages all your senses, and food fancies.

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Re: Croquembouche

Postby Renée » Sat Nov 04, 2017 12:41 am

I made one many years ago, but only the once! Rings for them weren't available in those days, so I made a more solid one. It looked a mess, but certainly tasted good! :lol:

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Re: Croquembouche

Postby Sakkarin » Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:33 pm

Just dug out my old college notes, and found this incredibly concise recipe for choux in the gougere recipe, makes it sound so easy! It doesn't mention that "beating" the choux is like mixing cement with a soupspoon.

"Heat the butter and water, remove from heat, add the flour and beat vigorously, cool slightly, then add eggs beating well."

Amounts for anyone that wants to try it are 75g butter, 150g flour, 175ml boiling water, 3 eggs. Spread on base and sides of buttered ovenproof dish and add the filling of your choice (ham and mushroom for the college one). Bake for 30 mins at 200 degrees then reduce for final 10 mins.

Here's one I prepared earlier (as in 9 years earlier)

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Re: Croquembouche

Postby Joanbunting » Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:52 pm

I made a chicken liver and wild mushroom gougere on Saturday. In fact it is my go to recipe when I need something sweet or savoury and want to impress.

Paris Brest, profiteroles choux and stawberrry cream ring . Not to mention plain cheese gougeres to have a nibbles and deep fried sweet or savoury puffs.

The trick I was taught is to let the butter and water just come to the boil and rise up before immediately tipping in the siffted flour off the heat and beting until it leaves the sides of the pan.

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Re: Croquembouche

Postby Stokey Sue » Mon Nov 06, 2017 5:35 pm

I have two tricks for choux, both came from someone on the TV might have been Delia but I don't think so; Pepin maybe? Rachel Khoo also does this I think, and she trained in patisserie

1. Tip the water / flour / butter mix from the pan into a room temperature bowl before adding the eggs , this cools it just the right amount without any waiting

2. Add all the eggs but one (or even two if making a large amount), beat the last one (or two) and add a little at a time until the texture is perfect for piping, wet choux won't rise, you get pancakes. Actually with a three egg mix, I usually just beat them all and add a dollop at a time, rather than one egg at a time

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Re: Croquembouche

Postby Sakkarin » Mon Nov 06, 2017 7:07 pm

I thought I'd see what the smallest feasible size for a croq was, as in number of balls. This 2 inch high one wasn't quite what I had in mind!

http://parisminiatures.blogspot.co.uk/2 ... ontee.html

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Re: Croquembouche

Postby Stokey Sue » Mon Nov 06, 2017 7:26 pm

There is a young French woman who makes similar models on Food Network

They are lovely, but I fail to see the point unless you have a splendid doll's house!

Here's the Food Network interview with her, it's really interesting to see the modelling

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwtAf9Ab5jc

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Re: Croquembouche

Postby Sakkarin » Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:16 am

I'm not sure if they're cooked minis or sculpted ones Sue, I presumed cooked ones on my link, but maybe they're both by the same person.

Last night I made the gougere, but kept aside enough choux for 4 balls, so here are my four profiteroles in the smallest feasible croquembouche mode. I've no cream, no chocolate and can't be bothered to make any creme pat or caramel, so I'm afraid that's all you're getting! Much room for improvement I know, they were far from perfect, although had a fair sized hole in the middle.

Preparing the choux was every bit the ordeal I remember - I have a problem with the muscle between my thumb and forefinger, it cramps up with the "beating/whisking" action.

The Ham and Mushroom Gougere: although the pastry started off lining up with the top of the dish, it rose stupendously; even more than a souffle would! Not perfect though, it was very doughy in the base.

Gougere pic linked as off topic:
http://www.carta.co.uk/foodforumpix/gougere2017.jpg

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Re: Croquembouche

Postby Joanbunting » Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:54 am

That looks very good Sakkers. I use a shallower metal dish but yours looks perect.

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Re: Croquembouche

Postby Stokey Sue » Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:38 pm

Look great Sakkarin
My choux is mainly confined to small cheese gougeres thes days, and I use my electric hand mixer as the grip on my right hand is poor since it was rebuilt. It works fine

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Re: Croquembouche

Postby Sakkarin » Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:27 pm

I had a bit of a hole in my tummy so thought I'd have another choux bash at some cheesey gougeres as championed by Stokey in the previous post. I made a very small batch with 1 egg, 30g butter, 50g flour, 60ml water, with 25g of parmesan, chilli flakes (the Korean stuff, it's such a lovely red, you can see little flecks of it in the piccy) and nutmeg.

Lovely snack! And it only took 16 minutes preparation from scratch to going into the oven (although I had already "mise-en-placed" everything). Still hard work, but I'm figuring out ways to minimise the effort. I'm not sure why it's necessary to faff about with two spoons preparing the dollops of dough, I found I could quite easily roll them in my hands, so long as I used a silicon spatula to portion the dough into 12 lumps. 6 gone, 6 left for tomorrow morning.

The recipes I've looked at are all much of a muchness, however this is the one I followed most closely this time around. Just exclude the cheese/spices, and it's still basic croquemboucheish choux.

http://www.simonhopkinson.tv/recipe/38/ ... A8res.aspx

EDIT: Just struck me that filled with my favourite mushroom pate, these could be insanely good.

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Re: Croquembouche

Postby Stokey Sue » Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:24 am

Look good sakkarin
I've used Simon Hopkinson's recipe the last few times, but as you say, they are much of a muchness
I don't shape like quennelles either, if I did a lot I think I'd invest in a suitable portion scoop

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Re: Croquembouche

Postby jeral » Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:58 am

What about a bog standard ice cream scoop, dipped in hot water each time? The blobs might not come out perfectly but would be of equal size.

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Re: Croquembouche

Postby Stokey Sue » Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:00 am

My ice cream scoop would make nice big choux buns, but I'd need a smaller one for aperitif sized gougeres

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