"Crunch in the mouth": Classic cake Croquembouche worth trying
Classic cake Croquembouche worth trying
By Joshua Dineen, Chef Specialist, Lincoln Land Community College
One of my favorite desserts to make is this wonderful “cake” called a croquembouche. It was created by chef Antoine Carême in the 1700’s and is the traditional French wedding cake. This wonderful cake is made from cream-filled puff pastry that are dipped in caramel and stacked into a cone shape. It is then covered in thin threads of caramel and often decorated in various beautiful manners.
Each guest at the wedding takes 4-5 caramel covered cream puffs to enjoy, which means for 100 guests the tower of a cake would be made up of 500 cream puffs. The name translates to; “crunch in the mouth.” I like to compare it to the satisfying crunch you get from eating crème brulee.
I remember the first time I made this cake. I was working at Incredibly Delicious. Somebody had requested it as their wedding cake, and Patrick used the opportunity to teach me how to make it. It was a genuine pleasure to create, as I knew all the foundational pieces, it was just a matter of putting it all together. If I remember correctly, they wanted a smaller one for each table to pull apart and enjoy. We covered them in spun sugar and sugar flower accents.
Later when I went to school, we made some that were towers of sugar reaching four or five feet. I have had a couple of opportunities to make this dessert professionally, each time flavoring the cream puff filling differently and pushing the decorations further and more playfully. But unfortunately, it is still not a commonly used dessert as it is best when freshly made and assembled just a couple of hours before being served.
Pate a Choux:
Joshua Dineen is the chef specialist at Lincoln Land Community College.CroquembouchePate a Choux:Diplomat Cream:Assembly: