Day 250: Croquembouche

Happy day 250! I'm so happy to come this far in completing my challenge, it's such fun to make something new everyday!

The one thing I'm terrified about is, what if I messed up the title on one day, and then everything would be thrown off. 😛


Today I made croquembouche. It's basically little cream puffs stacked up on each other and topped with caramel. I used the recipe from Clair Saffitz's new book, Dessert Person! It was so easy to follow her wonderful instructions.



I'm not going to lie, it's pretty challenging and time consuming but tastes soooo good. I recommend making the pastry cream the day before so it can fully set. You can do the same for the cream puffs. Sometime's the cream puffs get a little soggy after staying overnight, but don't worry. Once the cream puffs have caramel all over them, they'll become crisp again.

Don't be intimidated by the long steps! I hope you'll enjoy making croquembouche as much as I did! My word of advice: be careful with caramel! I got burnt 3 times!

Thank you to everyone who has supported me! All I can say now is onwards to 365 days!

|Level: 👩🏽‍🍳👩🏽‍🍳👩🏽‍🍳|Time: 4 hours|Serves: 10|


RECIPE:


INGREDIENTS:

Craquelin:

  • 1 stick butter, softened

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

Choux Pastry:

  • 1/2 cup whole milk

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 7 tablespoons butter

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 5-6 eggs

Pastry Cream:

  • 2 cup whole milk

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, paste, or seeds

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/4 cup cornstarch

  • 5 egg yolks

  • 6 tablespoons butter, chilled and cut into cubes

Caramel:

  • 3 1/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 1/4 cup water

STEPS:

  1. Combine butter, brown sugar, and flour in a small bowl. Knead until you get a soft dough. Place a large sheet of parchment paper and add your dough onto one side of it. Fold over so you have a sandwich. Roll into a large sheet until your craquelin is 1/8" thick. Chill in a fridge for 10 minutes while you make your Choux pastry.

  2. In a pot (over medium heat) melt your butter, milk, and sugar. Once your butter is fully dissolved add your flour immediately. Stir for 3 minutes until you get a pliable dough, it should pull away from the sides of the pot. Add into a stand mixer and beat 5 eggs in, one at a time. If it's done it will leave a "V" shape when you hold up a spatula or spoon. If your pastry doesn't pass this test, add one more egg. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F make sure to have two oven racks. One on the top, and one on the bottom. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a 1" bottle cap, draw (with pencil) circles 2" away from one another. Repeat on your second baking sheet. Pour your Choux pastry into a piping bag and pipe 2" tall mounds on top of your bottle cap guides. Set aside.

  3. Take your craquelin from the fridge, and using the same bottle cap that you used earlier, cut out circles. You can reuse the craquiline dough again until you run out. Place on top of your cream puff mounds. Place one baking sheet on the top rack of your oven and another baking sheet on the bottom. Immediately lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees and bake for 20 minutes. Once your timer is done, switch your top and bottom baking sheets. Then rotate them from front to back. Bake for another 15 minutes, turn off the oven, and cool in the oven leaving the door open ajar for 15 minutes.

  4. Make the pastry cream: Heat the milk, and vanilla extract until the milk just begins to boil. Immediately turn off heat and set aside. In a medium bowl stir your eggs, sugar, and cornstarch together in a bowl. Add 1/2 of the milk into your eggs stirring constantly to avoid having your eggs scrambled. Add your egg mixture back to the remaining pot of milk and place on the stove over medium heat. Stir for 3-5 minutes until your pastry cream has thickened and there are bubbles popping up. Add your butter chunks, piece by piece and pour into a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing directly to the surface of custard. Chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours.

  5. Once your custard is finished being chilled, add to a pastry bag. Snip the end off and poke a hole on the bottom of a cream puff. Fill your puff with the pastry cream until it feels heavy, and the cream comes out of your poked hole. Repeat for all your cream puffs.

  6. Make your caramel by melting sugar and water in a pot. Stir occasionally on high heat for about 5 minutes when a dark amber color will start to form. Take off the heat and let it cool down just slightly. Dip the top of your filled cream puff into the caramel. Place onto a baking sheet. Repeat with your remaining cream puffs.

  7. Your caramel might harden and that's okay! Just put it back on the stove for a minute until it becomes liquid again.

  8. Now take a cake board and dip the bottom of the cream puff in caramel. Form a ring of 11 cream puffs all dipped in caramel. Wait a minute for the puffs to set. Repeat the same process again, for the next layer. This time make sure to place your cream puffs leaning a little more toward the center. Continue layering until you are able to close your cream puff tower. If you find your cream puffs aren't sticking very well, or are falling down, you can dip the caramel around half the puff's circle. This way they will stick to each other more safely.

  9. Congrats, you made a Croquembouche!

Enjoy!


- The Bored Baker 👩🏽‍🍳

Made this recipe? Tag @theboredbakerofficial on Instagram.

Adapted: Dessert Person, by Claire Saffitz


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