Recipes

A Christmas croquembouche

This is a complex French dessert which was invented as a wedding cake in the 1700’s. This dessert is made by using profiteroles (choux pastry), and stacked into a high conical-shaped structure. Very often they are bound with toffee to hold the shape of the tower, and then a fine drizzling of toffee to decorate. In this recipe I used caramel sauce to bind the choux, and the same sauce to drizzle over the tower as well. The profiteroles are filled with either cream, custard, pastry cream or any filling of your choice. You can use your imagination to decorate the tower with fresh fruit, nuts and edible flowers.

INGREDIENTS:
Choux pastry
125ml water
60g butter
60g plain flour
Half tsp salt
3 eggs lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla essence

TO PREPARE:
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line a baking tray with baking paper and set aside. Place water and butter in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove immediately from the heat and add sifted flour and salt. Mix vigorously with a wooden spoon and returning to heat, mix for a further 2 minutes over a low heat until the mixture leaves the sides of the saucepan. Allow the mixture to cool slightly. Beat eggs and put them into the mixture in four stages, beating well after each addition. Finally add the vanilla essence. Place small amounts (level tblsp) onto baking tray and place in oven to cook for 10 minutes and then reduce heat to 180 degrees , cook for a further 15 minutes. Pierce each ball to allow steam to escape and leave in oven to cool. When the profiteroles are cool you can fill them with your preferred filling and stack them as high as you wish, depending on how many balls you have made.

CARAMEL SAUCE:
300g caster sugar
125ml water
300ml cream
130g brown sugar

TO PREARE:
Combine sugar and water in a saucepan and cook for about 10 minutes over a low heat. Gently bring it to the boil. Remove from heat, add brown sugar and mix well. Put back onto stove and add the cream, cook for a further 2 minutes. Now you can decide what you wish to do with your sauce. If you bottle it you must put the hot mixture into clean hot jars and seal while still hot.

FInd this recipe and more at Jeanne D’Moore

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