Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Daring Bakers' May Challenge - Croquembouche

(Just in the nick of time!)

The May 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Cat of Little Miss Cupcake. Cat challenged everyone to make a piece montée, or croquembouche, based on recipes from Peter Kump’s Baking School in Manhattan and Nick Malgieri.

Croquembouche, which translates into English as "crunch in the mouth." is a batch of small, filled cream puff pastries stacked, traditionally, into a cone shape and held together by and drizzled with either a chocolate or caramel glaze. I actually used a white chocolate glaze for mine.

This month's challenge almost didn't get done! I could say it was because I was out of town for a good part of the month. I could say it was because of some medical issues. I could say it was because we've been incredibly busy at the office this month. All of those are true, but the real reason I came close to not completing the challenge was . . . procrastination. There I was, on the eve of the posting date, mixing up pate a choux and baking cream puff shells; making vanilla crème patissiere; and, on posting day itself, stirring up a batch of chocolate glaze and building the croquembouche tower.

Even when the recipe was finished, the challenge wasn't, for a big part of the challenge is to photograph and blog about the experience. So here I am, with very little time remaining, doing just that! Considering the time crunch, I'll keep my blog brief and simply post a couple pictures.

Here are a few of the puff shells. They turned out a perfect golden brown. I brushed them with an egg wash before baking, and that helped to make the top of the shell a little glossy.

Mmmmm. Be my guest . . . Just pluck one of those cream puffs off and have a taste!

See recipe HERE.


Baking Addict said...

Looks delicious - I'll have one please :) Love the fresh flowers on top.

Ellie (Almost Bourdain) said...

Very nicely done! Love it!

Linda V said...

What a pretty little croquembouche, it's so neat. Great work completing it even with all your other challenges :)