About this recipe:This is a classic French recipe for a towering display of choux buns, filled with a thick creme patissiere and drizzled with caramel. Perfect for a non-traditional wedding cake or a very special occasion. Decorate as you like - I used pink marzipan roses and chocolate hearts because this one was for my friend's wedding.
Makes: 1 croquembouche tower
For the choux pastry
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons caster sugar
150g plain flour
For the creme patissiere
85g caster sugar
1 drop vanilla extract
500ml milk, divided
1 (150ml carton) single cream, frozen
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 lemon, juiced
For the caramel
250g caster sugar
1 teaspoon of water
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
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Preheat the oven to 200 C / Gas 6. Lightly grease 2 baking trays. Put the single cream in the freezer for 15 minutes - you will need this for the creme patissiere.
Bring the water, butter, sugar and salt to the boil in a saucepan. Remove from heat and pour in the flour. Stir with a wooden spoon until it forms a soft ball. Return to low heat and dry the dough for a minute or so more.
Remove from heat, then add the eggs one at a time, stirring or mixing until blended (do not add another egg until it is completely blended). It will look like a smooth paste.
Place teaspoons of choux pastry on the baking trays, leaving 2.5 cm between them. Bake for 15-18 minutes (less if fan-assisted) and try not to open the oven door in case they flop!
For the creme patissiere: Mix 2 eggs, 85g caster sugar, a drop of vanilla extract, 40g cornflour and 250ml of milk in a bowl.
In a saucepan, bring the remaining milk to the boil. Turn heat down and stir in the sugar mixture, stirring constantly until thick. Set aside to cool. Meanwhile, whip the cream from the freezer until stiff. Add 2 tablespoons caster sugar and juice from 1 lemon. Gently stir into the cooled custard.
For the caramel: Pour 250g caster sugar and 1 teaspoon of water into a pot. Bring it to the boil until golden brown, remove from heat and add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.
To assemble the croquembouche: I used a large piece of cardboard and I rolled it into a cone. I stapled it, then lined it with baking paper and transferred it to a baking tray covered with foil. I dipped the cone into the caramel then placed it to the baking tray. The caramel acts as a glue.
Then, carefully dip each choux bun into the caramel (remember, it's hot) and stick to the cone. Finish by using a fork to drizzle the remaining caramel over the buns. Decorate as desired.
Nice recipe, pastry came out a wee soft and creme pattisiere was a little too loose - I dont think it needed the single cream - it was delicious without but still good - so great recipe! thanks! - 17 Sep 2012