Skill level: Advanced
Time: 2.5 hours
Can be adapted to a dairy free diet
Medium bag flour 75g
Medium bag crème patisserie mix (30g sugar, 15g custard powder, ¼ vanilla pod)
Large bag caramel sugar (300g)
Equipment included (wash equipment that will be in close contact to food & dry before use)
Silicone Piping bags x 2
Parchments x 2
Printable download choux template- https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0044/8243/3117/files/Choux_template_x_8.pdf?v=1613551621
1 Branch artificial foliage
350ml water (125ml for choux, 225ml for caramel)
200ml full fat milk (dairy or non is fine)
50g butter, cubed (dairy or plant)
*salted or unsalted if you use unsalted add a pinch of salt to the choux batter
3 large eggs (2 whole, 1 yolk)
Full list of ingredients contained in the kit: Cane sugar, wheat flour, custard powder (Maize Starch, Salt, Flavouring, natural colour Annatto), madagascan vanilla pod
Allergens: Wheat, Gluten
*Risk of trace particles from manufacturing of Sesame, nuts, milk, soy
For the filling
Fit your piping bag with the syringe nozzle and coupler and place in a tall glass pointy end down so you can fill it easily.
*Place the larger part of the coupler inside the piping bag and cut off approximately 1cm so it protrudes out. Do not cut too much as it will not be tight. Then put the nozzle onto the end and secure with the ring part of the connector by screwing down.
Pour the milk into a pan on a medium-high heat. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolk and crème pâtissier mix (or crème pat in the industry!) and mix with a 1/3 of the milk from the pan until smooth.
Pour the mixture back into the pan and cook over a medium heat for 4-5 minutes, whisking, until the mixture starts to thicken, and the whisk leaves a trail.
Now, fill your piping bag with the crème pat and tie a knot. Leave to cool outside on your windowsill for 20 mins then in the fridge for another 20 mins.
For the Choux buns
Pour the 125ml water (with a pinch of salt if you are using unsalted butter) into a large saucepan and add the butter, bring to the boil, and add all the flour quickly in one go, removing the pan from the heat. Bring the pan back to the heat and beat the mixture vigorously for 1 minute, you want to see some of the water evaporate. Leave to cool for 5-10 minutes. Prepare your second piping bag over a tall glass. This time do not snip off the pointy end.
Print out your downloadable choux template 4 times. Preheat the oven to fan 200oC. Lay the template on two large baking trays with the baking parchment over them.
In your pan, pour in 2 whole eggs beaten a little at a time, stirring vigorously until the paste is smooth and glossy.
Spoon the mixture into the piping bag fitted. Pipe around 32 rounds each about the diameter onto the baking sheets about 3 mm away from the edge of the template circles. Dip a finger in cold water and flatten any peaks.
Bake for 15 minutes until risen and golden. Pierce a hole in the bottom of each choux bun with the pointy end of the thermometer. Turn off the oven.
Return to the buns to the switched off oven for a further 3 minutes to dry out. Remove and leave to cool.
The choux buns can be made in advance and frozen, or can be stored unfilled for up to 3 days in an airtight container. If the buns are soft after defrosting or storage, lay them on lined baking sheets and bake at 180 C / fan 160 C / mark 4 for 5 minutes until crisp.
Now fill your choux buns with the cooled crème pat. Squeeze the bag around to loosen the mixture so it comes out easily. Insert the syringe into the premade hole and fill each bun. You will know they are filled entirely by looking to see if the crème oozes out from other holes and they feel heavy,
To build the Croquembouche
To assemble the croquembouche, start by making the caramel which will act as the glue to hold the whole thing together. Use 300g of caster sugar and 225ml of water into a small saucepan. Use a smaller one to regulate the heat better.
Place sugar and water in a clean pan and dissolve by stirring gently on a low heat. Once dissolved, raise the temperature to boiling.
Whilst boiling do not stir. Keep the sides of the pan and the thermometer continuously washed down with a little water to re-dissolve any sugar crystal which may form. Boil as rapidly as possible to the required temperature 154oC. using the digital thermometer.
If any scum appears on the surface, remove it with a spoon. When the required temperature has been reached, remove the pan quickly from the heat and plunge it into a sink of cold water for a few seconds to prevent the temperature rising further due to heat absorbed by the saucepan.
Put on the protective gloves. Place your cone on a flat serving plate. If the cone doesn’t lay flat, cut the base using a serrated knife. Holding each choux bun on its side, dip into the caramel (which will be very HOT) and arrange the buns around the base of the cone. The caramel will help them stick together. Continue dipping the buns in the caramel and layering them up around the mould, until you reach the top. If the caramel gets too thick, briefly return it to the heat to warm through, but be careful not to burn it.
The fun part- decorating!
Using a teaspoon take a little caramel (again reheat a little if your caramel is getting too hard) and dab it on the back of a cut sprig of your faux pine and gently arrange it on your croquembouche. Repeat until you have the look you desire- this is your chance to get creative.
To finish- Take a fork and dip into the saucepan of caramel to create spun sugar and place all around your croquembouche. Get creative- but be careful at the same time- this is very hot caramel still! Remember to check the video for a demo 😊
If you are planning a centrepiece for a special occasion, try to find time for a test run before the main event. If not, the main thing is that you had a go!
Do not forget to post your masterpieces on Instagram. #makemondessert