Mini Croquembouche – Not for the Faint-Hearted
Inspiration taken from Delicious Magazine Dec/Jan Issue
Recipe for Pate a Choux adapted from Secrets of Baking by Sherry Yard
Recipe for Caramel Sugar from Delicious Magazine Dec/Jan Issue
Pate a choux
1 cup of bread flour or plain flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup of full-fat milk
85g unsalted butter
4 large eggs
1 large egg for egg wash
250g caster sugar
2 tablespoons glucose syrup
A tub of good-quality vanilla ice cream
To make pate a choux
1/ Sift together the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
2/ Bring the water, milk and butter to a boil in a large saucepan over medium heat. At the boil, remove the pan from the heat and add the flour mixture all at once. Using a sturdy spoon, stir vigorously to combine.
3/ Return the mixture to medium heat and store constantly in figure eights. Cook for at least 4 minutes, or until the mixture has a smooth, mashed-potato-like appearance. This helps to brak down the starch and develop the gluten, Remove it from the heat.
4/ Transfer the hot mixture tot he bowl of a standing mixier fitted with a paddle attachment or use a hand mixer. Mix on low speed for 1 or 2 minutes. Add the eggs on at a time. Be sure to let the batter absorb each egg and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula before adding the next. The dough should be shiny and smooth. It is now ready to be piped. To store for later use, cover the surface with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
5/ Fit a small (#3) plain tip into a large plastic piping bag. Make a big cuff at the top of the bag and fill the bag halfway with choux paste. Uncuff and twist the top of the bag to push the contents toward the tip. Pipe mounds of small pate a choux 1/2 inch in diameter and 1/2 inch high.
6/ Preheat oven to 190 degrees. Adjust the rack to the centre of the oven.
7/ Make egg wash by whisking the egg in a small bowl. Brush lightly but evenly over the puffs.
8/ Place the puffs in the oven, bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven to 170 degrees and bake for a further 15 minutes until light golden brown and puffed.
Assembling the mini croquembouche
1/ One at a time, place a ball of ice cream on a chilled plate. Press 12 choux puffs into the ice cream to completely cover and make a mini pyramid. Return to the freezer and repeat with the remaining ice cream and puffs. Return to freezer for 10-15 minutes while you make the caramel.
2/ After you have made the caramel sugar, remove croquembouches from the freezer and pour the warm caramel over each. It will harden as it hits the chilled croquembouches. Serve with your favourite fruit.
To make the caramel sugar
1/Place sugar and water in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring for 2-3 minutes until sugar dissolves and syrup is clear. Stir in glucose. Increase heat to medium-high bring to the boil and cook for 6-8 minutes until a rich caramel colour. Cool for 2-3 minutes.
Delicious Magazine Dec/Jan 2009 Issue
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cooking Time: 35 minutes
Tips from the cookbookmaniac
* Have a bowl of iced water ready when you make the caramel sugar. When the caramel reaches the right colour place the pot onto the iced water to stop it from browning further. Do not leave on the iced water for too long.
* The caramel sugar hardens as it cools. Use it quickly and pay lots of attention to it. If it becomes too hard. Place the pot back on the stove on low-medium and it shoul slowly melt. Be careful not to let it get too hot again.
* This is really yummy with some seasonal fruit