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Easter Croquembouche
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Easter Croquembouche Croquembasket

Ingredients

  • 60-70 filled 1 inch cream puffs I double my Pate a Choux and Pastry Cream recipes

Carmel

  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 Tbsp Corn Syrup

Tools:

  • Non-Stick Cooking Spray
  • Metal or Heatproof Bowl
  • Metal Tongs or Disposable Chopstick
  • Spoon
  • Large Pan
  • Aluminum Foil
  • 2 Heatproof Slipmats or pieces of parchment
  • Measuring tape

Instructions

  • Pour sugar, water, and corn syrup into a pot. Stir until the water is even distributed. If any sugar gets on the sides of the pot, take a pastry brush dipped in water and wipe it down. You want the sides clean. This help prevent crystallization of the caramel.
  • Turn on the heat to medium high.
  • Do not touch the caramel mixture! The entire process for the caramel to melt down takes about 15-20 minutes. If you touch it or mix it, it will get grainy so don’t do that.
  • While the caramel is cooking cover the outside of your metal bowl with aluminum foil. Then, spray the bowl, the parchment, and your tongs or chopsticks with non-stick cooking spray.
    Making a Coquembouche Coquembasket
  • Measure the diameter of the bowl. Make a basket handle shape with cream puffs on either a slip mat or parchment lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Make sure that the diameter of your bowl is the distance between the two ends of the basket handle.
    Making a Croquembouche Croquembasket
  • After about 10 minutes, you can start checking the caramel with your thermometer. The caramel should get to 320-340 degrees. Once it gets near that temperature it will get a nice golden brown.
  • Working fast, turn the heat all the way down, but keep the caramel on the burner.
  • Taking your tongs, pick up a cream puff and dip it in the caramel, focusing on getting the bottom and sides covered in caramel. Then, place on the aluminum covered bowl.
  • Repeat with a new cream puff, placing right next to each other. You have a few seconds after you place a cream puff on the bowl to move it around. You want them as close together as possible.
    Making a Croquembouche Croquembasket
  • Work your way around the bottom of the bowl. Once you’ve gone around, start on the second layer. Once finished the second do the third, etc. Do not put cream puffs on the top of the bowl (which is the bottom of the actual bowl and will be the bottom of the basket).
    Making a Croquembouche Croquembasket
  • Once you have the sides of the bowl done let cool while you’ll work on the basket handle. For the basket handle, use the same method but place the cream puffs directly onto the slip mat in the shape you formed of a handle. Let cool completely.
    Making a Croquembouche Croquembasket
  • Once the bowl is cooled down, remove the bowl and aluminum foil and keep on a slipmat or parchment paper. Start dipping more cream puffs into the carmel and put in the bottom of the bowl.
    Making a Croquembouche Croquembasket
  • To add the handle, spoon or dip one end into the caramel and place on the basket. Then, spoon some caramel around the other side of the handle. Hold in place while it dries.
  • Let the entire thing harden. Booom! Fill with spun sugar, cotton candy, or whatever treats you like and let everyone dig in. You want to eat soon.

Notes

  • If you’re using a metal bowl, it will need to cool in order to remove it from the aluminum foil. It can seem like it’s stuck, but once it’s cools it shrinks and should be able to remove without a problem.
  • With the handle, it helps to turn it to the side when viewing to make sure you're holding the handle and letting it dry at a 90 degree angle.
  • If you need to, you can reinforce the handles with skewers to help keep in place. I didn’t need to do this, but if I were traveling with it or bringing it to a different location, I probably would.
  • The number of cream puffs you'll need will depend on the size of the bowl you're using. The bigger the bowl, the more you'll need.