Photo by Clark Woolsey
Is it a cake? Is it candy? Is it a pile of doughnut holes? None of the above! This here is a croquembouche! CROAK-EM-BOOSH. This is a French dessert consisting of choux pastry balls piled into a cone shape and bound with threads of caramel. In Italy and France, it is often served at weddings, baptisms and first communions. The pastry balls, or profiteroles, are filled pastry balls with a sweet and moist filling of whipped cream, custard, pastry cream, or ice cream. While this type of cake may be typical in Europe, it is quite unheard of to serve a pastry mountain here in the States.
One of my past couples, Steve and Tavi, served their wedding guests a beautiful croquembouche at their reception. The dessert featured a sweet little fondant bird at the top to incorporate their songbird theme into the sugary goodness. The delicious creation is from La Patisserie Choquette in Tower Grove.
Here is a recipe for croquembouche. All of you brave bakers: beware! This pastry tower is not easy to make! It challenges even the most skilled pastry-makers.
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