Croquante en bouche

The Croquembouche is a traditional French wedding cake.

Its name is derivative of "croquante en bouche" which means 
"crunchy in the mouth".

It is a conical assembly of choux pastries filled with "crème pâtissière"
and affixed by molten caramel.

We dipped each of the choux pastries cautiously into a pot of 180 degree-celcius caramel
and stacked them layer upon layer as evenly as we could.
Most people in my class managed to caramelize their choux
without much drama at all.. all but me for some reason.
I burnt my had MANY times. And received two second-degree burn blisters.

Too excited perhaps?

The tower of choux pastries is then placed onto a base of almond nougatine,
which we lovingly beat, moulded and cut into shape with our bare hands.
We had to reheat it several times in the oven as
nougatine can only be moulded and rolled while it is still

We piped decorations with royal icing..

And adorned our structures with little toppings of sort.

I had initially wanted to wait until the morning to take better photos
as the tungsten lighting in my kitchen at night is not very pleasing to the eye..


I was awaken by a heartbreaking sound this morning..


It seemed that the humidity brought about by the pastry cream filling 
had finally taken its toll on the caramel's holding power.
Ah well. C'est pas grave!

I'll just have to make another one soon..

x Tal


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