CROQUEMBOUCHE

Now I haven’t made one of these beautiful custard filled choux pastry pyramids for……….. well a long time, but I’m rather proud to have been asked to make one for two wonderful people and dear friends, John and Bev for their Wedding Anniversary Celebration Party, the Croquembouche is a fantastic impressive party piece, don’t be daunted, follow this recipe for the perfect crowd pleaser 

SHOPPING LIST 

For the Choux buns 

60g strong plain flour

1 teaspoon caster sugar

50g butter cut into small pieces

2 large eggs beaten lightly with a fork 

For the filling 

250g of mascarpone

350ml fresh custard (if you don’t want to make it! Buy ready made) 

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 Orange, finely grated zest and juice 

For the caramel 

110g granulated sugar

METHOD 

Preheat the oven to 200c 
First Sift the flour onto a square of greaseproof and add the sugar, mix well 

Put 150ml of cold water in a pan together with the pieces of butter
place the saucepan over a moderate heat and stir with a wooden spoon. 

As soon as the butter has melted and the mixture comes up to the boil, take off the heat immediately!!! 

Then tip the flour in with one hand, while you beat the mixture vigorously with a wooden spoon 

Beat together until you have a smooth ball of paste. Then beat in the beaten eggs a little at a time, mixing each addition in thoroughly before adding the next,  until you have a smooth, glossy paste.
Transfer the mixture into a piping bag with a plain nozzle, now pipe the choux pastry on the baking sheet, leaving 1 inch between them. Lightly splash water onto the baking sheet, this will create steam and help with the rise 

Bake in the pre-heated oven for 10 minutes. Now increase the heat to 220°C) and bake for a further 15 minutes until the choux buns are crisp and golden then cool them on a wire rack.
Making the Orange mascarpone cream 

whisk together the mascarpone, Orange zest and a squeeze of the juice, add the fresh custard then beat in the vanilla extract. 

Fill a piping bag fitted with a small nozzle and fill each one with the mascarpone cream.
Now make the caramel 

 Melt the sugar in a saucepan over a very gentle heat. shake and tilt the pan from side to side to dissolve the sugar but don’t stir. When all the sugar has dissolved, turn up the heat until the sugar reaches a golden caramel colour, remove the pan from the heat. This will stop the caramel from cooking more. 
Carefully Dip the buns in the caramel (take extreme care with the caramel as it will be extremely hot) and arrange them on a plate in a pyramid shape. The caramel will help them stick together. If the caramel does starts to set place it back over a gentle heat until melted 
Drizzle any remaining caramel over the pyramid and down the sides. If you want to be really flash!! Melt some chocolate and drizzle this over your croquembouche too!! Don’t worry about the chocolate setting! Your croquembouche won’t last that long!!!! 

Happy cooking 
Jon 

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