Only looking at this cute little croquembouche tower. Only looking at it! This is called FESTIVE!
Cream puffs filled with vanilla pastry cream. Lots of them. A little tree tower for Christmas. I know you don’t want to destroy it, but it’s also hard to resist the temptation. So I just used half of cream puffs to make the tower, the other half of them……gone!
It may look intimating to come up with this. But it is practically no chance to mess with the cream puffs, cause it’s really simple. The tower may be a bit complicated to assemble for a first timer. But look at mine, which is not perfect. My suggestion is to lay out your unfilled puffs in a practice design to get a feel of how to assemble the final dessert. Just to see which pieces fit together best.
Ingredients (15 to 20 cream puffs):
Vanilla Pastry Cream
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup whole milk
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup water
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
4 large eggs
3 tablespoons water
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon corn syrup
To prepare vanilla pastry cream, dissolve cornstarch completely in 1/4 cup of milk. Beat in egg and egg yolks. Combine thoroughly.
Combine the remaining milk with sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.
Pour 1/3 milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly to avoid eggs to curdle.
Return remaining milk to boil. Pour egg mixture in a stream and continue whisking, until the cream comes to a boil again and starts to thicken.
Remove from heat, and pour the cream through the strainer. Stir in butter and vanilla. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly over the surface of the custard, cool to room temperature and then chill for at least 6 hours.
To prepare puff pastry, preheat oven to 425F, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Combine water, butter, salt and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally.
Once boiled, reduce heat to low and stir in flour vigorously with a wooden spoon, until the dough is no longer sticking to the sides of the pot. Scrape the mixture to a food processor.
Add one egg at a time through the feed tube to the mixture while the food processor is mixing.
Transfer mixture to a big pastry big fitted with a plain tip. Pipe 1 inch dots onto parchment paper. Wet your finger in cool water and tap any points on the batter.
Bake for 13 minutes. Let cool completely.
Spoon the pastry cream into a bag fitted with a small plain tip. Insert the tip into the bottom of a puff pastry and pipe about one teaspoon of pastry cream into it. Repeat with the remaining. Chill the cream puffs for about an hour or a day before you are ready to assemble.
To prepare caramel glaze, bring the water, sugar and corn syrup up to a boil in a small pot over high heat and continue to boil, uncovered and without stirring, and occasionally brushing the sides of the pot with water, until it is a light amber colour.
To assemble the tower, carefully dip puff pastry in caramel sugar and stack one of top of another to make a cone. Dip a fork in the caramel and carefully drizzle sugar around the outside.
Hmmmmmm that looks so good.
Technically, it’s not a croquembouche, it’s a piece montee of choux a la patissiere.
Technically, it’s not puff pastry, it’s choux pastry. But oooh, so good!