Traditional croquembouche

Show off your MasterChef skills by making this traditional croquembouche. You will need a croquembouche stand, and if you've got a silicon liner to help slip the finished tower from the stand all the better. It'll be worth the work to see the look on your guests' faces when you present them with croquembouche.

Traditional Croquembouche

2H 45M


Choux puffs


1.For choux puffs, cut butter into pieces about the same size. Combine 1 cup of the water and 75g of the butter in pan, bring to boil, stirring until butter melts. Add 1 cup of the flour all at once, stir vigorously with wooden spoon until mixture leave side of pan and forms a smooth ball; remove form heat.
2.Cool slightly; add 4 of the beaten eggs, a little at a time, beating well after each addition. This can be done with an electric mixer or food processor. Mixture should be smooth an glossy.
3.Drop slightly rounded teaspoons of mixture, about 5cm apart, onto lightly greased oven trays. Bake in hot oven 10 minutes. Reduce heat to moderate, bake further 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp.
4.Remove from oven, make small slits in side of puffs to allow steam to escape; return to moderate oven for a few minutes to dry out.
5.Repeat process twice with remaining choux puff ingredients. When preparing the last quantity of the puffs, spoon 1/2 teaspoonfuls of mixture onto trays to make small puffs. These are used to fill small gaps when layering the puffs.
6.For filling, whip cream and sifted icing sugar until stiff peaks form, fold in grand marnier and orange rind. Puff with finger.
7.Place cream into piping bag fitted with a small plain tube, pipe a little cream into each puff.
8.To make caramel, place half the sugar and half the water in frying pan, stir over heat without boiling until sugar is dissolved. Bring to boil, boil rapidly without stirring until mixture turns golden brown. Place croquembouche cone on plate, dip bottom of each puff into caramel; arrange around cone in layers, using the largest puffs first.
9.Decorate croquembouche with crystallised flowers, icing rosettes or other ready-made decorations as you choose, by dipping the back in caramel and gently pressing in place. Make another quantity of caramel using the remaining ingredients. Drizzle croquembouche with cooled caramel. Let stand at room temperature, no longer than 6 hours.

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