Thursday, January 03, 2013

I've been baking cakes and other desserts for each holiday season for at least six years! And despite all that baking, I've still yet to attempt making the croquembouche. To make up for all the croquembouches I've never made, this year, I made five of all sizes. 

Croquembouche, also spelled as croque-en-bouche (crunch in the mouth), is a traditional French wedding cake, but it also popular for baptisms and other family gatherings. My reason for making this profiterole (= cream puff) tower? I'm getting bored of making baked cakes and mousse cakes ):

 Some of the holiday cakes of before

To make a croquembouche, you will need a hefty batch of Choux - pronounced "shoe". Pâte à Choux, or Choux pastry, is the base for making éclairs and profiteroles. So I'll get straight to the recipe here:

~ Ingredients ~

1/2 cup butter
1 cup water
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp each: sugar and salt
4 eggs, room temperature

~ How to ~

*Preheat oven to 375-400 F*

1. Sift the flour, salt, and sugar in a bowl.

2. Put the water and butter in a pot. Heat, but do not boil until all the butter has melted.

3. Bring the water and butter to a boil when all the butter has melted.

3. Dump all the flour in the pot. Mix with a wooden spoon.

4. When it's not clumpy any more, mix for five minutes (to let out steam).

5. Plop it out in a bowl, adding eggs in one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

6. Pour this into a heavy duty plastic/piping bag:

7. Pipe onto a buttered baking pan.

8. Sprinkle water onto the pan.
9. Bake for 10 minutes

10. Turn heat down 50 F and bake for another 10-15 minutes, until tops are browned.

11. Make a cut on the bottom of the baked Choux to let out steam.
12. Fill with rum-spiked pastry cream, chiboust, whipped cream or anything you like (:

I made quite a lot of profiteroles that day

I love to eat pastry cream mixed with whipped cream - it's not too sweet and doesn't leave a film of oily feeling in your mouth. Yes, eat. By the spoonful. Like how my lovely European friend eats nutella, almond butter, butter - by the spoonful. 

The second croquembouche

We weren't quite sure of how to eat it the first time I made it: do we use our hands to just pull it apart? Or is there a less-messy way to devour this dessert? Not knowing any better, we just ripped each pastry cream filled puff with our fingers. 

This second time around, I was clever and used scissors to cut each puff off the tower.  

The third, and tallest croquembouche

All this holiday feasting is all the more motivation for me to go exercise in these coming months - which I will do very diligently. The holiday spirit seems to still be lingering in the air though...

The clothing and winter fur hats I bought from online boxing day shopping arrived this week - and it 

"feels like Christmas all over again~

said the Purolator man. 

I regret not buying more clothing to take advantage of the free shipping and extra discounts off the sale items. Hopefully you've taken more advantage of the sales in stores than I have (which is, surprisingly, pretty close nothing!).



My midday Brie-and-crackers snack must be put to an end as the school term starts again *sad*, for I must look good again before shorts and form-fitting tops season rolls around. These few days will also be the last of my daily piece of Raffaello-or-other-yummy-chocolate days, along with the nightly desserts. 

Must be diligent and control myself...

I wish you success in completing your New Year's resolution! I shall keep you updated with my exercising progress to hopefully keep you motivated to continue with your resolution (:

Happy New Years to all my readers!