Have you ever tried a choux pastry.. in simple terms cream puff (thats the best way to describe it!). The outer layer is a puffed baked shell and hollow inside. One can fill it with cream cheese, whipped cream, chocolate, jelly, dessert mixture, mixed fruits and nuts soaked in caramelized sugar, ice cream, and even savory fillings.. you get the gist. Basically, anything that can stay in a semi-solid/gel type consistency or that can be frozen to retain its consistency.
Now that we have the basic cream puffs, let us get to a Croquembouche.. Yes… pronounce it like croc-em-bush 🙂 Say it 10 times in a row and you cannot end up laughing without messing it up! Stacking up all the cream puffs in a cone shape that stays together, is called as the croquembouche.
I first saw croquembouche on Zumbo desserts (Amazon prime video) and was impressed and wanted to make one. While I get to making one with my family, thought I will share pictures of what they look like.
Imagine making a 3 feet tall croquembouche – dream come true to make it stand. We tried making one at home and got all the way to making about 36 cream puffs and filled it with chocolate + raspberry, whipped cream, butter scotch ice cream… and we ended up tasting every single one of them before it got onto the tower 🙂 Worth a try if you are looking for a good family time or project with lots of kids (like birthday parties or baking dates).
I was reminded of two such towers from my childhood
I have seen my neighbors make these cones out of Boondi laddoo and use it for doing initial prayers during important religious festivals. They are also called as Laddoo pillaiyaar (Laddoo Ganesha)
In weddings, cones made of mixed nuts are sent with the bride to the groom’s house (as part of bidaai). These are roasted and caramalized mixed nuts that are set as a cone before they dry. You can purchase these from online as well. The wedding cones are 4-5 feet tall each and are given away in pairs.
I would like to make a croquembouche with puff pastry and one with laddoos and post a pic comparing the two.. lets see when that happens.. 2020 goals 🙂
If any of you have made one or are looking to make one soon, post a comment and share a pic! That would inspire me to do it sooner!