How is a Croquembouche Served?
Posted: 24 February 2013 09:51 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I’m considering a croquembouche (cream puff tower) for a larger group function, but how does one successfully serve that?  When I think of trying to pry the delicate little cream puffs off the base, I’m worried that they may all end up semi-crushed and with holes in them from where the caramel (used to affix the puff to the cone-shaped base) was stronger than the puff. 

Does anyone have experience or tips on serving one of these towers?

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Posted: 25 February 2013 12:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Thanks, Anne for pointing those out!  I had definitely been thinking about the quantity of caramel used, trying to keep it to the minimum that will still get the job done, but I hadn’t considered steam/humidity.  Food for thought smile

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Posted: 26 February 2013 11:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I saw a lot of those videos as well, very enlightening.  The presentation I was thinking of was a tower beside a “lake”, with the lake being made either of caramel or Rose’s shiny cocoa glaze, and a few cream puff swans to go with the lake.  I think I’m more excited about the swans than I am about the tower, and I’m not even sure why as I usually don’t go in for a lot of decorating.  The guest of honor likes eclairs more than cake, which is how I got started thinking about the cream puff tower and choco lake. 

However, I’m still a little uneasy about the whole issue of breaking apart the tower for serving.  I’ve seen it done with a sword (traditional method), and I’ve thought that maybe some sort of nice looking chisel/hammer combo might work.  Probably need to make a small test tower and practice breaking it apart to see what works.

I prefer not to let the tower sit long enough for humidity to soften the caramel, because by then the filling will have also softened the crispy puffs and made them soggy.  I’m even thinking about ways I might be able to coat the inside of the puffs with chocolate in order to moisture-proof them and keep them crispy.  Lots of details to plan!

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Posted: 26 February 2013 12:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Anne in NC - 26 February 2013 04:23 PM

From what I’ve read, I think the sword was ceremonial and not really used to serve them

Yes, they seem to sort of lop the top of the tower off, makes me wonder if the practice harkens back to the French revolution…

Another idea is, if you’re doing a lake, is you can put the cream puffs in a circle around the lake, rather than as a tower.

You know, you’re right- I could even pile them all on a platter or two and set them up next to the dipping pools.  I was sort of thinking that this might be a good opportunity to practice a tower in a low-risk setting, but the idea of simplifying is appealing. smile

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Posted: 06 March 2014 04:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I wanna help you, I know how to do it but I’m not good in explaining the procedure. If you want your croquembouche to be stable, make sure your caramel is cooked. Check my recipe and technique on caramel here. Hope this will help.

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