Croquembouche... even the name sounds delicious!! Croquembouche is french for "crunch in the mouth"... and it I certainly does!

Made with profiteroles, or cream puffs, Croquembouche is a tower of heavenly whipped cream filled pastry shells... under a golden spun web that crunches with caramel sweetness!

I downsized the traditional tall-tower-of-a-dessert to make scrumptious single-serving portions. 

This is the ultimate WOW factor dessert... and one we often enjoy at Christmas. It is so impressive... but, don't tell anyone... it is really quite easy... and when you get the hang of spinning sugar, it is magical...



Let's get started with the "I'll hold your hand and give you lots of detail" CROQUEMBOUCHE directions...






STONEGABLE INDIVIDUAL CROQUEMBOUCHE
store bought profiteroles (cream puffs), kept in the freezer until ready to use
2 cups white sugar
½  cups light corn syrup
½ cup water
bowl of ice water 
Candy thermometer

Croquembouche can be made several hours ahead and refrigerated.

Make It Easy:

Profiteroles, or cream puffs, can be time consuming and a challenge to make.  So let’s  skip that laborious process and buy them. Most grocers carry good quality profiteroles in their freezer section. You will need eight  profiterole for each Croquembouche.  Keep the profiteroles frozen.





Work Surface:

Because spinning sugar can be a little messy and the sugar threads stick to everything, cover your work surface with parchment paper. Work directly on your counter covered with parchment. 



Something You Need To Know:

The caramel for this recipe will be a beautiful golden color and form threads called angel hair. These treads will be thin, hard and shiny. They make a breathtaking presentation!  

Making hard crack caramel is easy but extra caution is needed.  Caramel reaches very high temperatures and can cause severe burns. With a little care caramel making will be a pleasant experience.  Never touch the caramel until it has cooled and keep a large bowl of ice water ready for any mishaps. If you should get any caramel on you plunge your caramel coated area in ice water immediately. Watch pot handles and make sure your saucepan is on a stable surface at all times.


Making Hard Crack Caramel and Angel Hair:

Put sugar, corn syrup and water in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium flame stirring very, very gently until sugar dissolves. Once sugar has dissolved put a lid on the syrup until it boils for about 3 minutes. Remove lid. DO NOT STIR. Just let it gently boil. Insert candy thermometer. Keep your eye on the thermometer!

 When caramel reaches 310 degrees (hard crack stage) remove the saucepan from the heat and place 
it on a heat safe surface at your work space. It may need to sit several minutes to cool a little so you can spin it.







Assembly:

Use four profiterole for the base of the Croquembouche.  Dip the side of each profiterole into the caramel and use it as a glue to stick the base together.







Use three profiteroles for the next layer. Again dip the side of each profiterole in caramel and adhere the next layer together. 






Dip the bottom of the last profiterole in the caramel and place it on the top of the tower.
It should resemble a triangle or cone shape.







Spinning Sugar:

Now for some great fun! The caramel should be a little thinner than the consistency of honey. Dip the top third tines of a fork into the caramel.






 Using a flicking motion and swirling motion high up over the profiterole tower, spin the caramel onto and around the tower.  Keep spinning the caramel layer upon layer, until it looks like a nest of gold.
Drizzle star shapes on a piece of parchment and let them harden. They can be perched at the top of each little tower for an extra sweet touch!






When the caramel becomes too hard to spin, pick some up on the tines of a fork and being careful not to burn yourself, use your fingers to grab a small bit and pull it away from the fork. It should make a beautiful long strand of spun sugar. Pile these on parchment to use on the Croquembouche as an embellishment.

If the caramel gets too hard to use, it can be gently reheated until it will spin again.



Serving Croquembouche:

Gently remove Croquembouche from the parchment paper and center on a confectioner’s sugar dusted plate. Add any extra spun sugar and a spun star.






 Embellish the plate with greens and small Christmas balls.








Serve with flair! Watch the delight as your guest eyes light up and collect the accolades they lavish upon you!
Eat Croquembouche in the traditional manner… with your fingers!







Please come join me Thursday evening for...


HOMESPUN CHRISTMAS RECIPES AND TABLESCAPES


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