I transcribed the recipes below, since I had to enable my future publisher because I am not at home today (the 27th) and I am nowhere near a computer (except for my iPhone) - the wonders of technology! After the posting date of the Daring Baker Challenge, you may also go to the Daring Kitchen website to find the recipes.
- ¾ cup (175 ml.) water
- 6 Tbsp. (85 g.) unsalted butter
- ¼ Tsp. salt
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 cup (125 g.) all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs
- For Egg Wash: 1 egg and pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 425◦F/220◦C degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Combine water, butter, salt and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and stir occasionally. At boil, remove from heat and sift in the flour, stirring to combine completely.
Return to heat and cook, stirring constantly until the batter dries slightly and begins to pull away from the sides of the pan.
Transfer to a bowl and stir with a wooden spoon 1 minute to cool slightly.
Add 1 egg. The batter will appear loose and shiny. As you stir, the batter will become dry-looking like lightly buttered mashed potatoes.
It is at this point that you will add in the next egg. Repeat until you have incorporated all the eggs.
Brush tops with egg wash (1 egg lightly beaten with pinch of salt).
Bake the choux at 425◦F/220◦C degrees until well-puffed and turning lightly golden in color, about 10 minutes.
Lower the temperature to 350◦F/180◦C degrees and continue baking until well-colored and dry, about 20 minutes more. Remove to a rack and cool.
Hard Caramel Glaze:
- 1 cup (225 g.) sugar
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice
Combine sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan with a metal kitchen spoon stirring until the sugar resembles wet sand. Place on medium heat; heat without stirring until sugar starts to melt around the sides of the pan and the center begins to smoke. Begin to stir sugar. Continue heating, stirring occasionally until the sugar is a clear, amber color. Remove from heat immediately; place bottom of pan in ice water to stop the cooking. Use immediately.
Assembly of your Piece Montée or Croquembouche:
You may want to lay out your unfilled, unglazed choux in a practice design to get a feel for how to assemble the final dessert. For example, if making a conical shape, trace a circle (no bigger than 8 inches) on a piece of parchment to use as a pattern. Then take some of the larger choux and assemble them in the circle for the bottom layer. Practice seeing which pieces fit together best.
Once you are ready to assemble your piece montée, dip the top of each choux in your glaze (careful it may be still hot!), and start assembling on your cake board/plate/sheet. Continue dipping and adding choux in levels using the glaze to hold them together as you build up.
When you have finished the design of your piece montée, you may drizzle with remaining glaze or use ribbons, sugar cookie cut-outs, almonds, flowers, etc. to decorate.
I researched my project by watching Martha Stewart Assemble a Croquembouche, and I was glad I did. You can use a number of different fillings to fill the pate a choux puffs, but the caramel holding it together is what makes it the Croquembouch (crunch in the mouth).
Thank you to Little Miss Cupcake for a great challenge!