May 27, 2010

DB Croquembouche

The May 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Cat of Little Miss Cupcake. Cat challenged everyone to make a piece montée, or croquembouche, based on recipes from Peter Kump’s Baking School in Manhattan and Nick Malgieri.

I lost count of how many times I sat down to post this so it's going to be super short and sweet.  Garden and baby duties are coming first this week.  But I did find time earlier in the month to make a "crack in the mouth" tower, in French croquembouche.  For my modifications, I used half whole wheat flour because I think choux pastry tastes a thousand times better that way and I used extra virgin coconut oil in place of the butter.  My son Alex demanded raspberry filling and so I made the vanilla pastry cream with So Delicious Coconut Milk Creamer French Vanilla and added raspberry puree and a touch more sugar.   I also filled some with homemade lemon curd.  Neither Alex nor I liked the coconut creamer pastry cream.  It wasn't bad but the plastic/artificial flavor of the creamer disappointed me.  Back to the drawing board to find a better dairy-free pastry cream, I just can't seem to make rich dairy-free puddings that I'm truly happy with.  Making the tower, I burned several fingers and got the caramel a tad too dark but it was fun to stack them and cover it with spun sugar.  Nice challenge!

-View the full recipes at Little Miss Cupcake.
-I highly recommend the choux pastry formula in this Heavenly Baked Crullers with Cherry Glaze recipe. I've used it a ton of times. I halve the recipe, use it make puffs instead of crullers and make my own glazes and fillings. I think the whole wheat flour makes puffs so nutty and tasty.  Though I've tried several other choux recipes, I haven't found one I like better.
-Sorry to say I can't recommend So Delicious Coconut Milk Creamer.  As much as I'd love to have a dairy and soy free heavy cream replacement without a coconut flavor it tastes just as awful as any other coffee creamer.  And seriously, why is the stuff made fat free?!
-Visit the Daring Kitchen and see all the other towers of wonder made this month by browsing the Daring Baker Blogroll.
Cooling Puffs
A newer Alex/Penny photo
My favorite shot of Penny from her birth.  Photo credit to Creehan Photography