Skip to main content

Burnt Caramel Croquembouche #BakingBloggers

Sue of Palatable Pastime invited us to bake with choux pastry for our January 2018 #BakingBloggers event. When I read the topic to the Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf, he shrieked "Croquembouche!" Fine. Here's what the other bloggers are sharing for this event.

Burnt Caramel Croquembouche

First, a bit about croquembouche in case you're unfamiliar. The name comes from the French croque en bouche  and translates to "crunches in the mouth." It's composed of petits choux (choux pastry balls) piled into a cone and bound with threads of caramel. Traditionally, it's decorated with sugared almonds, chocolate, flowers, or ribbons.

Second, let me say that this is almost completely D's creation. I did make the burnt caramel, but that was about it! I wasn't sure I'd be able to pull off a choux pastry creation in time for the event. It helps to have an Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf in my corner!

The whipped cream is only flavored with vanilla and cinnamon as Jake and I are off sugar this month. Needless to say, we missed out on the whole caramel part of this dessert. But the puffs and cream alone were just amazing!


Pâte à Choux
  • 12 T unsalted butter
  • 1-1/2 C water
  • 2 C flour
  • 9 eggs
  • 2 C organic heavy whipping cream
  • 1 t pure vanilla extract
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
Burnt Caramel
  • 2 C organic granulated sugar


Pâte à Choux
Preheat oven to 425°F.

Bring butter and water to a boil in a large saucepan. Remove pan from heat and add flour all at once. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until mixture forms a thick dough and pulls away from sides of pan, approximately 3 minutes. Return pan to heat and cook, stirring constantly, until dough is lightly dried, about 2 minutes more.

Transfer dough to a bowl, and let cool for 5 minutes; using a wooden spoon, beat in 8 eggs, one at a time, making sure each egg is completely incorporated before adding the next. Dough will come together and be thick, shiny, and smooth.

Dip two spoons in water, shake off excess, and scoop a walnut-size piece of dough with one spoon. With other spoon, scrape dough onto parchment-lined baking sheet, setting pieces 1 apart on a baking sheet.

Lightly beat remaining egg with pinch of salt and brush each piece of dough with it. 

Bake at 425°F until puffed and light brown, approximately 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°, and continue to bake until well browned, approximately 15 minutes. Let cool. While the puffs cool, make your filling.

Place ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Beat cream until stiff peaks form.

 Place filling into a pastry bag or other decorating tool. Insert a chopstick into the bottom of the puff to open it up a bit, then fill. 

Place sugar in medium sauce pan. Cook until smooth and amber, approximately 15 to 20 minutes. I was running back and forth, taking photos, and watching the caramel. Clearly, I didn't do a great job; the caramel burnt. Thankfully, D said, "Oh, that's even better, Mom. I love burnt caramel." Nice.


Dip the filled puffs in the caramel and place them on a lined baking sheet to harden. You are really just sealing off the filling point with this dipping.

Dip the puffs in the caramel, again, and stack them to form a conical shape. 

Once the tower is the height you want, dip a fork in the caramel and swirl it around the tower to form the caramel threads.

He was pretty darn proud of himself! And, I'll admit, I was pretty darn proud of him, too.

When we called the family to the table, everyone just marveled at the creation. Then R dug in!

We definitely need to make this again when Jake and I can eat sugar. February can't come soon enough, right?

Thanks, Sue, for the inspiration to make this. It was a fun project!


  1. What a great creation and I love that you gave directions for making the pastry using spoons instead of a pastry bag.

    1. It's so funny, when I used to make cream puffs with my mom, we always used the spoon method. I never even knew people piped them until recently.

  2. Your elf knows cooking magic! He is right to be proud. Thanks for baking with the group and may sugar day hurry up!

    1. Thanks, Sue. I'm glad I was able to squeak in with a post. Can't wait to try some of the savory versions this month...then, in February, I'm going for the sweets!

  3. This would make a great brunch centerpiece! Delicious!

  4. That is pretty spectacular! What a fun mom/son thing to do. And you even filled them!

  5. OMG! These look so decadent. It's so nice to see your children enjoying making these.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Quick Pickled Red Onions and Radishes

If you've been reading my blog for even a short amount of time, you probably know how much I love to pickle things. I was just telling a friend you can pickle - with vinegar - or you can ferment - with salt - for similar delicious effect. The latter has digestive benefits and I love to do that, but when I need that pop of sour flavor quickly, I whip up quick pickles that are ready in as little as a day or two. I've Pickled Blueberries , Pickled Asparagus , Pickled Cranberries , Pickled Pumpkin , and even Pickled Chard Stems ! This I did last night for an upcoming recipe challenge that requires I include radishes. Ummmm...of course I'm pickling them! Ingredients  makes 1 quart jar radishes, trimmed and sliced organic red onions, peeled and thinly sliced (I used a mandolin slicer) 3/4 C vinegar (I used white distilled vinegar) 3/4 C water 3 T organic granulated sugar 1 T salt (I used some grey sea salt) 6 to 8 grinds of black pepper Proce

Hot Chocolate Agasajo-Style {Spice It Up!}

photo by D For my Spice It Up! kiddos this week, I was looking for an exotic drink to serve while we learned about saffron. I found a recipe from food historian Maricel Presilla that mimicked traditional Spanish hot chocolate from the 17th century where it was served at lavish receptions called agasajos . When I teach, I don't always get to shoot photos. Thankfully, D grabbed my camera and snapped a few. Ingredients serves 14-16 1 gallon organic whole milk 3 T dried rosebuds - or 2 t rosewater 2 t saffron threads, lightly crushed 3 T ground cinnamon 3 whole tepin chiles, crushed 2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise 1 C organic granulated sugar 1 lb. bittersweet chocolate Procedure In a large soup pot that can hold a gallon plus, combine milk, dried rosebuds (or rosewater, if you are using that), saffron threads, ground cinnamon, chiles, vanilla beans, and sugar and warm over medium heat till it steams. Whisk to dissolve sugar, then lower heat an

Aloo Tiki {Pakistan}

To start off our Pakistani culinary adventure, I started us off with aloo tiki - potato cutlets. I'm always game for tasty street food. I found a couple of different recipes and incorporated those together for this version. Ingredients 6-8 small red potatoes, scrubbed 1 T cumin seeds 1 T fresh chopped parsley 1/2 t ground coriander 1 t minced garlic Procedure Boil the potatoes until they are tender. Drain and let cool. Mash the potatoes. Traditionally they are mashed without their skins. I left the skins on. In a small pan, toast the cumin seeds on high heat until the begin to give off an aroma and begin to darken. Remove from heat and transfer to a plate to keep them from cooking any more. Blend all of the spices into the mashed potatoes, then shape into small patties. If you wet your hands, the potato mixture won't stick to them. Heat a splash of oil in a large, flat-bottom pan. Dip each patty into beaten egg and carefully place in the oil. P