Expressing creativity, trying out new things and taking on challenges in cooking and baking – are my primary reasons and motivation for food blogging. Because of blogging, I met friends that I would have otherwise not known and these friends, sometimes are fearless and throw in a challenge or two and inspire and motivate me to do some fearless things.
The Dulce De Leche Croquembouche is the result of a challenge thrown in by one such friend, Jenni of Pastry Chef Online, whose tagline is Fearless in the Kitchen. This fearless pastry chef challenged us to make Valentine’s-themed croquembouche.
Now this was more than a baking challenge for me. My guy simply doesn’t believe in celebrating valentines day. He just isn’t the kind to buy a bouquet of flowers or do any other valentiney sort of thing. He is (in)famous for buying me a rose plant the first ever time he ever bought me flowers. His logic was that the plant will grow and give me endless flowers while the bouquet will just wilt. Needless to say, I married him despite the obvious lack of Prince Charming characteristics. But I digress.
How does one make a Valentine themed Croquembouche for someone like my guy? After many thoughts, Internet surfing attempts, Pinterest drool sessions later I decided, that the Valentine theme for my guy would be to make something he would really enjoy eating.
The Dulce de Leche Croquembouche was what I thought he would love -Silky mascarpone, mysterious Dulce de leche, fluffy Pate a Choux , spun sugar and chocolate. And I was right! He also took most of it to work to share with co workers and I am happy to report that they loved it. So this recipe is tried and taste tested.
Welcome to our Valentine Croquembouche Challenge (#ValentineCroque). We are a group of intrepid bloggers who occasionally like to push ourselves well out of our comfort zone to meet baking challenges fearlessly.
The challenge was to show you that you do not always have to be bound by tradition, so we created croquembouche that adhere to the spirit of the dish if not the actual letter. You’ll find all sorts of combinations of flavors here (including a savory version) that will hopefully expand your idea of croquembouche. Not all of our croques were wildly successful, but we all learned something, and we all pushed ourselves. Besides, blogging shouldn’t always be about aspirational and often unobtainable Pinterest moments. It should also be about the near misses and the journey we take when we take a chance. Thanks for joining us today.
If you’re interested in participating in future challenges, please contact Jenni.
Check us on Pinterest Valentine Croquembouche Pinterest Board.
Valentine Croquembouche Challenge
- Menage a Trois Croquembouche from Amy of Gluten Glory
- Dulce de Leche Croquembouche from Ansh of Spice Roots
- Lobster Chantilly Croquembouche with Black Truffle Confetti from Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Raspberry Rose Croquembouche from Jenni of Jenni Field’s Pastry Chef Online
- Valentine Croquembouche from Kim of Ninja Baker
- Chocolate Orange Croquembouche from Laura of Mother Would Know
- Lemon Cream Croquembouche from Liz of That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Kick Ass Croquembouche from Sophia of NY Foodgasm
- Petit Croquembouche Citron Framboisefrom Stacy of Food Lust People Love
Dulce De Leche Croquembouche
Pate a Choux
- ¾ cup water
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter
- ¼ Tsp. salt
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs
- For Egg Wash: 1 egg beaten
- 8 ounces/200 g. finely chopped chocolate
Dulce de Leche Cream
- 2 cups store bought or homemade dulce de leche
- 2 cups mascarpone
- Combine water, butter, salt and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and stir
- Once it boils, remove from heat and sift in the flour, stirring to combine completely.
- Return the pot to heat and cook, stirring constantly until the batter dries slightly and begins to pull
- away from the sides of the pan. Takes just a minute or so.
- Transfer to a bowl and stir to bring the temperature down.
- Add 1 egg. The batter will appear loose and shiny and look like you ruined it. But you didn't.
- As you stir, the batter will come together and look like lightly buttered mashed potatoes.
- At this point that add in the next egg. Repeat until you have incorporated all the eggs.
- Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a large open tip (I piped directly from the bag
- opening without a tip). Pipe choux about 1 inch-part in the baking sheets. Choux should be
- about 1 inch high about 1 inch wide.
- Using a clean finger dipped in water, gently press down on any tips that have formed on
- the top of choux when piping. You want them to retain their ball shape, but be smoothly
- curved on top.
- Brush tops with egg wash.
- Bake the choux at 400 *F until well-puffed and turning lightly golden in color, about 10 minutes.
- Lower the temperature to 350 *F and continue baking until golden and dryish.
- Remove to a rack and cool after poking a small hole in each puff.
- Melt chocolate in microwave or double boiler. Stir at regular intervals to avoid burning. Use immediately.
Dulce De Leche and Mascarpone filling
- Add the dulce de leche to a bowl and whisk until smooth. Add mascarpone and use a spatula to gently fold together until just combined. Transfer the dulce de leche cream to a large piping bag fitted with a medium tip.
- Assembly :-
- Fill in the puffs with the dulce de leche cream. as you fill them up, they will puff a little more.
- Don't fill in too much. Refrigerate until you are ready to assemble the tower.
- Once you are ready to assemble your croquembouche, dip the top of each choux in your chocolate glaze 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 spun sugar to decorate further!