Croquembouche (Holiday Pyramid
of Cream Puffs in Spun Sugar)
Make this about 2-3 hours before serving.
- About 60-80 prepared Cream Puffs (can be store bought)
- 2 cups sugar
- Have cream puffs thawed (if frozen) and ready to use.
- In a medium saucepan, heat the sugar over medium heat, stirring occasionally
with a wooden spoon, until sugar dissolves and turns a caramel brown. DO NOT
overcook. Take caramel off heat.
- Have a serving platter ready for the assembly process. Dip the bottom of
each cream puff in the caramel and place about 18-20 in a solid circle as the
bottom single layer of the croquembouche. The caramel acts as the “glue."
- Dip about 15 more cream puffs in the caramel to form the second layer, placing
the second layer directly on top of the first, but a smaller circle so as to
form a pyramid.
- Continue with remaining cream puffs, allowing about 5-6 layers of cream
puffs to create a pyramid, with only 2-3 as the final layer.
- When the caramel is cooled to room temperature (but still sticky) use a
fork to dip into the softened caramel and spin the caramel around the cream
puffs to create "spun sugar." This takes a little practice and the temperature
of the caramel has to be just perfect. Reheat the caramel if it seems too cold.
You can always sprinkle powdered sugar over the croquembouche, if all else fails.
Yield: about 15-20 servings
If there is caramel remaining in your saucepan, heat over low heat, add
1/2 cup heavy cream and 1 tablespoon butter. Cook until caramel and cream are combined,
whisking often. The caramel stuck to the pan should be incorporated into the cream.
Use this sauce over ice cream or as a flavoring in hot chocolate.