Provided by Food Network Kitchen
Yield 12 servings
Number Of Ingredients 18
- For the Cream Filling: Prepare the cream fillings: Sprinkle the gelatin over 1/4 cup cold water in a bowl and set aside to bloom.
- Place the milk in a pan. Halve the vanilla beans lengthwise; scrape out the seeds with a paring knife, then add the seeds and pods to the milk. Bring to a simmer, then cover and remove from the heat.
- Whisk the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch and salt in a medium bowl until smooth.
- Remove the vanilla pods from the milk. Gradually whisk one-third of the warm milk into the egg mixture.
- Whisk the egg mixture into the remaining milk in the pan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture boils and thickens, 6 minutes. Continue boiling until the mixture is custard-like, 3 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Slice the butter into pieces and whisk into the custard, then stir in the gelatin mixture.
- Microwave the chocolate until melted, 2 to 3 minutes, stirring. Mix 2 tablespoons hot water with the espresso. Transfer half of the cream filling to a bowl, then stir in the chocolate and espresso.
- Transfer the remaining cream filling to another bowl. Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the chocolate and vanilla creams and refrigerate until cold and firm, at least 2 hours.
- When ready to fill the puffs, whip the heavy cream to soft peaks with a mixer. Fold half into the vanilla cream filling and half into the chocolate filling.
- Transfer each filling to a large pastry bag with a 1/4-inch tip and set aside. (To do this cleanly, cuff the open end of the pastry bag over your hand.)
- For the Pastry Puffs: Unfilled puffs can be frozen for up to a week. To re-crisp, thaw, then brush with a beaten egg; bake 5 minutes at 350 degrees.
- While the fillings chill, make the pastry puffs: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Bring 1 1/2 cups water, the butter, sugar and salt to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring to melt the butter.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the flour with a wooden spoon to make a paste. Return to the heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the paste is shiny and pulls away from the pan, 6 to 7 minutes. Cool slightly.
- Transfer the paste to a stand mixer and beat with the paddle attachment on medium-low speed to cool, 1 minute. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Transfer the dough to a large pastry bag with a 1/2-inch tip. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, dabbing a bit of dough under the corners to keep the paper in place. Pipe 1 1/2-inch balls of dough onto the paper (about 48 total).
- Smooth the dough peaks with a wet finger. Bake until puffed, 15 to 20 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350 degrees and bake until golden, 15 minutes. Turn off the oven; keep the puffs inside 10 minutes to dry out. Pierce each puff with a dry piping tip; transfer to a rack to cool.
- To Assemble: Fill half of the puffs with chocolate cream and half with vanilla: Insert the tip of the pastry bag into the hole and squeeze until full. Chill the filled puffs 30 minutes before assembling the tower.
- Make the caramel: Mix the sugar, corn syrup and 1 cup water in a saucepan, cover and bring to a boil over high heat; don't stir. Uncover and boil, swirling the pan, until the syrup turns deep amber, 20 minutes.
- Immediately dip the bottom of the saucepan in a large bowl of ice water for a few seconds to stop the cooking.
- Transfer the caramel to a liquid measuring cup and cool slightly (it should still be liquid). Be careful-the caramel will still be hot!
- Draw a 7-inch circle on parchment paper. Partially dip each filled puff into the caramel and let the excess drip off. Arrange the puffs around the circle. If the caramel hardens, microwave until soft, 45 seconds.
- Fill the base circle with more puffs for stability, then continue building a conical tower of smaller circles. Top the tower with a single puff. Line your work surface with parchment paper-the next step can be messy.
- Dip the tip of a fork into the caramel and quickly wave it in circles around the tower to create a web of caramel strands. Repeat. Let set, then slide two spatulas under the paper and transfer the croquembouche to a platter. Tear off the excess paper around the base.
- To serve, crack the caramel web with the back of a knife, then dismantle the tower and transfer the cream puffs to plates.
MARTHA'S FAMOUS CROQUEMBOUCHE
Croquembouche -- pate a choux puffs with creamy filling, dipped in hot caramel, and stacked -- is a favorite special-occasion dessert. Decorate with royal icing, and sprinkle with sanding sugar.
Provided by Martha Stewart
Yield Makes 2 small croquembouches
Number Of Ingredients 11
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
- Make the puffs: Bring milk, water, butter, and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove from heat, and whisk in flour. Return to heat, and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until mixture pulls away from sides of pan, about 4 minutes. Transfer to the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed to cool slightly, about 1 minute. With machine running, add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Transfer dough to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch round tip.
- Whisk together yolk and heavy cream. Pipe about one hundred 1-inch puffs (about the size of a quarter) onto each prepared sheet. Gently brush with egg wash. Bake until puffs rise and are golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks. (Puffs can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 day.)
- Transfer caramel cream to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch round tip. Insert tip of pastry bag into base of each puff, and fill each. Return to sheets in a single layer as you work.
- Assemble the croquembouche: Dip top half of each filled puff into caramel (be careful not to burn your fingers), letting excess drip back into pan. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Let stand until caramel is set.
- Carefully dip bottom half of 1 puff into caramel, letting excess drip into pan. Transfer puff, hot caramel side down, to a serving platter. Repeat with 9 more puffs, forming a connected ring as you work. Repeat with more puffs, layering rings to form a 6-layer pyramid, using 45 or 50 puffs total. (If the caramel begins to harden, reheat briefly over low heat.)
- Attach sugar cookies to sides and base of croquembouche, using royal icing or caramel as "glue."
- To make a second croquembouche, make another batch of caramel, and repeat with remaining filled puffs. (Alternatively, serve the remaining puffs on the side.) Serve immediately, or let stand at room temperature for up to 2 hours.
French for "crunch in the mouth," croquembouche is a tower of cream puffs held together by hot caramel. Martha makes the dessert even more showstopping by turning the pastries pink and filling them with strawberry buttercream.
Provided by Martha Stewart
Yield Serves 50 to 75
Number Of Ingredients 18
- Pate a Choux:Preheat oven to 450 degrees with rack in bottom third. Line three rimmed baking sheets with parchment. In a medium saucepan, combine butter, sugar, salt, and 1 cup water over medium heat; bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Using a wooden spoon, quickly stir in flour. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until mixture pulls away from sides of pan and a film forms on bottom, about 3 minutes.
- Transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on low speed until slightly cooled, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. With mixer on low, add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is fully incorporated and a soft peak forms when you touch dough with your finger.
- Transfer about half the dough to a large pastry bag fitted with a 5/8-inch plain tip (such as Ateco #808). Pipe into rounds, about 1 1/4 inches in diameter, onto prepared sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart. Smooth peaks with a wet finger, rounding tops to ensure even rising. Repeat with remaining half of dough. Place baking sheets in freezer while you repeat with remaining dough and make craquelin topping.
- Craquelin Topping:In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in flour and salt. Add pink food color, a drop at a time, until desired color is reached. Roll out topping between two sheets of parchment to an 1/8-inch thickness. Transfer to a baking sheet and freeze 30 minutes.
- Using a 1-inch round cutter, cut out 72 rounds of craquelin dough and place one on top of each puff. Return to freezer.
- Transfer one baking sheet of puffs to oven; reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Bake until bottoms are golden brown and tops are crackled and crisp but not browned, 25 to 30 minutes. Repeat process with remaining baking sheets. (For crispier puffs, remove from oven after baking and use a small paring knife to create a small slit in the base of each puff. Turn off oven; return puffs to oven until crisp, 5 to 8 minutes. Let cool completely.)
- Strawberry Buttercream:Combine egg whites, sugar, and salt in the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer set over (not in) a pot of simmering water. Whisk until sugar is dissolved and mixture is warm to the touch and feels completely smooth when rubbed between fingertips.
- Transfer bowl to mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Starting on low speed and gradually increasing to medium-high, beat until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Continue beating until mixture is fluffy and glossy and bottom of bowl is cool to the touch, about 10 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low and beat in butter, a few tablespoons at a time, until combined. Scrape down sides of bowl and continue beating until completely smooth. Beat in jam. Remove bowl from mixer and fold in chopped strawberries. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a coupler and a filling tip (such as Wilton #230).
- Insert pastry-bag tip into base of each puff; fill. Return filled puffs to baking sheets in a single layer as you work.
- Caramel:Prepare an ice-water bath. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring sugar and 1/4 cup water to a boil, washing down sides of pan often with a wet pastry brush to prevent crystals from forming. Cook, without stirring, until sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Increase heat to high and cook, swirling pan gently to color evenly, until caramel is light amber, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and dip bottom of pan in ice-water bath for a few seconds to stop the cooking. Use immediately.
- Working quickly, dip bottom of each filled puff in caramel (be very careful not to burn your fingers) and adhere puffs closely together in circular pattern, working upwards from the base to top of croquembouche mold.
- Use macarons and meringue kisses to fill in spaces between puffs, as needed.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a large saucepan, bring the water, butter, salt, and sugar to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. When it boils, immediately take the pan off the heat. Stirring with a wooden spoon, add all the flour at once and stir hard until all the flour is incorporated, 30 to 60 seconds. Return the pan to the heat and cook, stirring, 30 seconds to evaporate some of the moisture.
- Scrape the mixture into a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or use a hand mixer). Mix at medium speed. With the mixer running, and working 1 egg at a time, add 6 of the eggs, stopping after each addition to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix until the dough is smooth and glossy and the eggs are completely incorporated. The dough should be thick, but should fall slowly and steadily from the beaters when you lift them out of the bowl. If the dough is still clinging to the beaters, add 1 or 2 more eggs, and mix until incorporated.
- Using a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip, pipe the dough in big kisses onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Whisk 2 eggs with 3 teaspoons of water. Brush the surface of the dough with the egg wash to knock down the points (do not use all the egg wash.) Bake 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375-degrees and bake until puffed up and light golden brown, about 20 minutes more. Try not to open the oven door too often during the baking. Let cool on the baking sheet. The recipe can be made up to this point and frozen in plastic bags. Filling: In a medium saucepan, heat the milk and vanilla bean to a boil over medium heat. Immediately turn off the heat and set aside to infuse for 10 to 15 minutes. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the cornstarch and whisk vigorously until no lumps remain. Whisk in 1/4 cup of the hot milk mixture until incorporated. Whisk in the remaining hot milk mixture, reserving the empty saucepan.
- Pour the mixture through a strainer back into the saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until thickened and slowly boiling. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and any flavorings if you want to make a different flavor like chocolate or coffee. Let cool slightly. Cover with plastic wrap, lightly pressing the plastic against the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Chill at least 2 hours or until ready to serve. The custard can be made up to 24 hours in advance. Poke a hole with a plain pastry tip in the bottom of each cream puff and pipe it full of the custard.
- Caramel: Dissolve the sugar in a saucepan with the water, making an "X" through the sugar with your finger to allow the water to slowly soak into the sugar. Boil to make a light golden caramel then dip the bottom of the pan in an ice bath to stop the cooking. Dip the sides of the puffs in the caramel and stick them together (approximately 20 cream puffs) in a circle, tops facing out. Make a second row on top of the first but a bit smaller to draw the circle in and create a tower of cream puffs. Check it from all sides occasionally to make sure it's straight. When it's finished, drizzle it with caramel all over. You can also stick on decorative elements with the caramel in the crevices, like candied violets, gold balls, gum paste flowers, sugar covered almonds, etc.
- Heat oven to 425 degrees. To make the puffs: In a medium saucepan, melt butter in 1 1/2 cups water with salt and sugar. Remove pan from heat, and add flour. Return pan to heat and, using a wooden spoon, beat vigorously for 2 to 3 minutes. (A film should form on the bottom of the pan.) Cool slightly, and add 6 eggs, one at a time, beating vigorously.
- Make a glaze by beating the remaining egg with 1 teaspoon water, and set aside. Using a pastry bag fitted with a coupler and a 1/2-inch-wide plain tip, pipe out mounds that are 1 inch high and 3/4 inch in diameter on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush with egg glaze, and smooth the tops. Bake until puffed and golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on racks. (The puffs can be made ahead and frozen until ready to assemble.)
- Make the pastry cream: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg yolks, gradually adding sugar, until mixture is thick and pale yellow. Beat in flour. Scald milk, and add in dribbles to egg mixture, reserving 1/2 cup. Place mixture in a clean pot over high heat, and stir vigorously until mixture boils and thickens. If it seems too thick to pipe, add reserved milk. Remove from heat. Using a hand whisk, beat butter into egg mixture, one tablespoon at a time.
- In a double boiler or heatproof bowl set over simmering water, melt chocolate and espresso together until smooth. Add chocolate mixture to the pastry cream; let cool completely. Just before assembling croquembouche, fill a pastry tube fitted with a 1/4-inch-wide tip with pastry cream, insert tip into puffs, and pipe in cream to fill.
- To make the caramel: In a medium saucepan, combine 2/3 cup water, sugar, and corn syrup, and bring to a boil over high heat. Do not stir. Cover pan, and boil until steam dissolves any crystals. Uncover, and boil 5 more minutes, or until syrup is amber in color. Remove from heat. Dip the bottom of each puff into the caramel, and arrange puffs in a pyramid.
- To make a spun-sugar web to wrap around the croquembouche: Cut the looped ends of a wire whisk with wire cutters, or use 2 forks held side by side, and dip the ends into caramel. Wave the caramel back and forth over the croquembouche, allowing the strands to fall in long, thin threads around it. Wrap any stray strands up and around the croquembouche. Serve.
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Top Asked Questions
What is Martha's croquembouche?Martha's Famous Croquembouche. Croquembouche -- pate a choux puffs with creamy filling, dipped in hot caramel, and stacked -- is a favorite special-occasion dessert. Decorate with royal icing, and sprinkle with sanding sugar.
How do you make croquembouche?Croquembouche -- pate a choux puffs with creamy filling, dipped in hot caramel, and stacked -- is a favorite special-occasion dessert. Decorate with royal icing, and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
What does croquembouche mean in French?Croquembouche. The name of this classic French dessert means "crunch in the mouth"; Make the caramel and assemble the dessert as close to serving time as possible.