I don’t have a bucket list. Not really. But I do have some random things I’d really like to do in my life. One of these is to drive as fast as I possibly can in a really fast car (I see a 3am trip on the autobahn in my future). Another is to make a croquembouche
I’ve been obsessed by them ever since I read an article about a pastry chef when I was 10 or 11.
Unfortunately I couldn’t attempt croquembouchery at the time. Hawai’i is not croquembouche country. Choux pastry won’t raise properly in the humidity, and caramel starts dissolving within hours.
When we started planning the Fairies & Dinosaurs at Versailles party I decided it was time to attempt a croquembouche. I know they are a little too recent for ancien regime Versailles, but you still can’t really get a better representation of a fabulously decadent French dessert. And they are quite volcano-like too…
So, I learned to make profiteroles (perfect ones on the first try!)
And then I made profiteroles.
And more profiteroles.
And more profiteroles.
Some of them suffered slightly because my oven is crap and I got tired of making them one sheet of profiterole at a time and tried to cook two at once. Having a fan oven is definitely on my not-actually-a-bucket-list!
And then, on the day of the party, Emily of Ever So Scrumptious was my fairy godmother and brought buckets of pastry creme and came and made caramel and arranged crouquemboucheness while I decorated like a mad thing with Sarah and ran around dealing with car radiator emergencies (isn’t that life).
And she did this even though she was going to have to run off to work all evening and wouldn’t be able to come to the party. She is amazing.
After Emily rushes off to go be industrious, I drizzled caramel and chocolate lava over our croquembouche and decorated it with fairy flowers and dinosaurs painted rococo pastels.
It came out more prehistoric than super-conical prettiness, but in this situation, it works!
I can’t decide if I should cross crouquembouche off my list or not. I’m satisfied for now (also rather sick of eating profiteroles!), but may come back to the idea and will try for a more traditional one.
For now, I’ll leave you with a little silent film style drama of me defending the croquembouche from the bad fairy:
Oh look! I think we won her over with the croquembouche sweetness, and now she has a profiterole wand!
I wonder what happens if you roast them like marshmallows…