Merry Croquembouche!

Christmas Desserts, Croquembouche, Merry Christmas, Profiteroles -

Merry Croquembouche!

Guess what?

It's Christmas, folks! And what better way to embody the spirit of Christmas with a tower of profiteroles that resembles a Christmas tree? Oh yes, the croquembouche might not be green like a real pine tree - or have presents underneath them but it's such a beautiful dessert to enjoy and make with your friends and family while singing them Christmas Songs! This blog post will tell you how to make your own jolly Christmas Dessert and how to add that oriental twist, zesty!

What to Expect

Expect a beautiful profiterole tower covered with delicious toffee, so it's sweet on sweet ON sweet; but hey, it's Christmas! Inside the individual profiteroles, you will have jolly tasty freaking cream filling. Very fulfilling dessert.

Ingredients

Part A: Profiterole
Part i : The Puff

a) One finger of butter (About the size of two fingers width - I would say around 70g)
b) Milk (200 ml - yeah, I freaking measured, Yay me.)
c) Plain White Flour (I used around 100g - YES I MEASURED)
d) 3 Eggs
Part ii : The Cream
a) Double Cream (The whole cup)
b) Milk (1/3 of the double cream cup)
c) Icing Sugar (I used two teaspoons)
Part B : The Tower of Sauron ( I mean the tower of profiteroles)
a) Profiteroles from Part A
b) One cup of Castor Sugar
c) Half a cup of water

Procedure

Part A : Making the Individual Profiteroles 

Part i : The Puff
a) Pour the milk and put the butter in the pan and stir with a wooden spoon until it boils. Sift the flour into a bowl and pour it into the mixture after it boils and stir until it has the consistency of soft dough. Bring away from the fire to cool.
b) Bring back to the fire, and beat in eggs one by one while stirring constantly. You do not want the eggs to be fried. To make the process easier, pour cold milk into the pan while doing this. Stir and mix until the mixture has a soft consistency.
When you hold the mixture up with a wooden spoon, you can technically see the batter falling. Its like the consistency of wet mud.
Okay, wet mud doesn't sound very Christmassy but I couldn't find a better example! (don't come for me, Krampus!)
c) Prepare a piping bag and fill the piping bag with the batter. Pipe the batter onto a prepared baking tray lined with baking paper.
How to pipe the profiteroles? Start at the bottom, pipe a little - when you see the batter forming a circle around two inches wide, adjust the height of your pipe higher and pipe again. Then, stop piping and remove the pipe. You do not need to create any pattern by rotating nor piping in a circular motion, the only motion you need to do is vertical.
d) Preheat the oven at 190'C double fan forced for around 10-15 minutes and start baking the "to be" profiteroles. It should take around 25 - 35 minutes to be ready. Note the color of the top of the profiteroles should be brown.
e) Take out the profiteroles from the oven when ready, and with a skewer (or use a chopstick!) poke a hole at the bottom of each profiterole. It is easier to do it while it is hot, but be careful of the heat!
To know whether you are doing it right, remember that a profiterole is basically a cream puff. The puff should be just filled with air. It shouldn't have the consistency and texture of bread. So when you poke a hole at the bottom of the puff, you should realize that the middle is basically hollow.
f) Set aside to cool
Part ii : The Cream
a) Pour all the ingredients for the cream into a mixing bowl and whip until it has the consistency of cool whip.
If you are lazy, you can just whip the double cream until it is soft instead of using milk and icing sugar. It won't taste as good, but on the bright side it is easier and healthier.
b) Fill in a piping bag and pipe into each profiterole
c) Leave the profiteroles bottom side up for the cream to set.
Part B : The Tower of Profiteroles
a) Pour castor sugar in a pan with the water and spread everything evenly.
Don't stir the mixture. Just let boil and caramelize.
b) Boil until the mixture bubbles and becomes brownish in color
c) Remove from heat. 
d) Now, prepare your profiteroles. Dip the bottoms of each profiterole and build them on each other to form a tower.
e) After the tower is done, with the remaining caramel/toffee - use two forks. Dip one fork into the caramel, press one fork on the other for a few seconds and separate to form a string of toffee. Weave it around the tower to form a web.
f) Repeat the toffee weave several times.
g) Serve

During this process, it is important to construct the tower fast - or else the toffee will cool down and harden. Of course you can leave it be under a small fire, but you risk burning your fingers when the mixture is bubbling. Take extreme caution, you do not want to hurt yourself on Christmas!

How to add your own Oriental Twist?

a) Use Gula Melaka to create the toffee! 

b) Add some Rose Syrup , Blue Pea Flower Powder/ Kerabu or Pandan Powder to some profiteroles for color and aroma!

c) Fill the profiteroles with Kaya instead of the cream filling! YUM!

d) Top with some Nyonya Honeycomb Biscuits!

e) Horlicks flavored profiteroles? Yay!

f) Sprinkle coconut flakes!

End Product (w/o the Twist)