Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Crouquembouche
A crunch in the mouth!
Literally translated, these lightly sweet, candy coated one or two bite morsels take a bit of work to make but they are well worth the 
oohs and aahs 
you will get when they are presented.
These are festive for any occasion.
I used to make cream puffs when I was quite young and hadn't made them since...hhmmm 
20 years now!
It's not that they went "out" of style 
It's just that other desserts got "big"
So this New Year
I decided to make them again....
and it was just like riding a bike. 
A little nerve wracking but, they came out just great!
Crouquembouche
    I doubled this recipe to make the tall
Xmas Tree

Pate Choux
1 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1 cup flour
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla sugar (opt.)
4 lg. eggs


Lemon & Orange Curd Mousse

2 lemons, juiced
3 oranges, juiced, peel of 1 orange (no pith)
1 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
1 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp butter
1 cup cool whip or whipped cream 


Mousse
Pour juices and peel into a med. sized sauce-pot.
 Whisk sugar, yolks and cornstarch together. 
Stir into juice.
Cook on med. high heat until mixture begins to simmer. Lower the heat to #5 to simmer and thicken. Whisk constantly to remove lumps and prevent scorching.
When mixture coats the back of a spoon, stir in butter. Remove from heat and place a piece of plastic wrap on the curd, preventing the skin from forming. It will thicken when cooled.
Refrigerate until ready to use. When you are ready to use, fold in whipped cream.
Place in piping bag with a large tip opening.

Pate Choux
Bring water to a boil. Add butter and salt, stir to melt. All at once dump in the flour and vanilla sugar. Quickly stir with a wooden spoon. Lower the heat to low.
Stir to cook flour. Mixture will become pasty and glue together into a raggedy mess.
Remove from heat.
Beat 
one egg at a time into the mixture by hand or in a stand mixer. Mixture will get smooth like thin bread dough.
*I used a small tbsp size icecream scoop 
Spoon desired size onto an ungreased baking sheet.

 Leave 1/2" - 1" of space as they will rise and puff.
Bake in a 350F until light golden brown all over.
Leave the puffs in the turned off oven for 1 hr to dry the inside. 
*Large puffs will have a wet sticky interior that may smell eggy if this step is not followed. 
Spoon mousse into the cut center of each puff or using a sharp knife point drill a hole into the bottom of the puff and pipe in some mousse.


Candy Coating

2 cups sugar
4 tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla extract

Allow the water to soak into the sugar.
Bring ingredients to a boil on #8-9. 
Boil for approx. 10min 
Do not stir! *That will break the sugar and crystallize it

If you have a candy thermometer bring the temperature to 250F
otherwise
remove from heat when it is golden coloured
*not brown: unless you like burnt sugar*
I bring my pot immediately outside and place it in the snow! It's fun to watch it melt!
otherwise  
place over ice water to stop cooking process.

Prep:

Skewer each puff and dip with the hot candy coating.

If you are stacking for presentation,
immediately stick the puffs together building a circular base then stacking one on top of another to form a tree. Make sure your base is solid.
Swirl any extra around the outside to create this lacy effect.
If the syrup hardens before you are finished,
heat on low until you can drizzle with a fork.
 

 
 Enjoy with love!

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