The mighty croquembouche

May 27, 2010 de Cristina - 1 Comment

The May 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Cat of Little Miss Cupcake. Cat challenged everyone to make a piece montée, or croquembouche, based on recipes from Peter Kump’s Baking School in Manhattan and Nick Malgieri.
I filled the choux with rose bavarian, pistachio bavarian and a red pepper strawberry jelly in the middle. I just piped one mousse from one side, then the jelly and then the 2nd bavarian.

Pate a Choux (Yield: About 28)
¾ cup (175 ml.) water
6 Tbsp. (85 g.) unsalted butter
¼ Tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 cup (125 g.) all-purpose flour
4 large eggs

For Egg Wash: 1 egg and pinch of salt

Pre-heat oven to 425◦F/220◦C degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Preparing batter:
Combine water, butter, salt and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and stir occasionally. At boil, remove from heat and sift in the flour, stirring to combine completely.

Return to heat and cook, stirring constantly until the batter dries slightly and begins to pull away from the sides of the pan.
Transfer to a bowl and stir with a wooden spoon 1 minute to cool slightly.

Add 1 egg. The batter will appear loose and shiny.
As you stir, the batter will become dry-looking like lightly buttered mashed potatoes.
It is at this point that you will add in the next egg. Repeat until you have incorporated all the eggs.

Piping:
Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a large open tip (I piped directly from the bag opening without a tip). Pipe choux about 1 inch-part in the baking sheets. Choux should be about 1 inch high about 1 inch wide.

Using a clean finger dipped in hot water, gently press down on any tips that have formed on the top of choux when piping. You want them to retain their ball shape, but be smoothly curved on top.
Brush tops with egg wash (1 egg lightly beaten with pinch of salt).

Baking:
Bake the choux at 425◦F/220◦C degrees until well-puffed and turning lightly golden in color, about 10 minutes.

Lower the temperature to 350◦F/180◦C degrees and continue baking until well-colored and dry, about 20 minutes more. Remove to a rack and cool.
Can be stored in a airtight box overnight.

For the rose bavarian
190 ml full fat milk
37 g raw sugar
3 yolks
5 g gelatin+cold water
190 g whipped cream
10 rose buds

Bring the milk and the roses to a boil and then cover and let steep for one hour.
Place the gelatin in cold water to bloom.
Sieve the milk and reheat it.
Beat the yolks and the sugar until pale.
Pour the milk over the yolks while constantly stirring. Return to low heat and cook to 76 degrees Celsius. Melt the gelatin and add it to the milk-yolk mixture. Let cool to room temperature. Mix in the cream and let it almost set at room temperature.

For the pistachio bavarian
190 ml full fat milk
37 g raw sugar
3 yolks
5 g gelatin+cold water
190 g whipped cream
50 g ground pistachios

Place the gelatin in cold water to bloom.
Bring the milk to a boil.
Beat the yolks and the sugar until pale.
Pour the milk over the yolks while constantly stirring. Return to low heat and cook to 76 degrees Celsius. Melt the gelatin and add it to the milk-yolk mixture. Let cool to room temperature. Mix in the cream and the pistachios and let it almost set at room temperature.

For the red pink pepper strawberry jelly
200 g strawberries
25 g sugar
5 g gelatin
a few pink peppercorns

Puree the strawberries. Add the sugar and the peppercorns and heat the mixture until the sugar disolves. Let it steep for a while, discard the peppercorns and add the melted gelatin. Let the jelly cool and start to set.