Traditionally, the French celebrate weddings with Croquembouche, meaning “crunch in the mouth.” This week, we celebrated sizzling hot caramel and nougatine, meaning profanity in the kitchen.
This was a two-day ordeal. During the first practical, we made the nougatine and piped the royal icing. After Chef Walter demonstrated during practical and we got the hang of handling hot nougatine, it wasn’t so difficult, it was just a matter of working quickly and efficiently. The piping of the royal icing strings was also easier than I had imagined. The tough part was moving the piece to storage for the next day.
During our second practical, we made pâte a choux, filled them with pastry cream and then dipped them in caramel on each side. This we had done before in basic, when we made the Saint-Honoré. Again, no gimmicks here. The challenge was to speedily assemble the choux into a non-leaning tour before your caramel solidified, all the while taking care not to burn yourself or break any icing strings or nougatine triangles.
Not too shabby, eh? Mine was slightly crooked but I’m rather satisfied nonetheless. I wouldn’t mind making it again if it was requested of me. I think Croquembouches look a lot more difficult to make than people think. We didn’t even do the hardest part! Read on…
This was our last practical with Chef JJ. Je suis triste :( Doesn’t he look like a grown-up Daniel Radcliffe?
Chef Jean-Jacques et Moi
Chef JJ made a curvy nougatine piece and pulled sugar décor for his Croquembouche, as a sneak peek into what we will be doing in Superior Pâtisserie. Ooolala!
Imagine caring those down the stairs.
Divorce et Mariage
Chef joked that the larger piece was for a divorce and the smaller for a mariage. Hohoho so silly.