|Happy Birthday little r|
My gorgeous little girl has a birthday this week and she's requested that I make a croquembouche with violet creme patissiere. Hang on a minute, where did this come from? Ok, I make macarons and blog about them and yeah I think they're pretty good but of course I'm biased. What happened to kids asking for a cake from the Women's Weekly Birthday Cake cook book? Surely, that would be a lot easier and definitely a lot less stressful. I could pour myself a glass of merlot and cruise along and get creative with the icing sugar... mmmm, that sounds good. But, no - high expectations have been set in our household and in my daughter's eyes I can do anything. She thinks I'm a wizz in the kitchen and her eyes glisten when she starts talking about all the spun sugar I'm going to make. So a fancy French croquembouche for my daughter's 10th birthday it is.
I'm currently in planning mode and hope to post some amazing photo's and the recipe next weekend but hope I've not bitten off more than I can choux! This will be my first ever attempt and guaranteed this will be the longest post ever... oh, the nerves.
|Ingredients for the Violet & Vanilla Creme Patissiere|
|Boiling the milk, vanilla bean & violet essence|
|Sugar, cornflour and eggs.|
|Whisking the creme patissiere until it's light, silky and smooth.|
|Ingredients for the Pate Sable a Choux|
|Ingredients for the Nougatine Base|
|Ouch- one small burn that's turned into a blister - the caramel in this Nougatine Base is dangerously hot! Not entirely happy with the nougatine as it's a tad too dark so I'll try making another base to compare the difference before final assembly.|
|Ingredients for the Choux Puffs|
|Boiling the water, butter, salt and sugar.|
|The roux needs to reach 80 degrees celsius for the proteins to coagulate.|
|Allow the roux to cool to about 40 degrees celsius before blending in the eggs. - one at a time.|
|Cupcake Pate Sable a Choux|
|The cupcakes magically disappeared in the oven!|
Update: It's Sunday morning and today is the day that will make or break my croquembouche. I've already got one caramel war wound and am not looking forward to any more knowing only too well that I'm likely to experience a lot more pain and probably blisters too:( Pleeeease, please spun sugar fairy protect my itty bitty fingers whilst I make this delicate sculpture for the apple of my eye.
|I made another nougatine base today and this one is much better, it's also a lot thinner.|
|This glass storage jar holds the croquembouche mould (oops, I mean witch's hat) perfectly.|
|Ta Da - magic strands of spun sugar.|
|When the kids saw this their eyes nearly popped out and jaws hit the floor - lol.|
This birthday cake was definitely a labour of love as there were several elements that I had to make; and then with a wave of my magic wand transform it into a show stopper.
Warning: recipes can be a bit boring so here I've added a twist!
From the point where I've taken a photo of the croquembouche mould to the finished product does not show the chaos that I created in my kitchen. I think it goes something like this... I was wearing my ruby red slippers when this enormous sugar tornado hit my kitchen. The wicked witch of the West fell under my oven and her hat and magic wand lay on my kitchen floor. The witch was nearly dead but still twitching. I grabbed her wand and the witches hat. I turned her hat upside down then used the wand to spin choux puffs from the caramel in the saucepan into the hat. The nasty witch tried to get me back at this point and she flung caramel from the saucepan onto my ring finger. The caramel burnt me badly so I gave her the bird (gorgeous little r, please don't read this bit). I started doing a bit of bitchen in the kitchen and the witch must of heard, next I looked she was dead. Steadfast, I worked on and on all the while in agonizing pain. The good sugar spun fairy must of heard my pleas for help and she popped in for a second to help me weave a gorgeous web of spun sugar then disappeared. The sugar spinning bit went a tad too far however, as my kitchen was covered in it. It flicked on the floor, the walls my choux and my running shoe (ummm, I mean slippers). Maybe instead of looking like a lovely lady with ruby red slippers, I now looked like I'd turned into a golden orb web spider! Not only could I catch birds with this stuff but I could probably catch a few stray kids... mmmmm, this story now sounds like it's drifting off into Hansel & Gretel territory - probably time to stop.
Now, I'm really really tired and I promise to provide the recipe but when I'm up to it... I need a rest - to be continued...