March 30, 2011

Milk and White Chocolate Croquembouche

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The thing about caramel is fascinating. You can create endless projects from it, from delicate spun sugar to gorgeous wedding cakes; from boxes of fudge to a possible gigantic croquembouche.  It's messy, tricky, yet it IS fun. 

Klub Berani Baking, is Indonesian baking club that I've been motoring for three years now, goes for Made in Indonesia Plus for the 22nd challenge theme this month. We are challenged to bake Indonesian-made cakes or puddings, and it'll have to be combined with spun sugar as the 'plus' point.

So, here we go. Ladies, members of the club, are spinning their caramel around the world, and there are talks everywhere about it. The failures, the successes. The messiness. The creations. What to do, how to. Yes, it's just so various, so different. But in the end, we all will experience how to deal with caramel, and most of all, we know how to make spun sugar! How cool is that!

I say it's cool because it is chef's work commonly, isn't it? But hey, can we make it? Yes, we can!

I decided to make profiteroles from the recipe of an Indonesian cook and director of Natural Cooking Club and Catering, Mrs. Fatmah Bahalwan has created and posted on her website, here. Using plain flour, I thought my beloved husband would love to have them for desserts, for he loves custard-filled cream puffs and he is gluten tolerance. So, okay. I'll make croquembouche. But then, he said caramel will be too hard for his teeth, and that's a drawback. I thought, hm... what if I just use milk and white chocolate (as he doesn't like dark chocolate) for dipping and gluing the puffs, and then using caramel to cover around them. Worth a try.

And so I did try.

Making profiteroles.

KBB#22-choux making

That turned out really good.


The profiteroles are quite in good shapes, round and crisp. They are filled with pastry cream.

KBB#22-Pastry Cream making

After that, I dip each profiteroles with melted milk chocolate. I have just the right tin for making croquembouche, but because my profiteroles have been eaten by who else but beloved husband as soon as they are filled, I do not think they will be enough for the 30cm high cone tin. I decided to just stack them as a pyramid on a cake plate.

Then, it the real fun is just begun!

KBB#22-whisk-caramel making-hard crack

I haven't got the photos when the sugar had been spun as my iPhone battery was gone flat and the camera wasn't handy at that time. What I got was just this, after recharged my camera battery (not even full yet), just to get a photo of this as I noticed the sugar ball I created had gone soft and soggy rapidly.

There is an image I took a snapshot when I tried making spun sugar from dry caramel another time, here it is:

I was trying to shape it into a ball, but it did not take long to get soft and soggy. But You can see the colour of dry caramel is much darker than the wet one such on the photo below.

Milk and White Chocolate Croquembouche2

See that the ball on top? It is not as round as it was shaped just before I put them on top of that pyramid of cream puffs. I hadn't even spun the sugar around the croquembouche yet, the ball has gone soft. I was very disappointed. Not so much of a presentation, really. Then, I took the sugar ball down, squashed it in my hand and pop it in my mouth. What else can I do?

I warmed the caramel which was already gone hard, and make another spun sugar to wrap around the croquembouche. It went quite well. 

Milk and White Chocolate Croquembouche

I suppose I have to be satisfied with what I've got, although I really, really want to make a proper croquembouche with caramel and spun sugar. Perhaps, I should not be too much a perfectionist, like Alessandra said I was hehehe... 

caramel curl1

But it seems it is impossible for the caramel to stay crisp in our New Zealand hot and humid weather (take a look at the photo above when I curled the caramel, you can see some drops of caramel on the cake?), so I promise myself to make it again sometime in Winter. Perhaps I'm going to make gluten-free profiteroles to be my special birthday croquembouche later in July, see if it works better in cold weather than in summertime.

I definitely will play around with more caramel and spun sugar!

Wew! Ternyata ga ada halangan menghasilkan rambut2 ajaib itu. Aku bikin croquembouche karena kangmas suka kue sus, sekalian pengen tahu gimana sih rasanya menumpuk kue sus setinggi menara Eiffel? Meskipun menaraku miring mirip Pisa, diselimuti sama rambut2 gula jadi artistik jg ternyata. 


Widya said...

Stacking pake coklat plus lilitan karamel bule...yummy

mamanyachris said...

rambutnya bisa bule gt ya Fi..seperti namanya..angel's hair..

Alessandra said...

Yum, this looks so fantastic!

.: paprilia :. said...

spun sugarnya bisa putih gt yah mba Arfi..Mmmh,punya ku warna gold soalnya..but it looks really tempting

Xiaolu said...

Now that's what I call a grand dessert! I'd like to make this some day, but perhaps I'll start with individual cream puffs hehe.

Barbara said...

I love profiteroles. These look delicious arfi.

Alessandra said...

Hey 'perfectionist' Arfi, I finally posted about the paste I made with your damson plums :-).


peasepudding said...

Beautiful step by step instructions Arfi

Arwen from Hoglet K said...

I laughed to read that you ate the spun sugar ball in frustration! It sounds like a fiddly job, but it certainly looks pretty.