A good friend hosts an annual Chriskwanhanuka Party every year. Everyone brings a dish to share and a white elephant gift. This year, since I am waiting for my first Daring Kitchen challenges and know that the croquembouche was a previous challenge, I decided to attempt one of my own for the party. For those that don't know, a croquembouche is a French dessert consisting of cream puffs filled with pastry cream and covered in a hard think caramel and then usually stacked together in an impressive pyramid or cone shape. The name means crunch in the mouth, the sound the caramel makes when one bites into one of the puffs.
I've made cream puffs before, so that should be an easy part and I plan to make them tomorrow. The pastry cream, on the other hand, was a new experience. I decided to make a caramel pastry cream. I think I was successful since it tastes good. I honestly have to say that it is not my one of my favorite things in the world right off the bat, but I may find it to be better when the croquembouche all comes together. Below is a picture of the finished product. Tomorrow, comes the baking of the cream puffs and the assembly of the croquembouche (the part that scares me the most, and think will be the most challenging).