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Croquembouche - Definition and Recipes

Genoese Paste Croquembouche


Genoese Paste Croquembouche (Second Row, Far Left)

 

Croquembouche

A "Croquembouche” is a confection built around a conical mold (croquembouche) and is made of small pâte-à-choux glazed with caramelized sugar.   Once they are cooled, and the caramel is solidified, the mold is removed through the base. 

The pâte-à-choux can be plain or filled with pastry cream; and can also be made with sugar-coated fruits or nougats and decorated with sugar-coated almonds and flowers. Croquembouches are traditionally served in France at weddings and special ceremonies such as baptism and communions.  
Part of the introduction above- From: The Culinary Handbook 1904

CHOUX-PASTE (pâte-à-choux) is the name of a batter made of a pint of water, eight ounces of lard or butter, nine ounces of flour and ten eggs. Water and lard are brought to the boil, flour then added all at once and worked over the fire until it is cooked into a smooth paste, allowed then to slightly cool, the eggs then beaten in one at a time; its consistency must be so that it will just fall off from a spoon.

CHOUX-PASTE FOR CROQUEMBOUCHES, PAINS A LA DUCHESSE, AND ECLAIRS

Put into a stewpan: 1 pint of water, ¼ lb. of butter, ½ oz. of pounded sugar. Put the stewpan on the fire and take it off again as soon as its contents come to the boil, mix in ½ lb. of sifted flour, and stir over the fire for four minutes, to expel the moisture. Should the paste catch at the bottom of the stewpan, it must be put into another before the undermentioned eggs are introduced.

Add some eggs, mixing one thoroughly before adding another, and the paste is ready for use; (about 8 eggs should be used for the above quantities of flour and butter, but the exact number cannot be fixed, as eggs vary so much in size, and different flours in the amount of moisture they require). The paste should be of such consistency as to

fall of its own weight out of a spoon, but not so soft as to spread.

CHOUX- PASTE FOR CHOUX WITH ALMONDS, CHARTRES CAKES, ETC.

Put in a stewpan: ½ pint of water, 3 oz. of butter, ½ oz. of pounded sugar.  Put the stewpan on the fire until its contents come to the boil, take it off, add ¼ lb. of flour, and finish the paste as directed in the preceding recipe.

From the Royal Book of Pastry 1874
P 129

CHOUX CROQUEMBOUCHE

Make some choux paste as described above.  Strew a pasteboard with flour; Take a portion of the paste, about the size of two eggs, roll it round to ¾ inch thickness, cut it into ¾ inch lengths, and roll these round to a ball shape; treat all the paste in the same way, and place the balls on slightly buttered baking sheets, leaving a ½ inch space  between each ball; bake them in an oven heated to a light brown paper temperature, and put them on a sieve to cool.

Boil 2 ½ lbs. of sugar to the crack; Take a large plain mold and oil it slightly; Stick a trussing-needle or iron skewer into each ball, dip them singly and quickly into the sugar, and arrange them closely in the mold, beginning with a circle round the bottom and working towards the center, then continue round the mold in circles until the whole inside is covered with the balls. The sugar must be kept hot without letting it acquire a yellow color. When the croquembouche is cold, turn it out of the mold on to a napkin on a dish.

Observation: All large pieces of pastry prepared with sugar boiled to the crack must be made quickly; the mold should be placed in a sauté-pan filled with ice so that the contents may cool more quickly; be careful that the mold be not cracked, or the water would get in and spoil the croquembouche. This remark applies to all, but especially to fruit croquembouches.

Croquembouche of Almonds and Pistachios

Croquembouche of Almonds and Pistachios (On Right)

CROQUEMBOUCHE OF CHOUX FILLED WITH VANILLA CHEAM

Make and bake the paste as directed in the preceding recipe; With a wooden skewer pierce the bottom of each chou, and fill it with some Custard for St. Honoré Cakes, flavored with vanilla pressed out of a paper cone; do not let any of the cream come out of the paste, or it would stick to the mold;

Chop some pistachios; When all the choux are filled with the cream, dip them in sugar boiled to the crack in the way described in the preceding recipe;

Oil a plain mold slightly, place a circle of the choux around the bottom; for this first circle dip each chou in the chopped pistachios immediately after dipping it in the sugar; then set in a circle of plain sugared choux, and continue covering the inside of the mold with alternate circles of plain choux and of some covered with the pistachios; When cold, turn the croquembouche out of the mold.

CROQUEMBOUCHE OF CHOUX FILLED WITH APRICOT JAM

Make some chou paste as above, put it into a paper cone, and press it out on to some slightly buttered baking-sheets in portions 1 ¾ inch long by ¾ inch wide; Brush the choux over lightly with egg, bake them, and put them to cool on a sieve; When cold make a hole in each chou with a wooden skewer, and fill them with apricot jam pressed out of a paper cone.

Take some Pink chopped almonds and some No. 2 sugar;  Oil a plain mold slightly; Boil some sugar to the crack; Dip a chou first in the boiled sugar, and then in the chopped almonds, and place it in the mold; then dip another in the boiled sugar, and again in the granulated sugar, and place it by the side of the first; continue the circle in the same way, alternating the pink and white choux; fill up the entire bottom of the mold with the choux merely dipped in the boiled sugar.

Commence covering the sides of the mold by placing a pink chou half on the pink and half on the white one of the circles underneath and continue in the same way until the whole inside is covered; When cold, turn the croquembouche out of the mold on to a napkin on a dish.

CROQUEMBOUCHE OF RINGS OF CHOU PASTE

Make some choux paste and put it into a paper cone, press it out on to some slightly buttered baking-sheets in rings 1 ½ inch in diameter and ½ inch in thickness; bake them in an oven heated to a light brown paper temperature, and put them to cool on a sieve.

Take half the quantity of the rings and put a well-drained preserved cherry in each; put a preserved green grape in the center of the remainder of the rings; Boil some sugar to the crack; Dip the rings in the sugar and place a cherry and a grape ring alternately round the bottom of the mold and fill up to the center.

Commence another circle round the side of the mold, placing a ring with a grape in it between two of the rings in the circle underneath; continue in the same way so that the cherries and grapes may form oblique rows across the mold.

CROQUEMBOUCHE OF GENOESE PASTE DIAMONDS

Make some Genoese paste using 1 lb. of flour, 1 lb. of butter, 1 lb. of pounded sugar, 10 eggs; Butter some copper baking-sheets; spread the paste on them to 3/16 inch thickness and bake it in an oven heated to a light brown paper heat; If possible, the paste should be baked the day before it is wanted, it will then cut more evenly.

Cut the paste with a diamond-shaped cutter 2 inches long by 1 inch wide; Divide the pieces equally and put them on two baking sheets.

Make some cold chocolate icing and glaze one-half the pieces; Glaze the remainder with some icing with some Kirschenwasser and a little prepared cochineal added; The icing must not be worked after the coloring has been added; Dry the two sets of pieces in the hot-closet;

Boil some sugar to the crack; Stick an iron skewer in each piece and dip the edge only into the sugar and place them in a slightly oiled mold in the manner shown in the woodcut. When cold turn the croquembouche out of the mold and put a spun sugar ornament on the top.

Genoese Paste Croquembouche

Genoese Paste Croquembouche

CROQUEMBOUCHE OF GENOESE PASTE RINGS

Make and bake some Genoese paste as directed in the preceding recipe; When the paste is done, and whilst it is hot, cut it into rounds with a 1 ¼ inch plain cutter, and then cut out the inside of the rounds with a 3/8-inch cutter; place one-half of the quantity of rings on a baking-sheet and the other half on another.

Glaze one portion with white Anisette Icing and the other with anisette icing with a little prepared cochineal added, and strew all the rings with No. 3 sugar

Boil some sugar to the crack; Stick the rings in circles in a slightly oiled mold, alternating the colors, and take the croquembouche out of the mold when it is cold; Place a well-drained preserved cherry in each white ring, and a preserved green grape in each pink ring.  

CROQUEMBOUCHE OF GENOESE PASTE HALF-ROUNDS

Make and bake some Genoese paste as directed above; When cold, cut the paste into rounds with a plain 1 ¼ inch cutter and cut the rounds in halves; Blanch and peel some even-sized pistachios.

Boil some sugar to the crack; Glaze half the quantity of pieces by dipping the surface of each one in the sugar and put them on a baking-sheet to cool; then color some of the boiled sugar with a little prepared cochineal and glaze the remainder of the pieces in the same way.

Oil a plain mold slightly; Stick a row of pieces round the side of the mold, placing the cut part or diameter on the bottom, and alternating the colors; When this first circle is completed, dip the pistachios one at a time in the white sugar and stick them upright between each half-round.

Begin the second circle by placing a half-round with the section resting on the middle of the top of the two half-rounds underneath it; when this is completed, stick a pistachio between each piece, and continue in the same way until the sides of the mold is covered, then fill up the bottom of the mold in like manner; When the croquembouche is quite cold turn it out of the mold.

Observation: Great care is required to prepare these croquembouches successfully, as the pieces must be arranged quickly, and above all in regular order, or the effect of the whole will be spoiled.

CROQUEMBOUCHE OF ALMOND PASTE RINGS

Make some paste as directed for Almond Paste for small Timbales; roll out the paste to 3/8-inch thickness, cut it with a 2-inch plain cutter, and cut out a hole in the center with a 1-inch plain cutter, put the rings on some sheets of paper to dry in the hot-closet;

Glaze half the quantity of rings with Glace Royale flavored with Maraschino and colored a bright pink by the addition of a little prepared cochineal, and strew some No. 3 sugar over them; Glaze the remainder of the rings with white glace royale flavored with Maraschino, and strew them with some of the same sugar;

Boil some sugar to the crack; Dip the edge of the rings into the sugar and stick them together all over the inside of a slightly oiled plain mold, making alternate rows of pink and white rings;

Turn the croquembouche out of the mold when it is cold; Cut some preserved apricots and some preserved angelica with a 1-inch plain cutter; place a piece of the apricot in the center of each of the pink rings and the pieces of angelica in the white ones.

This croquembouche will not look well unless the rings are stuck in regularly and without any sugar appearing between them; to make it stronger it is better to put some more sugar over the inside before the croquembouche is turned out of the mold.

CROQUEMBOUCHE OF ITALIAN MERINGUE RINGS

Butter and sugar some copper baking-sheets as directed for the molds for large sponge cakes; Mark off some rounds on the baking-sheets with a plain 2-inch cutter;

Make some Italian meringue paste using only 4 eggs; put the paste into a paper cone and press it out into rings on the marked rounds on the baking-sheets, strew them over with No. 2 sugar and dry them in the hot closet;

Put the rings on two separate sheets of paper; Make some Strawberry Fondant Icing and some Kirschenwasser Fondant Icing, the latter colored with Spinach Green; Fill the hole in the center of half the quantity of rings with the strawberry icing flush with the top, and fill the remainder with the green icing;

When the icing is dry and cold, stick the rings in a slightly oiled mold with a little glace royale flavored with Kirschenwasser; place the pink and green rings alternately, so that they may form oblique rows round the mold; When the croquembouche is quite dry, turn it carefully out of the mold on to a napkin on a dish.

Observation: Much stress on the care required to prepare these croquembouches stuck with sugar boiled to the crack, successfully. The sugar must not be allowed to color in the cooking nor to show between the pieces stuck in the mold; these pieces should have their edges only dipped in the sugar and be placed very regularly in the mold.

Apricot Paste Croquembouche

Apricot Paste Croquembouche

APRICOT PASTE CROQUEMBOUCHE

Cut some rounds of apricot paste with a 1-inch plain cutter, glaze one-half the quantity of rounds with white and the other half with pink sugar boiled to the crack, stick the rounds in a slightly oiled mold as shown in the woodcut and turn the croquembouche out of the mold when it is cold;

Cut some triangular pieces of preserved angelica, dip them in the white sugar, stick them round the top of the croquembouche, and place a tuft of white spun sugar on the top.

FRUIT CROQUEMBOUCHE

Peel some oranges and divide them into their quarters, without splitting the skin; Cut some large preserved apricots and greengages in two and remove the stones; Stick a thin wooden skewer in each piece of fruit, dip them in sugar boiled to the crack, and put them to cool on a slightly oiled marble slab or on oiled baking-sheets;

When cold stick the fruit in the inside of a slightly oiled mold, by dipping the edge of the pieces in the sugar and putting first a row of pieces of orange, then a row of greengages, then another row of orange and one of apricots, and so on until the side of the mold is covered;

Turn the croquembouche out of the mold when cold and dry and place a spun sugar ornament on the top.

Orange and Cherry Croquembouche

Orange and Cherry Croquembouche

ORANGE AND CHERRY CROQUEMBOUCHE

Peel some oranges and divide them into their quarters without splitting the skin, stick a thin skewer in each piece and let them dry, then dip them in sugar boiled to the crack and put them to drain round a sieve; Dry some preserved cherries in the hot-closet, and dip them also, in the sugar;

When cold arrange the pieces of orange and the cherries in a slightly oiled mold in the way shown in the woodcut; when the inside of the mold is covered, turn the croquembouche out; stick some more pieces of orange and cherries on the top, together with some ornaments made of spun sugar.

CHESTNUT CROQUEMBOUCHE

Slit the skin of some even-sized chestnuts, roast them in a copper pan without coloring them, and peel them carefully;

When the chestnuts are cold, stick a thin wooden skewer in each and dip them in sugar boiled to the crack; let them cool on a marble slab, and then stick them all over the inside of a slightly oiled mold, and turn the croquembouche out when it is cold.

CHERRY AND CHOU CROQUEMBOUCHE

Make some chou paste and shape it into small balls to be about the size of a cherry when cooked;

Bake the balls, and when they are cold. dip them in sugar boiled to the crack;

Choose some fine even-sized cherries, dip them in sugar boiled to the crack and colored with a little prepared cochineal, and put them on a marble slab to cool;

Oil a plain mold slightly, and stick some of the paste balls over the bottom of it; then stick in a row of the cherries and then a row of the paste balls and continue the alternate circles until all the inside is covered; When the croquembouche is cold turn it out of the mold.

From: The Royal Cookery Book, 1869 (p. 536) 

CROQUEMBOUCHE OF CHOUX GARNIS

Make some paste as directed herein:  Put in a 2-quart stewpan ½ pint of water, ¼ lb. of butter, ½ oz. of sugar. Boil then take off the fire, and add ½ lb. of sifted flour; mix, and stir over the fire, with a wooden spoon, for four minutes.

Take off the fire, and break in 3 eggs; —each egg should be thoroughly mixed before another is added; mix well, and if the paste be too stiff, add half or a whole egg; —the paste should be stiff enough not to spread out when dropped from the spoon.

Put the paste in a paper funnel; cut the point off, leaving an opening ¼ inch in diameter; squeeze out the paste on to a baking-sheet, in portions of the size of a large nut; brush them over with egg, flattening the point at the top.

Put the baking sheet in the oven and, when the puffs or choux are done, make a very small hole in each; put some Apricot Jam in a paper funnel; insert the point in the hole made in the puffs, and fill them with the jam.

Oil a plain mold; boil some sugar with a little water, until it begins to form large air-bubbles; then skim a little off with the finger, and instantly plunge your hand into some cold water; if the sugar comes off easily and is brittle, it has attained the right degree of boiling; dip the puffs in the sugar, and line the mold with the puffs placed side by side; when cold, turn the croquembouche out of the mold onto a napkin on a dish; and serve.

CROQUEMBOUCHE DE GENOISE

Spread some Genoise Paste with ½ lb. of flour, ½ lb. of sugar and 4 eggs; work briskly with a wooden spoon for five minutes and add ¼ lb. of butter, melted; Butter a square baking-sheet; spread the paste on it; bake it in the oven, and cut it out into rounds with a 1-inch plain cutter;

Boil some sugar with a little water, until it begins to form large air-bubbles; then skim a little off with the finger, and instantly plunge your hand into some cold water; if the sugar comes off easily and is brittle, it has attained the right degree of boiling;

Color part of this sugar with a little prepared cochineal and glaze half the rounds of genoise with this pink sugar; and glaze the remainder with the uncolored sugar. 

Oil a plain mold; line it with the rounds of glazed genoise, arranging the colors in patterns, and sticking the rounds together with a little of the white sugar; Turn the croquembouche out of the mold onto a napkin, on a dish; place a plume of spun sugar on the top; and serve.

CROQUEMBOUCHE OF FRUIT

Prepare and glaze some oranges, plums, and apricots.  Oil a plain mold, and line it with the fruits, sticking them together with some of the sugar in which they have been glazed;

Make a tuft or plume of spun sugar; Turn the croquembouche out of the mold; put the spun sugar tuft on the top; and serve.

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