Thursday, May 27, 2010

A "Piece" of goodness...

For those of you who don't know, I have joined an online group called the Daring Bakers.  Each month, on the 27th, I will be posting pictures on my blog of the monthly baking challenge I have completed.  The May 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Cat of Little Miss Cupcake. Cat challenged everyone to make a piece montée, or croquembouche, based on recipes from Peter Kump’s Baking School in Manhattan and Nick Malgieri.
This was quite a fun challenge, as it basically required me to make a "tower" of cream puffs.  I can see why this is a popular dessert in lieu of a cake at weddings in France, as it is not only delicious, but quite fun to pluck off a little pillow of yumminess :)  So why not consider it for your next party??

It started with making the puff, which is a pate choux dough, used to make eclairs and cream puffs.  After being brushed with a little egg wash, they come out beautifully golden.

They are then filled with deliciously sweet pastry cream.  I chose to do a traditional half vanilla/half chocolate croquembouche.  However, it was just luck of the draw as to which one was plucked off the mounted piece!  After filling the puffs, the most daunting part to me was building a tower that seemed to take a nice shape without toppling over!  The cream puffs hung on for dear life with a little caramel, and I adorned the whole thing with chocolate covered strawberries.  The strawberries were so deep red and juicy, as they came from a local, organic farm!  Here are a couple pictures for your enjoyment:

Bon Appetit!


  1. Your Pièce Montée is gorgeous! Love the chocolate covered strawberries! Your puffs are so perfect!

  2. Hip these look daringly delicious and amazing! How in the world did your tower of puffs & chocolate covered strawberries not topple from the weight? I suppose that is a "chef's secret"! :) Buon Appetito! Miss & love you my talented friend! -Slars
    p.s. I am so looking forward to cooking again...someday after I'm off of bed rest & baby girl arrives. :)

  3. Heather, that looks amazing! How fun and yummy...