Daring Bakers May 2010: If the choux fits,

Thursday, May 27, 2010

(Hi everyone, I’m still on holidays and hoping this post went up glitch free. See you all when I return in a couple of weeks)

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.

The challenge looked a little bit intimidating at first, but each separate component was actually quite simple, so thank you Cat for pushing me to try my hand at this.

My first attempt at the choux pastry resulted in flat rather than round puffs.

That’s ok, I took a zen approach to it and filled them anyway.




I used defrosted blood-orange curd and topped the puffs with some chocolate ganache. I’ve discovered that curd can be frozen with only a minimal change in texture. But pastry cream should never be frozen. Trust me on this one.

Voila, my petite “Piece Monster”.



After consulting my kitchen guru, I found a very similar recipe that used only three eggs instead of the four in the challenge recipe.

 Happiness! Puffier puffs.



Half of these were filled with a simple vanilla pastry crème, and the other half with dark chocolate ganache. My tasters and I agreed that pastry cream was the tastier choice.

Of course, I couldn’t resist a food pun.




Get it?


Don’t forget to check out the sensational masterpieces created by the Daring Bakers, and visit the Daring Kitchen while you’re there. The challenge recipe can be found at the Daring Kitchen or our host's blog.


23 comments:

dessert girl said...

Ha! That piece monster is sooo cute! I love the other "sculpture," too! So creative!

ap269 said...

Your piece monsters are so cute. What a creative approach to the challenge!

Barbara said...

Love your post title, Shaz!
And your croquembouche designs. What fun!

silverrock said...

Hehehe... your piece monster is simply adorable, I'd feel too guilty to eat him/her. Great job on this month's challenge, looks like you had a lot of fun.

The Cooking Photographer said...

Lol! I love this post! :) I'll never thing of choux the same again after that title too!

Lauren said...

I love it all! Hilarious and delicious all in one sitting :). Beautiful job on this challenge!

Ellie (Almost Bourdain) said...

Love your quirkiness!!!

Anh said...

Haha! So cute! This post is full of sunshine :)

grace said...

oh shaz, i love that you had so much fun with this! your monster is adorable and your shoe sculpture and title are amazing--hooray for your wit! :)

Baking Addict said...

Great post. The piece monster is so cute.

Renata said...

LOL... I love your creativity! Your Pièce Monster is the cutest creature, the boy's hair is so funny and the shoe is so French! Enjoyed deliciously!

Marcellina said...

Gorgeous Shaz! I love your play with words! But your monster sculpture is really making lemonade out of lemons! Great work!

Aparna said...

That's the cutest choux monster I've ever seen. Its a croquembouche with character! :)

Ago said...

Hi Shaz! :-D
nice to meet you!
Your croquembouche is surely the cutest I've ever seen! :-DDD
Kisses
Ago

pierre said...

bravo for the funny way you cook and vive les choux !! Pierre de Paris

3 hungry tummies said...

They are great! Putting a big smile on my face! Miss you Malaysian monday though!!

Juliana said...

Oh! Cute and funny pictures...love it!

Hungry Dog said...

I love it. They look gorgeous and delicious and elegant and funny all at once. You're awesome!

shaz said...

Thank you so much everyone. I am having a wonderful holiday and looking forward to visiting your blogs and your daring masterpieces when I return. Cheers, shaz

Von said...

You did a great job decorating the first ones- they're so cute! And I've seen that plate before....somewhere....the one with the face. You're supposed to put food over it to decorate the face right? it's so cool!

Lisa said...

shaz, you took this challenge to such a fun level! I LOVE the little choux puff man (Piece Monster LOL!), the head of choux hair and of course, your 'piece' de resistance, the 'choux shoe' croquembouche!!! Brilliant!! :)

shaz said...

Thank you all!

shaz said...

ps Von - yes, the plate is called "FoodFace" (or something like that) and it was given to Mr. Kitchen Hand as a "joke" birthday present. The MC's get to use it in turns each night. It's very fun.