(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.
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.