Thursday, 27 May 2010

PIECE MONTÉE MAY 2010 - Daring Baker's Challenge

I was delighted when I read this months Daring Bakers Challenge.
I have made desserts with the pastry but have never ever had the courage to do a Croquembouche.

I have seen them in various Dessert book I have and I have heard from my MIL that when her kids were younger this Croquembouche was the In thing for parties etc....

While taking pictures , I decorated with some fresh flowers, and then I got this idea to make it more festive, I made flowers ( well they don't look like flowers but it is my first try to make them) with Marzipaan and then decorated with Orange chocolate drops and dusted with glitter :-) hey I am a bollywodd lady so I like my glitter :-)

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.

Ingredients:
For the Vanilla Crème Patissiere (Half Batch)1 cup (225 ml.) whole milk
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
6 Tbsp. (100 g.) sugar
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
2 Tbsp. (30 g.) unsalted butter
1 Tsp. Vanilla
Dissolve cornstarch in ¼ cup of milk. Combine the remaining milk with the sugar in a saucepan; bring to boil; remove from heat.
Beat the whole egg, then the yolks into the cornstarch mixture. Pour 1/3 of boiling milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly so that the eggs do not begin to cook.
Return the remaining milk to boil. Pour in the hot egg mixture in a stream, continuing whisking.
Continue whisking (this is important – you do not want the eggs to solidify/cook) until the cream thickens and comes to a boil. Remove from heat and beat in the butter and vanilla.

Pour cream into a stainless steel/ceramic bowl. Press plastic wrap firmly against the surface. Chill immediately and until ready to use

Pate a Choux (Yield: About 28)
¾ cup (175 ml.) water
6 Tbsp. (85 g.) unsalted butter
¼ Tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 cup (125 g.) all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
For Egg Wash: 1 egg and pinch of salt
Pre-heat oven to 425◦F/220◦C degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Preparing batter:Combine water, butter, salt and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and stir occasionally. At boil, remove from heat and sift in the flour, stirring to combine completely.
Return to heat and cook, stirring constantly until the batter dries slightly and begins to pull away from the sides of the pan.

Transfer to a bowl and stir with a wooden spoon 1 minute to cool slightly.
Add 1 egg. The batter will appear loose and shiny

As you stir, the batter will become dry-looking like lightly buttered mashed potatoes

It is at this point that you will add in the next egg. Repeat until you have incorporated all the eggs.
Piping:Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a large open tip (I piped directly from the bag opening without a tip). Pipe choux about 1 inch-part in the baking sheets. Choux should be about 1 inch high about 1 inch wide.
Using a clean finger dipped in hot water, gently press down on any tips that have formed on the top of choux when piping. You want them to retain their ball shape, but be smoothly curved on top

Brush tops with egg wash (1 egg lightly beaten with pinch of salt).
Baking:Bake the choux at 425◦F/220◦C degrees until well-puffed and turning lightly golden in color, about 10 minutes.
Lower the temperature to 350◦F/180◦C degrees and continue baking until well-colored and dry, about 20 minutes more. Remove to a rack and cool
Can be stored in a airtight box overnight.
Filling:When you are ready to assemble your piece montée, using a plain pastry tip, pierce the bottom of each choux. Fill the choux with pastry cream using either the same tip or a star tip, and place on a paper-lined sheet. Choux can be refrigerated briefly at this point while you make your glaze.
Use one of these to top your choux and assemble your piece montée.

Chocolate Glaze:

8 ounces/200 g. finely chopped chocolate (use the finest quality you can afford as the taste will be quite pronounced; I recommend semi-sweet)
Melt chocolate in microwave or double boiler. Stir at regular intervals to avoid burning. Use the best quality chocolate you can afford. Use immediately.

Assembly of your Piece Montée:You may want to lay out your unfilled, unglazed choux in a practice design to get a feel for how to assemble the final dessert. For example, if making a conical shape, trace a circle (no bigger than 8 inches) on a piece of parchment to use as a pattern. Then take some of the larger choux and assemble them in the circle for the bottom layer. Practice seeing which pieces fit together best.
Once you are ready to assemble your piece montée, dip the top of each choux in your glaze (careful it may be still hot!), and start assembling on your cake board/plate/sheet. Continue dipping and adding choux in levels using the glaze to hold them together as you build up.

When you have finished the design of your piece montée, you may drizzle with remaining glaze or use ribbons, sugar cookie cut-outs, almonds, flowers, etc. to decorate. Have fun and enjoy! Bon appétit.

69 comments:

Priya said...

Omg, never seen such an elegant and pretty piece montée..Wat a fabulous work u have done F..Tremendous!!

RAKS KITCHEN said...

Ya it looks bollywoody ;) Nice post HC:)

MeetaK said...

looks absolutely sensational finla! love the styling!

Bharathy said...

GOSH!!..Salutes to you, Finla!!!...AMAZING!

Ivy said...

This looks very beautiful. The pastry sounds like choux pastry. You did a great job.

jayasree said...

Looks gorgeous and pretty arrangement.

Juls @ Juls'Kitchen said...

OH MY! simply amazing! great job!

Yasmeen said...

lovely masterpiece :D

Asha said...

WOW!! Finla, you are a Bollywood lady with Hollywood attitude! ;D

Very very nice. Red Marzipan flowers do look like flowers, great job. Very festive for parties, No? I bet your MIL was happy to see this, must have brought back lot of memories for her! :))

The Cooking Ninja said...

They are gorgeous! Your flowers look fantastic for a first try. :) I love your bollywood style.

simply.food said...

Ẁhat a wonderful stack you have made here.Beautifully decoarted and looks amazing.

Bombay-Bruxelles said...

Looks glamorous with the glitter and all :-)

Home Cooked Oriya Food said...

looks beautiful... very lovely presentation...

Aparna said...

So beautiful, Finla and this would any Bollywood glitter to shame!

elra said...

very pretty and delicious looking. Well done dear.

Pavithra said...

Wow absolutely gorgeous..looks soo good with marzipan flowers and that cute little orange candies... on the whole great job !!!!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Awww, that croquembouche is so pretty! I really love the colors and dainty decorations! great job.

Cheers,

Rosa

Ambika said...

Wonderful presentation!

Bong Mom said...

I have never heard or seen such a thing. It is so pretty, how can anyone eat it ?

Asha @ FSK said...

Finla! It's sooo festive!! love the flowers!!

Gloria said...

OMG! Happy Cook this is absolutely beauty and look delicious! xx gloria

Deeba PAB said...

How absolutely gorgeous F... I LOVE what you did with the piece montee. It's a celebration of all things good and beautiful! WOW!!

Laura said...

Ooh, I love your croquembouche! Love the flowers and glitter. Very nice, indeed.

aquadaze said...

oh that is so festive and gorgeous looking!

Renata said...

Your Pièce Montée is gorgeous and so colorful! I love it!

Aps said...

Dearie m falling in love vth these.... Yum Yum Such a elegant presentation

Sushma Mallya said...

looks gorgeous, i really wouldnt dare to do this one...

Natalie... said...

Wow your croqeumbouche is so elegant and pretty! It looks amazing. Great job on this challenge!

Sayantani said...

I love bollywood and the bolly lady in you HC. thats absolutely gorgeous...love all those flowers and glitters you made it looks sensational and chic.awesome

The Betz Family said...

That looks stunning! I love all your glitter and razmataz! Nice job on the challenge.

innBrooklyn said...

what a beautiful and creative presentation: such fun1

shankari said...

A work of art!

indosungod said...

No way! this kind of baking will never be in my league. Fantastic.

PranisKitchen said...

omg what a delicious one..really challenging one..grt job

Julie M. said...

Beautiful work! I really like your marzipan flowers, you made them look fantastic. Congrats on a fabulous croquembouche.

Cham said...

Tell me did u gulp all alone these mountain of beauty? Fantastic and i wonder how it stands :)

Happy Cook said...

Thankyou all for the wonderful comments and it was a joy to make them and bring it to the table to hear the guest wow :-)
CHam hi hi i did not gobble up everything, i coudn't as i had to share with every one :-)

Mandira said...

this looks deicious and elegant!

Naomi said...

These look beautiful! You did such a good job!

outoftheoven said...

Such a wonderful presentation! Beautiful job!

Apu said...

Very nice!! Beautiful arrangement.

Cakelaw said...

This is so pretty HC - love it! Your flowers are gorgeous - especially as this is your first time making them.

Rachel said...

very pretty1 The flowers are real good.I like glitter too!! awesome job on the challenge..your effort is so obvious.

Sharmila said...

I really admire you Happy ... that is a wonderful thing you have made! I like the idea of the edible flowers ... they look so beautiful. :-)

Maria said...

Gorgeous pic Finla! I love them :)

tobias cooks! said...

I found you over Rosa's site. This is also a great version you are presenting.

sowmya's creative saga said...

beautiful...

pigpigscorner said...

Very beautiful! Love your creations!

Babli said...

Looks fantastic and gorgeous. Wonderful arrangement.
You are welcome in my blogs.

Vrinda said...

WOW amazing.....Gr8 job

5 Star Foodie said...

So beautiful! I love your presentation with red flowers!

Barbara Bakes said...

I love how you've decorated it. It's like a fantasyland cake.

silverrock said...

Wow! That piece montée is so beautifully decorated, it almost reminds me of a christmas tree... except in the spring-time. Gorgeous flower colors and arrangement... I am in awe.

PJ said...

Looks stunning .Lovely clicks

Baking Addict said...

Beautiful presentation. Great job!

Gulmohar said...

That looks so beautiful..fabulous job..hats off to you..

Sook said...

Wow, that looks amazing and beautiful!

SprinkleBakes said...

WOW! Really, really beautiful!

Swapna said...

Wow Finla....gorgeous pics... Love those marzipan flowers....

Cinnamon-Girl said...

This is beautiful! You are so talented for making those flowers. I love them!

Chef Dennis said...

OMG that is a work of art!!! I have never seen anything like it....just incredible!

Little Miss Cupcake said...

WOW! Now that is some croquembouche! I love glitter too and so love how this looks! Amazing job! x Cat

Happy Cook said...

Thankyou cat i loved this challenge, if it was not for you i would have never made them.

culinography said...

So colorful! Just beautiful!!

Mother Rimmy said...

Beautiful! I've really enjoyed watching the bloggers that have done this Daring Bakers challenge and how creative you all have been!

Padhu said...

Hats off to you !! that looks fantastic .I am sure it is lot of hard work

lissie said...

I saw quite a no: of piece mont'ee on FB. But Finla, the Award goes to you! Yours is a true masterpiece!!!

Tiy said...

I'm very glad to see you un sundays, and to taste your delicious food!

meeso said...

Gorgeous!