Croquembouche, a classic French wedding cake

Croquembouche, a classic French wedding cake.

If you are not a big fan of Royal Icing and you are looking for a showstopping alternative, then the croquembouche is definitely the one to go for.

Many questions pop-up from couples about it. I will try to answer as many as I can here. But before I start, let me tell you a little bit more about this beautiful cake.

croquembouche

 

Croquembouche, a classic French wedding cake, is a beautiful tower of tiny profiteroles also called “choux”. It is  wrapped in delicious golden caramel and filled with a yummy creme patissiere (pastry cream). But, if you go to France and ask your patissier for a croquembouche, he might not understand what you mean as we call it “pièce montée”.

La “pièce montée” is also a tradition at baptisms and first communions.

What’s in it? I often get asked. 

La pièce montée, is filled with a pastry cream. In France the tradition is vanilla. Here in the UK, couples are more adventurous. Common flavours are vanilla, chocolate, coffee, chocolate hazelnut or even passion fruit.

How tall can it be?

It depends on the number of guests. A tall croquembouche, usually contains between 200 and 300 choux and will usually measure between 90 to 100 cm. The showstopping effect is definitely there, no doubt about it.

How easy is it to transport?

Believe it or not, it is a very stable cake to transport. Because of its structural shape, it is very heavy and therefore not very prone for movement, which makes it extremely stable compared to a tiered cake for example.

How do you cut it?

The croquembouche may look complicated to cut, but in reality it’s not. Providing you use the right knife, either a bread or steak knife. The choux separate easily.

croquembouche

What can you add to it?

La “pièce montée” that I used to see during my childhood, with a simple nougatine, golden caramel and spun sugar has long gone. Here at Gourmandises, we often add flowers, sugared almonds or even fruits to our croquembouche. Nowadays, it tends to be adorned very imaginatively, the nougatine is much more elaborate and stylish. Nougatine is golden caramel mixed with flaked almonds and left to set, it can then be shaped beautifully. The nougatine tends to be seen at the bottom of the croquembouche.

I hope I have answered all your questions but if you need more information, do not hesitate to message me.

If you’re looking for inspiration, have a browse at our gallery.