[CC bakes]: A special "cake"

 
A mountain of profiteroles with a caramelized coating can only mean one thing (in my books..hehe). CROQUEMBOUCHE! 
I made it my own personal ‘mission’/hobby/challenge to make the birthday cakes for my family this year. Unfortunately for Dad’s birthday, I was way to busy with uni so I didn’t manage to make one for him =( But I made a pandan & lychee cake for my Nan, a chocolate mousse cake for my brother JC, a strawberry shortcake for Mum…and this croquembouche was specially for my favourite younger brother GC (read ‘only’ younger brother..haha).  

GC turned 21 this year so I wanted to make a more extravagant special cake for him…a show-stopper, something that was, in our household, out-of-this-world! He wasn’t having a big celebration so I wanted to make his birthday special in some way so I decided to make a croquembouche.

He loves cream puffs so I knew this would be a good idea…plus, I asked him as confirmation. haha. I filled them with green tea creme patissiere because that’s one of his favourite flavours. I just bought some fantastic green tea powder from Japan so I couldn’t wait to start using it. It’s a really nice aroma and now I’m kicking myself for not buying more.

Anyway, I used to have a recipe for the creme pat, but I didn’t like it much because it was a bit too runny for my liking. I have however, found a new one, courtesy of Not Quite Nigella and I have to say, it is AWESOME! Seriously, try it and you will not regret it. It’s not too sweet (though I did reduce the sugar), not too milky and the texture and consistency is just perfect. It’s not gluggy, but it’s not runny and it’s so smooth.

I, of course, adapted the recipe to make it green tea while also reducing the sugar a bit. I didn’t want it too sweet because we had the toffee coating and I wanted the green tea to shine.

Assembling the ‘masterpiece’ was so time-consuming and now I really understand the price behind professionally-made croquembouches. I actually went to buy a foam cone because as usual, I was really busy and things were a little hectic in the days leading up to his birthday so I didn’t want to risk anything falling apart with the cake. I got a really small cone, about 30cm tall, which still required 60+ puffs! I was so surprised! I actually didn’t have enough of them to make the point at the top, but just made sure to photograph the better side =P haha.

Mum doesn’t like creme pat, so I filled some with homemade red bean paste and dotted those with silver caches so that we could differentiate. Plus, I wanted to decorate the actual thing a bit and although I would’ve loved to put flowers here and there, I think it was a little too pansy for GC =P haha. So the silver caches added just that little bit of decoration without being overly tacky.

I ordered some balloons and threaded them through the middle of the croquembouche so it looked like they were floating out of the annex. The balloons were awesome, thanks to Charming Inflations, who does all these cool-looking balloons. They also gave a MASSIVE helium-filled 21 to GC. So massive that it’s taller than GC who is about 175cm tall.

Anyway, so everyone enjoyed the cake but most importantly, GC loved it. I placed sparklers all over it for the song since candles wouldn’t have been feasible. We all had fun taking it apart and it was a unique cake-eating session that we’ve never had before. The sugar burns I sustained from the toffee were totally worth it.

Hope you enjoyed your birthday cake GC, and that it made your 21st birthday extra-special!!

Stay tuned for the scrumptious Japanese dinner GC treated us to that night!

Thanks for reading! ^^

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10 thoughts on “[CC bakes]: A special "cake"

  1. I also sustained quite a few burns, Jessie! But it's the love + effort that counts =) Thank you so much for your lovely comment! My first lot of sugar wasn't too good – crystallised because I stirred it but second lot was nice, smooth and shiny =D

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  2. Whoa! That's impressive. I saw croquembouche demonstrated once, and I've been trying to get the nerve to try making one, but in the end, the thought of the hot sugar scares me and I end up serving profiteroles instead, yet again! Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving your comment. Btw, your banner is adorable 🙂

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  3. Thanks for your comment, Elaine! Yes my brother thoroughly enjoyed the 'cake' that night…and the days following, because there were just SO MANY PUFFS!! haha.

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  4. Thanks, Rachel! You are SO YOUNG, but your bakes look incredible and so professional! I'm sure if you were to make one, it'll be more grand and impressive than this!

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  5. Thanks, Denise! You should give it a go one day =) Your food always looks amazing so I'm 100% you'll succeed! hehe. I drew + scanned the banner in myself =P It was much easier than doing it on the computer!

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