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! ^^