Croquembouche Cupcakes

Croquembouche is a word that conjures fear in the hearts of many. I've never understood why. Choux pastry is the easiest pastry to make, and toffee is not exactly the most challenging thing to make. Spun sugar can take some getting used to, but it's definitely achievable. 

It seems to have stemmed from that MasterChef episode in Series 1 where Adriano Zumbo brought one for the pressure test. Everyone freaked out and it's since been viewed as the penultimate challenge. Many challenges since have been much more difficult, but still everyone dreads the mighty croquembouche. 

It's really quite simple. If you've never tried one before, here's a mini version to help you ease your way into it.

Step-by-step after the jump…

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Daring Bakers: Filled Pâté à Choux Swans

This month's Daring Bakers Challenge filled me with excitement the second it was posted. Kat of The Bobwhites was our August 2012 Daring Baker hostess who inspired us to have fun in creating pâté à choux shapes, filled with crème pâtissiére or Chantilly cream. We were encouraged to create swans or any shape we wanted and to go crazy with filling flavors allowing our creativity to go wild!

For me, there was no choice other than swans. I have been wanting to make these for a while but never found the excuse. What a perfect excuse this was.

“But calm, white calm, was born into a swan…”