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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Angel Pear Gateau

Every year when Father's Day rolls around, I often find myself looking to reinvent my family's favourite mudcake recipe, as mudcake is my dad's favourite cake. While my family are more than content to keep demolishing their favourites, I get bored of repetition and am often looking for new skills to learn. So this year, I started trying to come up with something out of the ordinary. Given how picky my dad is, this is a harder task than usual. If it's not mudcake, his next favourite is a fruit cake, but almost no one else in my household likes fruit cake.

I found a middle ground to strike. Pears are one of my dad's favourite fruits. Like me, he prefers them really soft. Our perfect pear is what others feel is overripe. A cake involving poached pears was going to be a hit.

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!