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26 February, 2009

Foodie Friday: Croquembouches...or...French Wedding Cakes!

Foodie_Friday_Logo_2Welcome to the second fabulous Foodie Friday hosted by our gracious hostess with the mostest...Gollum at Designs by Gollum! After yesterday's post in which I mentioned croquembouches, I realized that many Americans are not familiar with what they are. So tonight, I want to tell you a little bit about them!


The croquembouche, which means "cracks in the mouth," is a pièce montée....a pyramid of profiteroles or cream puffs. It is the traditional wedding cake in France! Notice that this one is shaped like a church!
(photo Max Dupain)


This is the more traditional style...held together with hardened caramel or spun sugar and often decorated with flowers. This outer shell is the source of the "crack"!
(photo Henriot Patisserie)


This is a much more elaborate version, decorated with chocolate and Jordan almonds or dragées, the traditional parting gift for the guests at French weddings.
(photo Recettes Romandie)


They can be very beautiful and elegant such as this one....
(photo Martha Stewart Weddings)


...or this less traditional rendition for Valentines Day.
(photo Hotel St. Germain)


Here's one made of strawberries and chocolate...
(photo A Cake Oddessy)


...and here's one made by a Ukrainian pastry chef for his bride as her wedding dress!! Is that love or what??? Wearing it, I mean??
(AP photo)


IMG_4758 Inspired by Gollum and her recent posts using grocery store food to produce works of art, I am going to make my own croquembouche! Here's all I need...cream puffs, whipped cream to be the "glue" and caramel to drizzle on top!


IMG_4761 Hmmm...I seem to have used up all my doilies. A flattened out coffee filter will do! OK...here's my first layer...add whipped cream...


IMG_4764  Now add a few more layers...oh oh!! Not enough cream puffs! Think...think...


sharp1 Hey!...this looks pretty good! lol I like it!


sharp2 Oh no!! Disaster! My whipped cream glue is starting to melt!! OK...so I'll add more of it...no one will notice!


IMG_4772 That's better! Now...drizzle the caramel! No...something is still missing....


IMG_4773 It's the flowers!! OK...now how's that?? Taaaa daaaa!!! A croquembouche made entirely from grocery store food!! How do you like my creation? Isn't it...er...pretty?


IMG_4778 Oh noooooo! Houston, we have a problem...and I'm afraid this one is beyond repair!! Nothing to do but eat it!! Would you like some of my croquembouche?


IMG_4781 Thanks so much for coming by! Be sure to drop by Gollum's to see the list of this week's participants and continue your gastronomical tour of blogland!! Now if you'll excurrze moif...snarf... snarf...
See you next time! A la prochaine!

67 comments:

  1. That is so funny! It still looks delicious. My friend served one once and one of the guests figured if he just took one of the side no one would notice. Crash!!!! We still laugh about it. :D Jewel

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  2. I adore all of your research and knowledge


    missn ya

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  3. This was delightful and fun, Debbie--hand me a spoon. You take one side, I'll take the other. Heaven! I saw Martha Stewart make this on the Today Show...I had no idea what it was called. Loved the pictures--an edible dress!!!!!
    See you soon!

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  4. Yummy! I would love to share your croquembouche--it still looks delicious. And thanks for the history...I had one (rather, part of one) at a Christmas party a few years ago. I had no idea what it was but it was good.

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  5. I hope it's OK to laugh. I bet it tastes great!

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  6. You know, some of the best tasting desserts are the ones that look terrible...not that your dessert looks terrible..um..I mean it must be delicious! LOL Lauralu :)

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  7. Oh Debbie, that is just tooo much fun. I love it when you do a post. No matter what it is you are so funny. The pictures of the really elaborate ones are something else. How in the world do they do that? I have seen a really simple one in the bakery, but had no idea. That dress, can you imagine how stick that was! Great post, I loved every minute and I'm sure it tastes fabulous. Hugs, Marty

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  8. Debbie, this is a scream! LOL! I loved the lessons, but I loved your creation more! I liked its little ice cream cone hat. ;-)

    Happy FF!

    XO,

    Sheila :-)

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  9. I always wanted to try making one of these, I've seen them in magazines and they look soooo pretty. But now I think I won't, lol!

    I'm sure it's every girls' dream to be covered with a 2 inch layer of pastry on their wedding day. Or not!

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  10. Debbie,

    I had so much fun reading along, all those elegant croquembouche and then...ouch!

    It did "seem" delishious! Do you own a glue gun?

    xoxo
    Janie

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  11. Oh my goodness Debbie. My DH just ran out of the music room to see what was going on, I was laughing so hard that I was literally crying and he thought something had happened! The ice cream cone hat - arghh, I'm belly laughing again. It actually still looks delicious, but your commentary just kills me. Thanks for a big huge belly laugh, I really needed that today! Hugs, Kathy

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  12. That looks really good!!!! I will have to try that one! It may not even get to topple over point with my family! Thanks!

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  13. Snarf, snarf!
    Oh my Debbie you are too funny!

    I always enjoy you and your postings very much.

    Come by my blog and check out my new design when you have a moment.
    I always enjoy your visits.

    Have a wonderful evening.
    ~Melissa :)

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  14. I love it! So funny, but we all have times like this! I know it was still wonderful and the flowers saved the day! I loved the Valentine one. Thank you for sharing this wonderful desert!

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  15. Oh my word! I am literally rolling on the floor laughing. You have one terrific sense of humor girlfriend. Darn I wish I had some cream puffs and whip cream in the house. ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha tee hee tee hee tee hee

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  16. This is the reason I love you so much. You are such a sincere friend. I would have probably cried. Really, it looks yummy! Let dig in!
    Hugs, Terrie

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  17. OK, I can't do this in French....I am laughing....you are so funny....that is awesome! Pass me a creme puff, s'il te plait. Linda : )

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  18. Cute! I'll have to keep that in mind for a fancy dessert! A shame you had to eat it so quickly..lOL

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  19. Debbie, You need to become a comedy writer, for sure... And, yes, I'll have some ?????~ Too funny... ;) ~CC Catherine

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  20. PS: I wanna know where your staff was when this was laying around waiting to be eaten??? Miss Kitty had to have been standing nearby with her whiskers in a whirl! ;)

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  21. Oh, my funny little Debbie! I love it! It even looks good fallen! I've never heard of this before, but it does sound good.
    Come over to my blog and after my FF post I have something special for you!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

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  22. OMG Debbie, I almost wet my pants laughing at your croquembouche! I love cream puffs, so this is right up my alley! I've had the hard caramel croquembouche. I wanted to eat a big piece but it was so difficult to get anything that I gave up! ☺♥☺ Diane

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  23. Oh this was fun.
    My niece had one of these for her wedding cake...

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  24. Debbie - A big A for effort and for the funniest post I've seen in a long time! You literally made my day with your croquembouche, especially with the beautiful photos and history.

    I remember seeing Martha do one at Christmas time and spun sugar all around it..gorgeous! I think you should send your post into Martha!!

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  25. You are the REAL world. I'm still laughing. This is what would happen if I tried to do the food pictures that always look so lovely. Thanks for making my day.

    Teacup Lady (Sandy)

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  26. dropping by quickly to say... "Debbie, the world is a better place with you in it"... blessings. Dixie

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  27. LOL! You and your creme puffs are so funny. Thanks for the good laugh, Debbie...Christine

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  28. very fun post, thanks for the smiles and drools!

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  29. So I thought a posted a comment and now it is gone! Just wanted to send you kudos on your amazing blog!! I love France too!! Can't get enough of it! Your home is amazing and hope you don't mind me coming back to what new things you have going on!!

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  30. Okay Debbie...it appears you have never heard of whipped cream stablizer....ask me about it when I see you on Monday...I make cream puffs in my sleep....

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  31. This is priceless. I bet Martha and Rachael Ray have mishaps like this all the time...they're just not confident enough to share LOL

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  32. Stopping by with l♥ve and hugs :)

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  33. Isn't it grand when you get to eat your accidents? I think sometimes I sabotage my baking for that very reason! Learned quite a bit from your post! Thanks, Nancy

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  34. Can you imagine wearing that dress? But I can imagine eating that creation, yum! ~ Robyn

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  35. It was a valiant attempt and the photos were beautiful. Loved the humor for Foodie Friday.

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  36. Debbie,Debbie,Debbie, I have tears in my eyes from laughing so hard. At first I thought you were serious and thought oh no that won't work.Then I began to read a almost fell off my chair, I had to get up and hold my side.I am about to go to bed but all that laughing elevated my endorphins and I am not sure I will be able to fall asleep.You could definitely be a writer or maybe a comedian either way I am volunteering to be your agent. xoxo Kathysue

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  37. Beautiful story Debbie. I found that recipe maybe 40 years ago or so in an American magazine . It was meant as Christmas decorated desert. So like you I tried and tried again but it always ended the same. Like yours, but it tasted so good. LOL

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  38. Hi Debbie, I once saw Julia Child make a croquembouche on her cooking show many years ago and remember being facinated when she made the spun sugar. She actually used a laundry rack to help with the sugar (she "threw" the sugar on the rack). Uh, let me help you "clean up!" :)

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  39. Debbie,
    Still laughing and I think I almost had an accident! It reminds me of my Mom when I was little and she burned the baked corn she just told us it was from an ancient Indian recipe. It worked! We believed her for years and years.... Cindy

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  40. Debbie,good one! They were all pretty but I liked yours the best! Seriously,I never knew that,interesting.
    ((hugs))) Cyndi

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  41. Debbie (lol), let me help you with those. Ummm. that one on the table was good, and that one that wilting under all that whipped cream, can't let that go to waste, so let me that one, too! Too funny!

    Carolyn of What Now? Tablescapes

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  42. Adorable post!

    I would eat it anyway and have no problems doing it!

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  43. Happy Foodie Friday Debbie! I am laughing so hard right now...thank you for the laugh (that felt really good!)

    Susan

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  44. Oh Debbie...you have missed your calling...you should be a comedienne...I just whooped when I saw your topper! You are a delight!! ;-) Bo

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  45. Very interesting post and of course ended with some great Debbie humor! :)

    I love creme puffs!

    Donna

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  46. What a riot,any time you need some help just call me. I'm an expert at doing things like that.

    Hugs,
    Chris

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  47. LOL, too funny, Debbie!...but I bet it tasted good...Loved the history and pics too!

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  48. Lady,you are a hoot.Thank you for the lesson on these.I have been seeing alot of these lately.i just thought they were pretty.I sure would like to have a taste...ann

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  49. J'adore les pièces montées! Et la nougatine!!! Miaam! :)
    En tous cas, bravo d'avoir essayé de faire des croques en bouche vous même!
    A bientôt Debbie!

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  50. I am just a trifle confused. Does the name emanate from the shape of the creation or from the ingredients? I am not familiar with the French language, so I am curious.

    I have heard men say they could eat a woman up because she was so desirable, but in the case of this bride, it could be said literally instead of figuratively.

    It looks delicious whatever the source of the name.

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  51. OMG Debbie I am dying here girl..I mean it started out looking so wonderful and then Bam...you did it again just made me laugh..Now girl this looks like my Kitchen skills..Oh give me a spoon and I'll help clean this up...too funny...Have a great weekend dear friend...hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

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  52. Looks yummy to me - how can you go wrong with cream puffs, whipped cream and caramel sauce? Loved the pictures. Sally

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  53. Wonderful!!!! Best tutorial I've seen in a while and soooo true to life. Who cares what it looks like -----put a little chocolate syrup on that baby and enjoy!

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  54. O Debbie,
    I love croquembouche! My fave one is the Valentine's one, so simple, yet so pretty! I've always been enamored by those towers of decadence.
    My husband always says if you make a mistake in the kitchen, or if a recipe doesn't turn out exactly as planned, then you just eat the evidence and no one's the wiser! lol
    Hey, thanks for visiting BzPlace. I don't have any of my kitties on my sidebar, but in today's post I have a story about taking one to the Vet today and a couple of pics of her.
    Hope you have a wonderful weekend, and enjoy that croquembouche. :) Brenda

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  55. Debbie, Thank your visiting my blog today. You mentioned painting your cupboards and I had mind done this past summer.
    I have seen it done and it looks great, and then there are the ones that are not finished so well. I think I might put coat of glaze over mine, to soften the bright yellow -- a bit like lime or pale yellow green. Time will tell.
    It was nice to speak with you and please come again.

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  56. Hi Glenda...The name comes from "croque en bouche"..."cracks in the mouth"...from the hard caramel coating on the outside. I have had some at a French wedding and it is really good! Yes, I would like to have seen that dress in person! I do wonder what they did with it after the wedding!! Feed it to the birds??? Have a great weekend...Debbie

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  57. Debbie... First time here and I am loving your post... Very informative and then BAM! It turned to a very funny post... I will help you with cleaning that up. Just hand me a spoon...LOL LOL Thanks

    HUGS
    Donna

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  58. Debbie, I am laughing SO hard! That was hysterical! Love your sense of humor! (And I told Gollum I didn't cook any food pretty enough to post a picture!) I just saw your comment to Glenda, and I feel sure the groom ate the wedding dress right off of that bride on the honeymoon. Great posts. Beautiful pictures and great laughs. laurie

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  59. Debbie, I have to say, this was pretty funny. This is an interesting tradition. I have never heard of it. The Valentines Day picture is so pretty with the flowers added to it.

    Have a great weekend.

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  60. Debbie, Leave it to you to choose a croquembouche to present on Foodie Friday! Loved the post from top to bottom. I'm thinking Sara Lee this weekend.

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  61. It's been many years since I've made a croquembouche! After a few burns, I'm thinking maybe the whipped cream is the way to go??? :) Love your post!

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  62. Too, too funny! Looks like one of my cooking disasters, oh I mean...flubs. I would not have even bothered stacking them. I would just scarf ,,,I mean, delicately eat them from the container. Me likey cream puffs!

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  63. This is my visit,very entertaining, LOL. Love the confessions of a plate addict...I am in the club too. Have a great week.
    Kelley

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  64. I'm glad I found your blog! Thanks for the big smile and the background on croquembouches :)

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  65. They are so beautiful! I love the Valentine's one...the wedding one is pretty too but I don't think the dress is the answer!
    You sure had fun making yours.
    thank you for sharing.
    Judi

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  66. Debbie,
    I'll be more than happy yo help you deguster this delightful croque en bouche..
    http://cuttlebugchallenge.blogspot.com/2010/02/wanna-get-away-to-this-fantastic.html
    Maggie

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Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment! I appreciate my wonderful readers!... Debbie