Ok....croqin-What?????(Long Sorry)

Business By mommicakes Updated 11 Jul 2009 , 11:39am by Bijoudelanuit

mommicakes Posted 9 Jul 2009 , 8:13pm
post #1 of 22

A little help here people. I arrive home today with a message on my machine. Woman wants to know if I can make a croquembouche wedding cake for 160 guests for the 18th of July?

Now, I kinda knew what this was, but, wanted to make sure anyway. I get to the computer and did the google. I wasn't quite sure about how it all stayed together and such so did the research, seems pretty simple (I think).

My questions to you are,

1- would any of you do it on 1 weeks notice?
2- how much and how would you actually charge for something like this?
3- would I be crazy to do it?

The woman said she knows that there will most likely be a "rush charge" and is willing to pay it, but wanted to see what my cake family thought.

I need to figure yes or no.

Please help. Thanks.

21 replies
Kiddiekakes Posted 9 Jul 2009 , 8:25pm
post #2 of 22

I saw one of those cakes done on a food network challenge.It is a large cone shaped tower of creampuff like desserts all layered onto a cone tree.It was quite unique and beautiful...I have no idea what to charge but the concept is neat...More like for a chocolate fountain but none the less cool!Maybe someone can chime in and help you out more!

mommicakes Posted 9 Jul 2009 , 8:34pm
post #3 of 22

Thanks Kiddiekakes, I have seen them on the FN before too. What is funny, I have just gotten my cream puff recipe down, and am comfortable doing those now, just trying to figure out if I should do it, and how much to charge. I would LOVE to add it to my portfolio. They look really cool.

Also, just trying to keep it close to the top for some extra help. icon_redface.gif

Thanks.

Debluvs2bake Posted 9 Jul 2009 , 8:56pm
post #4 of 22

If you've never made cream puffs before, I'd say you're crazy to take the order one week out. Doesn't give you any time to practice or learn how to make. I'd charge my per slice price per puff. You have to make, bake, fill, stack and string sugar.

My BFF and I made one for my wedding 24 yrs ago. It was about 4 dozen puffs, but I was familiar with making cream puffs. If you make it, word of caution: watch the spun suger, it burns like H*%L if you get it on you! I had a blister on my foot, my BFF had to reshower cuz it was in her hair. We had it strung from one end of the kitchen to the other! One of my fondest wedding day memories.

alliebear Posted 9 Jul 2009 , 9:05pm
post #5 of 22

these are super easy in my opinion and i would do it because money is money and they aren't too expensive to make to begin with so you can have a good profit margin on it. also when i make them i piped out flowers and stuff with the choux paste ( the cream puff batter) and they looked really nice on top of the spun sugar, but use a smaller tip so when they puff up they don't look too big. you can fill them with a pastry cream which will hold up better then Chantilly or just plain whipped cream.

mommicakes Posted 9 Jul 2009 , 9:07pm
post #6 of 22

Nice story alliebear. I bet you both laughed you butts off about it being everywhere after the fact.

I am comfortable with the cream puffs and figure they are actually smaller than the regular ones that I make for sale, and wouldn't be that rough to make.

Thanks.
Donna

-K8memphis Posted 9 Jul 2009 , 9:11pm
post #7 of 22

Cream puffs have always been real easy for me--I don't see them as difficult ~I learned how to make them from a cookbook. But I've been around the cream puff impaired--it's not pretty.

Croquembouches are very last minute items because of that sugar--it degrades fast. Like you'd be assembling this day of (the reception).

You generally figure several per serving. 160 guests would be like 480 puffers give or take.

Some people put them together with chocolate in lieu of the sugar.

They are pastry cream filled so it's all gotta happen at the last minute.

Croquembooboo thoughts pour vous.

Nchanted1 Posted 9 Jul 2009 , 10:33pm
post #8 of 22

I make mine and attach them all with white chocolate, less likely to burn myself than with boiling sugar syrup! To make the spun sugar, best thing to do is take a good sized wire whip, and cut off the round part, so you have a bunch of wires sticking out. It's important that they all be pretty much the same legnth, so you dip the ends and whirl off the sugar into threads.

DEFINATELY practice this ahead of time! Good luck!

Reimagining_Confections Posted 9 Jul 2009 , 10:41pm
post #9 of 22

Martha Stewart did a lovely spun sugar drape around hers for decoration. I didn't check out her website, but I bet there is something on there. This should be big bucks(it's speciality, its unique(can't get them from just anyone) and she needs it to feed 160 guests.

If you can do it, go for it. Charge the last minute fee plus what you would charge normally for this much work.

Post a pic when you get it done!

playingwithsugar Posted 9 Jul 2009 , 10:53pm
post #10 of 22

If you decide to do it, try the Alton Brown recipe on Food Network. It's fool-proof. The instructions are extremely clear, and they come out just right.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

Evoir Posted 9 Jul 2009 , 10:54pm
post #11 of 22

Okay - I love doing croquembouches...they are one of the cake varieties I offer with my business icon_smile.gif

As a PP noted, you need to make them close to the event, so a 'last minute' order is not out of the question so long as you have a free time slot.

You CAN make you profiteroles (puffs) ahead of time, and simply refresh them in the oven on the day you are assembling (letting them cool completely of course). Similarly you can make your creme patissiere the night before and pipe it in on the day off assembly.

Serving sizes: generally here we serve one profiterole per person if its a fingerfood type function with other desserts. If you are serving it AS the dessert allow two profiteroles per person. So 100 guests = 200 profiteroles.

You might be well-served to practice making one before you do the real job...it is really important to get the proportions right and make it symmetrical. The towers can be made either with a cone-shaped mould, or freehand.

And, finally, as was mentioned above, be SUPER DUPER CAREFUL with your spun sugar and caramel toffee...it burns like all get-out.

Good luck!!!

Evoir Posted 9 Jul 2009 , 10:56pm
post #12 of 22

Okay - I love doing croquembouches...they are one of the cake varieties I offer with my business icon_smile.gif

As a PP noted, you need to make them close to the event, so a 'last minute' order is not out of the question so long as you have a free time slot.

You CAN make you profiteroles (puffs) ahead of time, and simply refresh them in the oven on the day you are assembling (letting them cool completely of course). Similarly you can make your creme patissiere the night before and pipe it in on the day off assembly.

Serving sizes: generally here we serve one profiterole per person if its a fingerfood type function with other desserts. If you are serving it AS the dessert allow two profiteroles per person. So 100 guests = 200 profiteroles.

You might be well-served to practice making one before you do the real job...it is really important to get the proportions right and make it symmetrical. The towers can be made either with a cone-shaped mould, or freehand.

And, finally, as was mentioned above, be SUPER DUPER CAREFUL with your spun sugar and caramel toffee...it burns like all get-out.

Good luck!!!

Evoir Posted 9 Jul 2009 , 10:57pm
post #13 of 22

Okay - I love doing croquembouches...they are one of the cake varieties I offer with my business icon_smile.gif

As a PP noted, you need to make them close to the event, so a 'last minute' order is not out of the question so long as you have a free time slot.

You CAN make you profiteroles (puffs) ahead of time, and simply refresh them in the oven on the day you are assembling (letting them cool completely of course). Similarly you can make your creme patissiere the night before and pipe it in on the day off assembly.

Serving sizes: generally here we serve one profiterole per person if its a fingerfood type function with other desserts. If you are serving it AS the dessert allow two profiteroles per person. So 100 guests = 200 profiteroles.

You might be well-served to practice making one before you do the real job...it is really important to get the proportions right and make it symmetrical. The towers can be made either with a cone-shaped mould, or freehand.

And, finally, as was mentioned above, be SUPER DUPER CAREFUL with your spun sugar and caramel toffee...it burns like all get-out.

Good luck!!!

Evoir Posted 9 Jul 2009 , 11:02pm
post #14 of 22

Sorry for the repeat posts up tghere! Not sure what I did to cause that!

I meant to mention that as far as cost goes per serving...I charge a "coffee slice" price for one profiterole off the croquembouche, and a "dessert slice" price per each two-profiterole serving.

korkyo Posted 10 Jul 2009 , 3:12am
post #15 of 22

so the price per serving would be????
I think these would be a fun option to add to my list.

Evoir Posted 10 Jul 2009 , 11:46am
post #16 of 22

Remember I am in Australia, and pricing varies per region and state etc...I recently charged $250 for a 100-profiterole croquembouche (ie 50 ppl having dessert, or 100 ppl having it as a taster with other desserts).

Thats why I said you would charge the equivalent of what you charge for a dessert portion of one of your wedding/occasion cakes. If you charge $4 per serving of wedding cake, charge $4 for every 2 profiteroles. TRhis is what works best for me...the size you make your profiteroles may also impact on your price and therefore profit margin icon_smile.gif

HTH.

mommicakes Posted 10 Jul 2009 , 11:53am
post #17 of 22

Thank you so much Evoir for the help. It does make sense. I will keep you all posted.

K8- Thanks so much.

I'm going to do a practice one this weekend, and will post results and what happens later.

Thanks everyone.

icon_biggrin.gif Donna

ZAKIA6 Posted 10 Jul 2009 , 12:43pm
post #18 of 22

ok so what are the cones made out of?
im thinking to do a test. shoud i make the cone out of cake?

FromScratch Posted 10 Jul 2009 , 3:11pm
post #19 of 22

A styro cone covered in fancyfoil or just build them up on themselves. They aren't hard... just time consuming and last minute prep. If it's humid the sugar is a bitch to work with too, so think about that. You can't spin the sugar until last minute or it can fizzle on you (think humidity and cotton candy).

-K8memphis Posted 10 Jul 2009 , 3:56pm
post #20 of 22

One of the guys I used to work for made his inside an upside down cone shaped dealio that he made--he lined it with the little buggers all stuck together with the cooked sugar--then removed the cone and viola.

Evoir Posted 11 Jul 2009 , 9:46am
post #21 of 22

Yep...some people choose to make theirs inside a cone, some on the outside, and some make solid cones full of profiteroles! There are really no set rules, and if you are not keen to buy a proper croquembouche cone, you can make one out of rolling stiff sheet cardboard into a cone of your preferred size and covering it in non-stick baking paper or foil.

icon_smile.gif

I really feel like eating profiteroles right now after this thread came up...damn PMS...icon_smile.gif

Bijoudelanuit Posted 11 Jul 2009 , 11:39am
post #22 of 22

How exciting to get a different order- and it will be great to add to your portfolio if you've decided to take it on!

I love the idea of piping the pate a choux into flowers.. I've never thought of that before or seen it done! Thanks for sharing the idea!

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