Does anyone know a replacement for caramel on a croque en bouche? No chocolate or Isomalt allowed. We live on Vancouver island... crazy humid environment RAIN RAIN RAIN RAIN RAIN.
The bride wants a croque en bouch for her wedding in December. But she doesn't want to use chocolate to hold the structure together.
Does anyone have any experience with using maple syrup or honey to make the caramel? Will it hold up in the humidity?
You can freeze the puffs after baking, and after they are thawed at room temperature you can warm them gently in an oven. That will give you a good dry pastry base. You will have to assemble on the day of the wedding--make sure you charge accordingly.
Then you do not fill the puffs. Caramel made from white table sugar boiled to 320F should hold up. DO NOT add any cream of tartar or other acid, just use sugar moistened with a minimum amount of water to help it melt.
Boiling honey or maple syrup will give you exactly the opposite effect of what you want...because both of them contain a higher percentage of invert sugar that soaks up more humidity.
This is described as the "original" French wedding cake by pastry chef by Roland Mesnier.
I'd like to offer some support, but I really can't.
In heavily humid environments, anything that is sugar based will be prone to big problems. Unless you're able to put the piece together IMMEDIATELY before display--and then have photos take and have it disassembled IMMEDIATELY before it begins to weep, or fall...........
One option might be to assemble the tower on a styrofoam form, covered in saran or fondant, and using toothpicks or longer appetizer picks. This would keep it structurally sound. Perhaps a slightly thinned caramel buttercream could be used as a surface treatment? It might hold up better than regular caramel.
Thank you so much for your reply!
I really like the buttercream and appetizer pick idea! Thank you thank you thank you! :)
Blakes Cakes you are a true Forum SuperStar !!! :)
Thank you for the reply,
Straight up sugar is best!! I have decided to do a practice run next week. It's just not worth the risk on someones wedding day.
Let us know how it goes.
People see these things in magazines and on TV and have no idea that they're so fragile and susceptible to environmental factors.
On a side note, I was watching Roland Mesnier do a demo at the OK Sugar Art show a few years ago. He dislikes isomalt, so he works solely in real sugar for pulled flowers, etc. It was very hot and humid and he was making blood red roses with green leaves to go on a white fondant cake.
It was tragic to watch him finish a beautiful full rose, place it on the cake, and I swear in less than 5 minutes the red was running down the side of the cake. The display sat overnight and in the morning, all of the sugar work was nothing but puddles.
He used it as a cautionary tale about how these things need to be done day of--if not MINUTE of--and that sometimes, it's necessary to tell a client when it just won't work.
It has occurred to me (since they were put in mind by Halloween) that you could melt caramel candies to use for the sticky stuff. Caramel candies have a good dose of fat which the sugar syrups do not, and therefore seem to be a little more waterproof when they are covered by the pastry shells.
I suppose another "traditional" material would be royal icing if--IF--you can get it to dry well enough. Or use meringue and dry it intentionally in a low oven.
But honestly, this bride needs to know exactly how long her choices of stickum will last on the table even at an air conditioned site. There are some things that cannot be bought for any $$$.
I just wanted to post an update on the Croque en bouche. It went really well :)
I purchased a dehumidifier and cranked it on the day of the event. I was a little nervous but everything went smoothly. I baked the profiterols at 2:30pm, let them cool and dipped them in caramel. Then at 4:00pm I filled them with cream, stacked them, removed the cone and delivered at 5:00pm. It was really strong and traveled well. PHEW!!!
Thank you all for your help!
I am so glad that everything worked out for you!! What a relief!!!
Beautiful croque! You did a great job!
Looks great! Glad it all worked out.