Croquembouche Number Of Servings

Decorating By Haynie Updated 13 Feb 2015 , 11:18pm by Magic Mouthfuls

Haynie Posted 10 Feb 2015 , 8:38pm
post #1 of 12


I have an enquiry of a croquembouche wedding tower for 90 people. How big tower will I need? How do you count how many profiteroles is needed? Is it like 2 profiteroles/guest ? Any idea how to build together a tall tower? Thank you very much for any help in advance!!!!

11 replies
MKC Posted 11 Feb 2015 , 2:13am
post #2 of 12

AI heard the story of a baker who made a huge croquembouche and the room was so warm that it started to lean. the caramel got too soft.

leah_s Posted 11 Feb 2015 , 2:34am
post #3 of 12

AId say three per person. It worries me that you're taking this order and you don't know how to build it. These are not as simple as they look.

kazita Posted 11 Feb 2015 , 3:00am
post #4 of 12

A is one of many websites I found on how to make a crowuembouche tower....I just googled. to make a crowuembouche tower. of luck!!

kazita Posted 11 Feb 2015 , 3:06am
post #5 of 12

AWell I was gonna post a website but now it's not coming up...sorry...anyways I got tons of websites come up when I googled. to make a crowuembouche tower. .

Haynie Posted 11 Feb 2015 , 7:20am
post #6 of 12

AThank you for the replies, it is for October this year so I have time to practice and learn how to build a tower. I just need to send a quote. Just wondering how tall my tower is going to be... And is there any trick or favorite/best way to build it up? Thank you x

shanter Posted 11 Feb 2015 , 4:49pm
post #7 of 12


After you've made the cream puff shells and filled them, the tower is held together by caramel and gravity. You make a circle of the puffs and fill it in. Then you do the next round, not as big, on top and fill it in. As you go, you dip each puff in the caramel to stick it to one already in place.


If you do the  "swirl a net of caramel over the whole thing" - It creates a big mess (little broken pieces of caramel). Also be careful, as you can easily get burned when the caramel is a very loose liquid.


For 270 puffs, you might be better off making two big towers instead of one gigantic one, as eventually the weight might make the bottom puffs collapse.

Magic Mouthfuls Posted 13 Feb 2015 , 12:36pm
post #8 of 12

I have made quite a few croquembouches.  In Australia, 3 profiteroles are served per person as dessert, and one per person for coffee.  The average price charged is $2.50 per ball - with decorations extra (ie flowers, butterflies, jordan almonds).  


I did a few practices before my first one was due - and made lots of notes - and worked out some tricks along the way that worked for me.  So great news that you've allowed yourself some time for practising too.


I bought a 14" tall, 4.5" base diameter polystyrene cone - cheating to the pros, but I wasnt a pro, so needed all the help I could get. I covered the cone in baking paper (hint, use sticky tape only on underside, not food side). But do not attach paper to cone, just let it sit snugly.  I stuck cone down to turntable with blue tack or royal icing.  


Made a template of circles on the computer to fit my baking trays, laid baking paper overtop and piped on my choux.  I tried 3 different sizes.

1" balls - I got approx 150 balls onto the cone - balls seemed too small for the price.

1.5" balls - I got approx 60 balls onto the cone - balls were too big for mouth

1.4" balls - I got approx 75 balls onto the cone - balls were 'just right' 


(note: for 1" balls I did not sprinkle water on before baking, so they rose less than next 2 trials)

(tip: pipe balls in one solid motion, no twist, no up & down, hold 1/4" from tray & dont move nozzle up = neatest balls)


Profiteroles - make any day prior to wedding (freeze if more than 1-2 days prior)  Refresh in oven 3-5 mins on wedding day. (time to make batter, pipe & bake 217 balls was 2 hours)


Filling - I played with creme patissiere recipes and found the heavier/thicker the recipe, the quicker and neater I could fill the balls.  Also, 12" piping bag fulls were less tiring to hold than 16" piping bag fulls. (make creme pat day prior, needs to cool - creme pat took 30 mins, filling 200 balls took 50 mins)


Toffee - recommend pre-prepare 3 saucepans with your ingredients and start heating in stages - when you run out of one batch, your next batch is ready to go.  Dont be tempted to make too small batches, it cools too quickly.  Dont be tempted to make too big batches, it eventually goes bitter & brittle if reheated too many times)  Time to dip in toffee & coat in sprinkles was 1hr 10mins for 100 balls.  I worked out it was heaps quicker to line up all the balls on greaseproof paper & pour spoonfuls over.  Allow to set (10-15 mins).


Assembly.  150 balls took 2 hours.  I got much quicker by trial #3.  Huge hint: wear food latex gloves over top of white cotton gloves - and you wont burn yourself with the toffee.  (may have to replace latex gloves up to 3 times during process).  Stop adding balls about 1 inch short of top of cone (you need to grab cone for next step) and wait till all the toffee sets (about 10-15 mins)


Once tower has set, lift cone off turntable and get a friend.  First person gently wraps their hands around the balls and holds firmly in the air, the other holds/pushes the cone downwards (pushing with a wooden spoon handles works if your opening at top is small).  The cone will come away.  Then 2nd person reaches inside tower and gently peels away the baking paper.  Place cone on display board/plate/pedestal and finish assembling those last few rows of balls.


Drizzle in fresh batch of toffee / spun sugar and decorate how you like.


Trial #1 - temperature was 25C, 75% humidity.  Toffee began to melt in 4 hours, tower fell over at 20 hours.

Trial #2 - used white chocolate (I found chocolate heaps slower to assemble because it took longer to set) - it sweated heaps in the humidity, but tower never fell over, even after a week (yes it was mouldy by that stage - yukko) 

Trial #3 - temperature was 30C, 99% humidity - horrible rainy day.  Spun sugar survived just over an hour & half before beginning to melt - we started eating in 2 hours, so all OK.  5 hours later leftovers were relatively stable. Next morning the leftovers were goop on the floor.


Here's the pics of 3 trials in order - all using 14" cone.




I enjoyed eating the toffee much more than the chocolate ones.  Chocolate was sickly sweet. I enjoyed making the toffee ones more than the chocolates ones too - quicker.


Cutting the Croquembouche - it's traditional to use a sword.  But for those of us who dont have one of those lying around (most of us) then I recommend a knife for chocolate and scissors for toffee.


Well that's a long rant.  Hope it all helps.  

Haynie Posted 13 Feb 2015 , 1:45pm
post #9 of 12

AVery-very helpful! Can't wait to try it! Thanks so much x

johnson6ofus Posted 13 Feb 2015 , 3:04pm
post #10 of 12

Magic.... great instructions. I learned a lot. Thanks!

winniemog Posted 13 Feb 2015 , 7:37pm
post #11 of 12

A[@]Magic Mouthfuls[/@] thank you SO MUCH!

I was just asked for a croquembouche for 150, and I have no assistants.....I've talked the bride out of it and am current quoting them a traditional wedding cake instead. Your instructions have made me even happier with my decision! I've made a croquembouche for 20-30 before, in my own home, not at a reception venue two hours from my house in the middle of winter. Even with lots of practice, it's not a risk I'm willing to take. I wouldn't sleep till it was done....and that's months away!

Magic Mouthfuls Posted 13 Feb 2015 , 11:18pm
post #12 of 12

You are welcome.  


Haynie I forgot to mention that if you make a 270 ball croquembouche you will need a much bigger cone than I used.  Alternatively, research the method for using one of those stainless steel cones where you actually assemble from the inside - starting upside down with the top ball in first.  I've seen people (on TV "Masterchef") unmould them all by themselves (does that help @winniemog ?).   Much more extra expense which you could justify for 270 balls, but I couldn't for my first wedding order of 65 balls. 


Winniemog, I was amazed at how rigid / strong the toffee croquembouche was for travelling - even over bumpy dirt farm roads.  But a 2 hour delivery time is the danger with a toffee one - especially if you are in a humid area like Gold Coast (?), so you are right to suggest an alternative wedding cake.  I read up on bakeries in Canberra & Sydney that were wedding croquembouche experts and none of them offered delivery.  All of them were priced on "you pick up from us, and its all in your hands from then on".    


But will I continue to offer croquembouche to my customers? - you bet!!  I love them, and I enjoyed making them.  But it will always depend on the logistics of location and timing, and what back up plan I will use if the weather is so unkind on the day. 

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