Sunday, April 22, 2012

Party Desserts

Going away parties are always bittersweet. You're sad to see a good friend go, but happy for them as they move on to something bigger and better! This weekend we had a going away party for a close friend of so many. It was only right to send her off with an awesome party. There were good friends and great food:).

This was a good opportunity for me to try my hand at making a croquembouche. I've been wanting to try it for a long time, and with the party's theme being "french bistro" what better chance did I have? 

I'm not going to lie, it was a little stressful. But I'm really glad I did it and it was a success! 

After a batch of screwed up cream puffs (I apparently can't count eggs) and feeling discouraged, I plowed through it and made a second batch and got to work!

Here's the link to my post with the recipe for cream puffs. I'll edit this post later today or tomorrow and add in the recipe my mom used for the pastry cream filling, it was delicious! I'm not usually a pastry cream fan but it was perfect:). Thanks mom!

I went back and forth about how to assemble it. I was initially going to build the puffs up on themselves, but as I did more research I decided to build them around a cone. That would give it the best shape, not to say you can't simply stack them, but you won't get a nice structured cone look to it.

I got 8" cake boards and a 12" Styrofoam cone at Joann's. Cut a large piece of parchment paper or wax paper and cover your cone with it.


I secured it with toothpicks on the side seam and on the top. Trim the bottom so there's no overlapping  and secure it to your base using some corn syrup.

I made the puffs on Thursday and kept them in airtight containers in the freezer right until my mom and I went to assemble it Friday night. 

Melt your chocolate in a double boiler and take your puffs out of the freezer. Using a pastry bag with a #2 tip, fill your puff. Some were a little too hard so you can use a toothpick to start a hole then get the tip in there. My mom got the hang of filling them quickly, we only had a couple explosions:). 

Take the filled puff and dip the bottom in the chocolate, coating it generously and adhere it to the cone. Work your way around the base and continue working your way up. Make sure your puffs are as close together as you can get them. If they start to thaw too much simply swap them out for new ones from the freezer and put the soft ones back in to cool down.

We put the whole thing in the fridge when we were half way up the cone, just to let it set for about 10 minutes, then continued. As you pass the toothpicks holding the wax paper down, remove them. The chocolate will seal the edges. Also, at the end I put some melted chocolate in a pastry bag and piped some into any gaps, so none of the wax paper was showing. 

I didn't count, but I had 71 creams puffs, we ate 3 and had about 10 extra...so....it took about 58 to cover the cone. 


Ta-da!

Yes, I'm dumb and we had 1 significant gap that was to small for a puff but big enough to look dumb. I don't know why I didn't put that facing the wall. But who cares! I think it came out really good. I just surrounded it with the extra puffs and did a little drizzle on top. 

I was so nervous about it falling apart but it did the opposite...it was really stuck on there! 

All in all I was really happy with it. Now I feel much more confident if I ever end up making one again, which I would like to do! It can only get easier and improve right?

I also made lemon cupcakes with a raspberry cream filling.


Courtney requested chocolate with white chocolate mousse and lemon with some fruit filling. Since I didn't think those would quite go together in one cake (ha!) I made these and ordered a chocolate/white chocolate mousse cake from Rhea at Rhea's Rockin' Cakes who I used to work with at Butterwood's.


The cake was perfection. Rhea always does an amazing job, and she did not disappoint! She made a 12" chocolate cake with three tiers of cake and two of white chocolate mousse filling. Everything was delicious about it! She rocked the piping as well. All we did was add the edible flowers right before we put it out.


I wasn't counting, but I probably got about 60-65 appropriate sized slices of cake out of it. This is a beef of mine. I can't tell you how many times I've been to a party and gotten a gigantic piece of cake that's just too big to eat, and then they run out of cake. Or, I get a sliver of cake that you can practically see through because it's so thin. *le sigh*

So that's pretty much it. There was a ton of other really great food, everyone worked so hard on this party and did such an awesome job! 

Now I'm paying for eating all those goodies:(. Totally worth it though! 

I hope everyone had a good weekend!!

I'll be back to add the recipe for pastry cream later:).

3 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank! You mastered cream puffs in one try, I bet you could do this no problem!

      Delete
  2. I didnt try the cake but the cream puffs and cupcakes were AMAZING!! And Emma thought so too she ate a lot of cupcake haha

    ReplyDelete