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Croquembouche: alternative shapes and methods for achieving them?

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Hi everybody,

I'm making a croquembouche for Christmas dinner and I want to experiment with alternatives to the standard cone shape. In the past, I've free-handed the cone and have been reasonably satisfied with the way it looks. I'm now thinking about constructing my croquembouche with a metal bowl. I would oil the bowl and fill it up with cream puffs (that have been stuck together with caramel). I'm thinking that this would create a great dome shape after flipping the bowl over. Can anyone think of a reason why this would not work? The internet is full of bakers who use those super fancy (and expensive!) croquembouche cones, but I'm wondering why a metal bowl would not do basically the same thing. Thoughts?

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  1. Cream puffs are not weightless things and there is a chance that if the load is not spread evenly in the dome, that it will collapse. I would try to spread the load by first building a cage in the greased metal bowl and building the croquembouche upon that.

    For the record, I use 99 cent poster board that I roll into a cone for my croquembouche mold. No need for anything fancy.

    2 Replies
    1. re: JungMann

      Do you put a layer of parchment inside of your homemade cone? Many thanks!

      1. re: khornstein

        I did at first, but after having done this for several years, I find there's no need to so long as you don't totally immerse your cream puffs in caramel. You need only enough caramel to stick the cream puffs to each other by their sides before plating and removing the mould, at which point you can glaze the outside with more caramel or spun sugar. If you have caramel seep between the seams of your structure and stick to the paper, it can be easily removed with fingers or a paring knife. On my profile you'll see the croquembouche I made with 110 cream puffs and neon orange paper last weekend. I had caramel stick to the paper in only two spots that were easy to identify and remove because of the bright color.

    2. you can build a Croquembouche in pretty much any shape.
      I've done step sided Pyramids, Cubes, a Great Wall look.

      2 Replies
      1. re: chefj

        Did you use cardboard to make these shapes? And with the cube, did you fill it entirely?

        Thanks!

        1. re: khornstein

          These where not built on forms if that is what you are asking.
          If you are making very large ones you may need a form to keep it from squashing its self.