Croquembouche (puff, christmas tree)

"This makes a super dessert and a great holiday center piece. You can use this as a base recipe and do all kinds of things, use chocolate in stead of carmelized sugar, fill the puffs with custard or whipped cream, decorate with tiny almond paste holly leaves etc. etc. Again it is a do ahead recipe to take some of the strain off last munute rush."
photo by Fairy Nuff photo by Fairy Nuff
photo by Fairy Nuff
photo by punkroqsk8rchic photo by punkroqsk8rchic
photo by Cabnolen photo by Cabnolen
photo by Fairy Nuff photo by Fairy Nuff
photo by Fairy Nuff photo by Fairy Nuff
Ready In:
1hr 15mins




  • To make Puffs:preheat oven 400f.
  • Bring water, butter,sugar & salt to a roiling boil in a large saucepan.
  • Add flour all at once, stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture leaves the sides of the pan clean. Remove from heat.
  • Beat in eggs, one at at a time with a wooden spoon until paste is shiny& smooth Drop pastry by well rounded teasp, 1 1/2" apart on 2 ungreased cookie sheets Bake 35 minutes or until puffed and golden.
  • Cool on a wire rack.
  • Prepare carmelized sugar:

  • Heat sugar & lemon juice in a heavy medium sized skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon until the sugar is melted and light golden brown.
  • Do not let it burn Remove from heat.
  • Putting it together:

  • Place 14 puffs in a 9" circle on a platter.
  • Fill in the center of the circle with about 5 more puffs.
  • Working quickly and carefully dip the bottom of remaining puffs in the carmalized sugar (don't let it touch your skin), one at a time and place each on top of the base puffs in a slightly smaller circle Fill in the center with puffs.
  • Continue making each circle smaller to form a tree shape.
  • Drizzle the remaining sugar over the tree and decorate with the cherry halves You may refrigerate for 1-2 days.

Questions & Replies

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  1. turned out beautiful. I dipped some of the cream puffs in chocolate as well.
  2. The cream puffs I ended up with were a little on the heavy side (for a cream puff) somewhat similar to a crueller, but very tasty! I used whip cream filling and it worked o.k.
  3. This was my first try at choux pastry. I want to make something different for my daughter's birthday cake and decided on this recipe. I'm really thrilled with the result, the puffs turned out perfectly and the "cake" looks great. I filled the puffs with fresh whipped cream, built them up as in your instructions and drizzled melted chocolate and the remainder of the toffee over. Thanks Bergy for an amazing looking dessert.
  4. Just trying out this recipe as I've never made choux pastry before. And it is dead easy!! Just keep an eye on things in the oven. I have a convection oven and my puffs were a tad overdone by 20 minutes. I just checked a few other choux pastry recipes and some of them bake at lower temperatures eg 180C or 190C for 35-40 minutes. May be better to use the lower temperature if you have an oven like mine. The puffs do taste good though :).


On January 10 2010 I will celebrate 9 years of Life with Zaar. I can't imagine being without it! It has become part of my daily routine. I feel very privileged to be one of the hosts on the Photo Forum. Taking photos of my culinary efforts is a full time hobby and I love it. My friends all know what to expect when they come to dinner "Are you finished taking pictures?" or "Did you get a photo of so & so?" I never let them wait too long and the food is NEVER cold! I now have over 6000 photos on Zaar - some fairly good and some definitely not so good. I am happy to say that practice does help. My roots are in Vancouver BC Canada - a very beautiful city that holds many wonderful memories for me. In 1990, I decided that for my retirement years I may want to settle in a smaller community and found a slice of heaven in the North Okanagan B.C. I love living here but every once in a while I miss the bright city lights, the Broadway shows and some of the small wonderful ethnic restaurants that Vancouver abounds in. That is easily resolved. I just take a trip to the coast, visit with friends for a weekend see a show and feast on Dim Sum or other specialty foods. I am getting a bit long in the tooth but was a very adventurous person. I have river rafted Hell's Gate on the Fraser river, been up in a glider over Hawaii (no not a Hang Glider!), gone hot air ballooning in the Napa Valley & the Fraser Valley, driven dune buggies on the dunes in Oregon, Para sailing in Mexico and tried many other adventurous, challenging, fun things. I have yet to try bungee jumping or sky diving. I may do them yet. I love to travel and experience other cultures. Mexco has been a favorite haunt. I have visited that lovely country many many times. Australia is another favorite as is England! In the past 16 months I have taken off 61 pounds and feel wonderful. I am off all medications and all systems are GO! In years I may be 79 but in spirit I am still in my forties. We are only as old as we allow ourselves to feel. Always think positive. Do something a bit challenging every day & always do something silly every day. Be a kid again! Laugh every day - it is internal jogging. Here are a few of my photos <embed type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" allowNetworking="all" allowFullscreen="true" src=" slideshow/d95d7a18.pbw" height="360" width="480">
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