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For the choux buns:
For the filling:
For the caramel:
- To make the choux pastry, add the sugar, butter and water to a large pan and heat very gently until the butter has melted. Increase the heat and bring the liquid to the boil.
- As soon as it’s bubbling, lower the heat, tip in the flour and mix with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a smooth dough that clumps together, leaving the rest of the pan clean. Carry on beating and cooking over a low heat for five minutes.
- Allow the mixture to cool for five minutes, then add in the egg a little at a time, beating in completely between each addition, until the dough is smooth but still thick. It should drop very reluctantly from the spoon in the shape of a ‘V’ when you bang it against the side of the pan.
- Heat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas mark 6 and line two baking sheets with greaseproof paper. Transfer the dough to a piping bag fitted with a large round nozzle, and pipe 30 walnut-sized balls, spaced an inch apart for rising. Dip your finger in a little water to smooth out any bumps or peaks in the dough, then bake for 30-35 minutes until the choux buns are puffed, golden and crisp. Turn off the oven and leave the profiteroles in for another 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- To make the filling, beat the cream and vanilla extract using a stand mixer. Beat on medium speed until soft peaks begin to form. Add in the icing sugar and beat again until just combined and smooth.
- Poke holes in the bottom of each bun using a small piping nozzle or knife. Fill a piping bag with the filling and it into the buns through the small hole. The bun is full once it feels heavy, and the cream wants to squirt back out.
- To make the caramel, heat granulated sugar in a heavy pot over a medium heat until it's completely melted and amber brown in colour.
- Slowly pour in the heavy cream, stirring constantly. The caramel should be runny but should coat the back of the spoon with a thin layer. Turn off the heat and stir in the butter, one cube at a time, until all melted and combined. Leave aside to cool.
- To assemble, take a large serving plate, dunk each choux bun in the caramel sauce covering the top, and stack the buns by creating a circle for the base and building upwards with a smaller circle each time creating a tower shape. Decorate the tower with mixed and a dusting of icing sugar.
Test kitchen tips
- You can decorate your croquembouche tower with just about anything you like! Try chocolate treats, edible flowers, redcurrants or melted chocolate.
- You can also switch up your choux bun filling. You could try a chocolate mousse, crème patisserie, or shop-bought Baileys cream.
Per serving: 445 kcals, 33.2g fat (20.1g saturated), 33.3g carbs (20.8g sugars), 5.4g protein, 0.7g fibre, 0.149g sodium.
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