Chocolate Croquembouches

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French for "crunch in mouth," a classic croquembouche is made with custard-filled 
cream puffs coated with caramel and stacked in a tall pyramid shape. Here, these 
chocolate-cream-filled puff pyramids are scaled down to individual servings and drizzled 
with a chocolate glaze.

Pastry Cream
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
4 large egg yolks
5 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) 
or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

Cream Puffs
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
4 large eggs

10 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
For pastry cream:
Whisk sugar and flour in heavy medium saucepan to blend. Gradually whisk in milk, 
then egg yolks. Whisking constantly, cook over medium heat until cream thickens and 
boils, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and whisk until melted and 
smooth. Transfer to medium bowl. Press plastic wrap onto surface. Chill pastry cream 
until cold and firm, at least 3 hours and up to 2 days.
For cream puffs:
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine first 
5 ingredients in heavy medium saucepan. Bring to boil, whisking until sugar dissolves 
and butter melts. Remove from heat. Add flour and cocoa all at once; whisk until 
smooth and blended (dough will form ball). Stir over low heat until dough leaves film on 
pan bottom, about 2 minutes. Transfer dough to large bowl; cool to lukewarm, about 8 
minutes. Using electric mixer, beat in eggs 1 at a time.
Drop batter by teaspoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets in at least 64 scant 1-inch 
mounds. Using moistened fingertips, smooth any pointed tips on mounds. Bake puffs 
20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F. Continue to bake until puffs are firm and beginning 
to crack and dry on top, about 23 minutes longer. Transfer puffs to rack. Using small 
knife or chopstick, poke hole in side of each puff near bottom to allow steam to 
escape. Cool puffs completely.  Spoon pastry cream into pastry bag fitted with 1/4-inch 
plain round tip. Pipe into each 
puff through hole in side. 

For glaze:
Place 10 ounces chocolate in small microwave-safe dish. Microwave on high for 
15-second intervals until beginning to melt; stir glaze until completely melted and 

Dip bottom of 4 filled cream puffs into glaze. Arrange puffs, spaced about 1/4 inch 
apart, in square on plate. Dip bottom of 3 more puffs into glaze. Arrange in triangle atop 
first 4 puffs, pressing slightly so glaze holds puffs in place. Dip bottom of 1 more puff 
into glaze; place on top. Drizzle mound of puffs with some of glaze. Repeat with 
remaining cream puffs, forming 8 desserts. Refrigerate until glaze sets and holds puffs 
together, at least 1 hour and up to 1 day. Makes 8.

Source: Bon Appétit
Photo: David Bishop

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