The literal translation of croquembouche is “to crackle in the mouth” because it is a tapered tower of petits choux (small cream puffs) filled with pastry cream that are “glued” together with caramelized sugar. That means that granulated sugar is cooked above hard-crack stage (320°F on a candy thermometer), often to a light caramel, and becomes solid at room temperature. So if you eat a choux (cream puff) as part of a croquembouche, it crackles in your mouth as you crunch on the hard shell into the crisp cream puff and soft pastry cream filling.
In France or outside France there is no real celebration without this masterpiece!
Choux, Pastry Cream, Caramel
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