|Place of origin||France|
|Main ingredients||Profiteroles, chocolate, caramel|
|Cookbook: Croquembouche Media: Croquembouche|
A croquembouche or croque-en-bouche is a French dessert consisting of choux pastry balls piled into a cone and bound with threads of caramel. In Italy and France, it is often served at weddings, baptisms and first communions.
A croquembouche is composed of profiteroles piled into a cone and bound with spun sugar. It may also be decorated with other confectionery such as sugared almonds, chocolate, and edible flowers. Sometimes it is covered in macarons or ganache.
The invention of the croquembouche is often attributed to Antonin Carême, who includes it in his 1815 cookbook Le Pâtissier royal parisien, but it is mentioned as early as 1806, in Alexandre Viard's culinary encyclopedia Le Cuisinier Impérial, and in Antoine Beauvilliers' 1815 L'Art du Cuisinier. In Viard's encyclopedia and other early texts (e.g. Grimod de La Reynière's, Néo-physiologie du gout), it is included in lists of entremets - elaborate dishes, both savory and sweet, that were served between courses during large banquets.
On March 6, 2009, alumni of the Pune-based Maharashtra State Institute of Hotel Management and Catering Technology entered the Limca Book of Records after creating India's biggest croquembouche. It was recorded as 15 ft (4.5 m) tall.
Croquembouche was one of the spoiled desserts which Gloria Munson serves to the WJM news team and program director in "A New Sue Ann", the Season 5 episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. In a take-off on All About Eve, Sue Ann's show is hijacked by Gloria (Linda Kelsey), who prepares a segment on French pastry. Sue Ann lets Gloria make the mistake of using unrefrigerated cream.
On 8 June 2009, Season 1 Episode 37 "5th Pressure Test Elimination" of MasterChef Australia (series 1) four out of eleven contestants baked a croquembouche made by Adriano Zumbo in 2 hours and 15 minutes. This challenge was repeated in the following seasons of the series. On 1 September 2014, Season 5, Episode 15 of the reality TV competition MasterChef, three out of the final six contestants baked an entire croquembouche in 90 minutes for their Pressure Test.
In the November 15, 2015 episode of Last Week Tonight, aired days after the 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris, host John Oliver, in a defiant celebration of French culture, referred to the croquembouche as a "French Freedom Tower."
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