Chocolate Orange Croquembouche
Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C Fan/Gas Mark 6), line 4 baking tray with grease proof paper. Place the butter and water in a pan over a low heat. Stir until the butter has melted and the mixture begins to boil. Immediately remove from the heat and add the flour, stir the flour until a ball of dough is formed and the mixture comes away from the sides of the pan.
Place the dough in a free standing mixer with a paddle attachment and leave to cool for 10 minutes. Once cooled start mix the dough on a medium speed and add the first egg, make sure the egg is fully incorporated before adding the next egg. Continue until all the eggs have been added and you have a smooth, glossy mixture.
Place the mixture into a piping bag and cut a 1cm hole off the end of the piping bag. Pipe small rounds about 2cm in diameter onto your lined baking trays, spacing slightly apart to allow room for spreading. You should be able to pipe about 75 rounds.
Place your trays into the oven and bake for 20 minutes until the choux buns are lightly golden and have risen. Remove from the oven and using a cocktail stick pierce a small hole into each bun to allow any steam to escape and place back in the oven for a further 5 minutes. Remove from the oven a leave to cool on a wire rack.
Place the cream into a saucepan over a low heat. Gently heat the cream, stirring until it is just boiling. Add the Chocolate to the cream and leave to stand for 1 minute, then stir the chocolate into the cream until it melts.
Put the ganache into a clean bowl and place in the fridge for 1 hour to cool.
Once the ganache is completely cooled remove from the fridge and add the Orange Extract. Whisk the ganache the thicken and it is paler in colour but still a glossy consistency, you ganache is now ready to fill your choux buns.
Cut a small hole in the base of each choux bun. Place the ganache into a piping bag fitted with a long thin nozzle. Place the nozzle into the hole you have made in the choux bun a gently squeeze the piping bag to fill the choux bun – take care not to overfill the choux bun. Repeat so all the choux buns are filled with ganache.
Firstly make a cone out of cardboard about 30cm high and cover with greaseproof paper. Place your cone onto a chopping board covered in greaseproof paper.
To make the caramel place the sugar and water into a saucepan and place over a low heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved and then turn up to full heat and stop stirring. Leave the caramel to bubble until it begins to turn golden, this should be about 154°C on a sugar thermometer. Take care as the caramel will be very hot, once it reaches this point remove from the heat and place on a heat proof mat next to your chopping board. You will need to work quick as the caramel sets quickly.
Dip a choux bun into the caramel coating the sides – the caramel is very hot so be careful dipping your choux buns into the caramel. Place your dipped choux bun onto the base of your cone with the filled side facing the cone. Continue dipping your choux buns and cover the base, this will create your first layer, repeat building up the layer of the croquembouche – if the caramel begins to set too hard you can gently re-heat, to soften it again.
Once you have built your croquembouche, drizzle over any excess caramel with a spoon and leave to set for 30 minutes. Once set the caramel should be solid and will hold the croquembouche, this will allow you to remove the cone.
Once you have removed the cone, place your croquembouche onto your serving plate. Melt the chocolate and place in a piping bag. Cut a small hole in the piping bag and drizzle the chocolate around the croquembouche.
For the perfect finishing touch, sprinkle with the Glamour and Sparkle sprinkles, you croquembouche is now ready to serve!