Today is World Baking Day – “step out of your comfort zone and bake something you have never baked before”. That’s the challenge. Fortunately I have an excellent resource at hand – the brilliant BakingMad.com If you’ve not used BakingMad.com yet I suggest you make your way over there. There’s some awesome recipes on their site – Their Victoria sponge recipe is low-calorie and reasonably easy so would be a good place to start. And – ideas for events/occasions such as mothers day baking make it handy when you’re stuck for ideas. And, ultimately useful is their tips section – what would a baking website be without tips on baking scones.
I spent a while looking for through BakingMad.com – I was looking for something a little challenging but achievable in an afternoon. Their Mini Croquembouche recipe fitted the bill. Without building those huge cones and constructing my croquembouche around it to towering heights, the Mini Croquembouce was a little more approachable.
I won’t repeat their instructions or ingredients – you can grab the Mini Croquembouche recipe here.
What I would say is – give yourself plenty of time so you don’t feel rushed. Make sure you give each bun enough room to rise in the oven and – most importantly – make sure you have a bowl of iced water next to you when you dip the choux buns into the caramel. Trust me – you’ll need it.
I think I’ve got a way to go before I can call myself an accomplished baker, patissier or sugar artist but, for a first attempt at this dish, I’m pretty pleased. What it lacks in professional finish it more than made up in taste – and that’s a good start.
By John Loydall