The May 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Cat of Little Miss Cupcake. Cat challenged everyone to make a piece montée, or croquembouche, based on recipes from Peter Kump’s Baking School in Manhattan and Nick Malgieri. Well, my first was...well, kind of a big mess. It tasted good but it looked really, really bad. The pastry puffed but not as much as it should have, and the caramel, oh the caramel. I somehow managed to burn the bottom of my favorite pot almost beyond repair while making it. After a good soak and some elbow grease, from my loving fiance, it finally came clean. I'm not sure what happened, I just way, way over-cooked it apparently. What's frustrating is I've made caramel before and it's been great! I had to use brown sugar this time because that's all I had, along with a sleeping child and no time to go to the store, so maybe that's why it didn't work. Anyway it didn't, so I had to rush the chocolate glaze together at the last minute, which got me sort of flustered. Then I just kind of blobbed it on and squished everything together. I guess what I'm saying is I battled a cream puff and I failed. Not really what I was hoping for on my first challenge but hey you live and you learn I suppose. As I said this did taste good, for being a bunch of cream puffs, which I'm honestly not that crazy about, but I still think I'm going to be filing this under disasters. I did have fun making it though, and things would have been so much different if it weren't for that damn caramel.
Due to technical difficulties I can't post any pics at the moment but I'm hoping to alleviate this problem soon (keep your fingers crossed for me because my computer knowledge is pretty limited).