Baby Croquembouche

Baby Croquembouche


These mini croquembouche would be the perfect dinner party dessert – impressive looking, yet relatively simple to make. The profiteroles can be made ahead of time, along with the pink crème pâtissière, then all that’s needed on the day is assembly and decoration with the caramel. You can also decorate it with whatever catches your eye – pink and white sugared almonds would also look really pretty, as would fresh (edible!) flowers, including rose petals and pink mallow.

These baby croquembouche have been a long time in the imagining! I first started designing a pink croquembouche with my friend Izzy as a revision break during exams last year, and now it has finally been made! We really wanted to have a pink crème pâtissière filling, to complete a quintessentially girly dessert!

photo 1

Mini Croquembouche

For the profiteroles:

  • 185g plain flour
  • 175g butter
  • 6 eggs
  • 450ml water
  1. Three days ahead, preheat the oven to 180C. Lightly butter 3 large baking sheets. Put the butter in a large, heavy-based saucepan with the water and gently heat until the butter has melted. Bring to the boil then immediately tip in the flour, all in one go. Beat with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a ball that comes away from the sides of the pan. Leave to cool for 5 minutes.
  2. Beat in the eggs, a little at a time, beating well between each addition, until the mixture is glossy and only just holding its shape. You may not need to add all the beaten egg. Spoon and pack half the mixture into a large polythene freezer bag. Twist the opening to secure and snip off a 1cm tip from the corner (or use a piping bag and 1cm plain nozzle)
  3. Pipe small rounds, about 2cm in diameter, on to the baking sheets, trimming the paste from the bag with a knife. Leave room between them to allow for spreading. You should end up with about 75 rounds. Bake for 25 minutes, in batches if necessary depending on how many baking sheets you have, until well risen and golden, rotating the baking sheets half way through cooking. As soon as the pastry is cooked, make a 1cm slit on the side of each bun to let the steam escape. (This stops them turning soggy as they cool). Return to the oven for a further 5 minutes to dry them out, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

For the crème pâtissière:

  • 300ml milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 20g flour
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 300ml double cream
  • pink gel food colouring
  1. To make the crème pâtissière, pour the milk into a pan with the vanilla and heat.
  2. Put egg yolks, sugar and flour into a bowl. Whisk with a hand electric mixer until the mixture becomes pale and fluffy – it should leave a trail that stays on the surface momentarily when the whisk blades are lifted. This whisking will take about 2 mins.
  3. Pour about a third of the hot milk into the bowl, whisking on a slow speed all the time until it has all been mixed in. Now whisk in the remaining milk, removing pod.
  4. Return the mixture to the pan, scraping it out of the bowl using a rubber spatula. Bring slowly to the boil, stirring all the time, until the custard is thickened, smooth and glossy.
  5. Pour into a bowl, cover with clingfilm and put in the fridge until cold.
  6. When cold, whip the cream until soft peaks appear, then whisk in the crème pâtissière and enough pink colouring to turn the mixture your desired colour!
  7. Finally spoon the pink cream into a piping bag, and use to fill all the profiteroles.
  8.  photo 3

For the assembly and decoration:

  • 200g caster sugar
  •  sugar flowers, sugar almonds, rose petals, or other edible flowers, to decorate
  1. Put the sugar in a small heavy-based saucepan with 10 tbsp water. Heat very gently, stirring slowly until it has dissolved to make a smooth syrup. Take care not to splash the syrup up the sides of the pan or it may crystallise and solidify.
  2. Bring the syrup to the boil and cook for 4-6 minutes, watching closely until it turns a rich golden colour. Take off the heat and dip the base of the pan in cold water to prevent further cooking.
  3. Now assemble your croquembouche! Dip the profiteroles into the caramel and stick together into a small pyramid shape. You may want to stick the bottom pastries to the plate with caramel too, to make serving easier.
  4. Now decorate! Using a teaspoon, drizzle more caramel around the buns so that it falls in fine threads. If the caramel hardens before you’ve finished decorating, gently reheat it, taking care not to burn it. Decorate with edible flowers or anything else you choose!
Cinnamon buns

Cinnamon buns


Baking with yeast has always scared me slightly, as there seem to be so many possible ways it could go wrong! The apricot couronne ( I made back in September was my first real foray into the world of yeast, so I decided it was high time I conquered my fear!

I had a couple of problem making these, the first being that my mixing bowl has acquired a hole, and has now made its way to the bin. 😦 I wasn’t going to let this stop me however, so I decided the only course of action was to make the dough on the kitchen table! My second problem was that I don’t actually have a rolling pin here at uni… cue new use for a lemondade bottle!


These cinnamon buns are surprisingly easy to make, as they only require one rise. The dough is very quick to make, and only needs 5 minutes of kneading, so they are perfect if you don’t have much time. I made the dough and rolled the buns, then left them to prove whilst I went to a lecture, then came back and baked them – heaven! These buns are incredibly moreish, and they also make your kitchen smell amazing!


Cinnamon buns

(recipe from

For the dough:

345g strong white bread flour

3 Tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 packet dried yeast

120ml water

60ml milk

40g butter

1 large egg


For the Filling:

45g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

1 and 1/2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon

50g granulated sugar


For the Glaze:

120g icing sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 Tablespoons milk


  1. For the dough, set aside 50g of flour. In a large bowl, (or on the table…!) mix the remaining flour, the sugar, salt, and yeast together until evenly dispersed. Set aside.
  2. Heat the water, milk, and butter together in the microwave until the butter is melted and the mixture is hot to touch. Stir the butter mixture into the flour mixture.
  3. Add the egg and enough of the reserved flour to make a soft dough. The dough will be ready when it gently pulls away from the side of the bowl and has an elastic consistency.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for about 3-4 minutes. Place in a lightly greased bowl and let rest for about 10 minutes.
  5. Make the filling: After 10 minutes, roll the dough out in a 14×8 inch rectangle. Spread the softened butter on top.
  6. Mix together the cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle it all over the dough. Add more cinnamon/sugar if desired. Roll up the dough tightly. Cut into 11 even pieces and place in a lightly greased dish.
  7. Leave to rise for about 2 hours at room temperature, or overnight in the fridge.
  8. After the rolls have doubled in size, preheat the oven to 190°C. Bake for 25-30 minutes until lightly browned. You might need to cover them with silver foil.
  9. Right before serving, top your cinnamon rolls with glaze. Mix the icing sugar and milk together until smooth and drizzle over the rolls.



Baking (with essays!)

Baking (with essays!)


Sorry I haven’t posted for a little while, but the reality of essays and deadlines caught up with me a little bit last week, and I had to impose a baking ban! I am happy to say that these have all been handed in now, and I can bake freely again! This post will basically be a round up of everything I’ve baked in the last couple of days.


So, it was Halloween on Thursday, and, not being able to choose between making a cake or biscuits, I decided to do both, and make this graveyard cake! I made the inside of this a chequerboard cake – inspired by Kimberley’s one in the Great British Bake Off final. The pink cake was supposed to be blood red, but for some reason our campus shop doesn’t stock red gel food colouring…!


Today it’s my flatmate’s birthday, so to celebrate I made her a brownie stack! This is basically brownies stacked up and drizzled with melted chocolate, then sprinkled with chocolate chips, to make a chocolatey browniey (yes that is a word!) pile, which is perfect to share.