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"Crockenbush??? " rant

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
"Anyone know what this is?"

that was the rest of the question of a post in another forum that was fowarded to me. if my cyber rant doesn't belong here or is inapropriate, it can be removed or modified by the moderators.

My reason for posting here is that no one else will really understand my thoughts and opinions on this.

here goes...
I used to belong to another forum and it was basically thousands of hobby bakers and a handful of "professional" bakers, pastry chefs or shop owners.

Don't get me wrong, that particular forum is very supportive and the point of enabling BAD results! But, to each his or her own. It was fun to see the "talent" develop from cake to cake, but mostly...they get very upset when you don't post nice things about their photos, not that I would do otherwise, but sometimes you offer constructive advice and you get eaten alive..( I never posted to the photos unless I "PERSONALLY" knew the decorator..I was afraid, very

Well, the only forum that I basically read was the BUSINESS FORUM, since I figured that would be where I could do the most good. After being a member of that particular forum for about 3+ years, I got kicked out for being too negative!

In trying to be honest and never posted much of ANYTHING unless a direct question was asked, but I guess when people are wearing rose colored lenses they really don't want to hear the realities of owning a Bakery/cake studio/sweet shop...the long hours, the irksome clients, paying bills, keeping enough insurance, getting lic and permits to operate legally..and just how long everything takes..(I'm down a month waiting for the work in my "TO CODE CAFE" as per ad...and then, I'm thinking I'll be open MAAAAAYBE the first of the year!)

anyhow..going back to that post my friend sends me..


This person with limited experience is going to attempt to do a Croche en Bouche, now don't get me wrong...I do applaud the ambition, but I find this to be more and more the case lately. I even have a friend who offered to do gumpaste flowers and sugarpaste modeling on cakes without knowing how to make them.

Depending on her "inate" creativity to "pull" her through. I the only one who can see what is wrong with this picture? It took me 5 years to put a rose on a cake because up to then I didn't think my roses were "professional" enough to put on a cake I got paid for.

It took me the same amount of time before I took a wedding cake order, of course I had been honing my skills with tiered cakes I did for friends and family before I could seriously take money from someone and have them pay for something inferior.

Is this pride in my work or just being a coward?

This person has an order for something that she has no experience in for next week and is also going to attempt to do the spun sugar cage around the cone. I'm taken aback in amazement. My friend has also written to me telling me that the replies to this post have been "gently" guiding her to links and sites that show her , this is not a foolhearty attempt.

I wish this person luck, I'm not trying to be mean , I'm just aghast once again, I always wanted to post something like this to posts like that...

" I applaud you in your ambition, but sometimes our desire to please and accomodate our clients request have us walking in unknown woods, and as such it's easy to get lost.

Sometimes we accept jobs that are better refered to bakers or Pastry Chefs with more experience and reputation, maybe this is one of those times.

You can always send the referal on with a codicil that you "assist" in the execution of the design, so not only is your client happy, you can hone your developing skills at this beautiful art."

But, nope..I keep my big mouth shut and just shake my head in amazement and come here to the bossom of people that can understand how hard it is to bite one's tongue or...SIT ON YOUR FINGERS and not type advice where and when it's not wanted.


Please don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to complain about that other site, I do believe that we all have to start someplace, but I do believe that people that have no idea, experience shouldn't take on jobs that are beyond their scopes. I would NEVER in a million years tell anyone that I can butcher a hog, just coz I know how to cook pork chops.

I have seen some lovely examples of this work made by masters, and even knowing how to make one, I would NEVER even assume to charge the same!

well, just my little rant, thought it would make me feel better, hope I didn't come across as a whinny baby, and if I what...:crazy:lol
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
post #2 of 37
i know exactly what you mean! some ppl are diggin their own graves. i dont interfere. i just watch in in amazement.
post #3 of 37
LOLOL at this topic. Not at you, or anyone else. It's more LOL at myself. I NEED to do one, not to sell mind you. Just do one.
Today was rose making in class today. Let's just say it would've went better if I had a drink in between rose 1, and rose 50,000. : )))
If, and when I EVER get BRAVE enough to post a pic of something I made. I would hope for honesty. The way I look at it, I want reviews. Good reviews do nothing, but stroke ego. Bad reviews will make you strive for better. That's my thinking at least.

post #4 of 37
Thread Starter 
Even with my skill and KNOWING how to make one, I would NEVER make one for sale since it's not something that I do..but, for fun and for eating...oh yeah!

so, post away, no one is going to stroke your ego here but I'm sure that no one is going to be mean. lol

I was just having a WTF moment when my friend sent me this and went off on a tangent....:roll:
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
post #5 of 37

is this it

is this what you mean


open site and scroll down for picture, qahtan
post #6 of 37
Thread Starter 
Yes, that's it exactly, but I don't need the recipe or anything like that, I know what it is and can make one, maybe not on a professional level , but I am familiar with the product...I was just ranting about someone biting off more than their skills can handle. Even their spelling was off...( although mine was they had never made it, couldn't really spell it and had to make it for next week!!!!!

I know that we should expand our skills and stretch our culinary muscles, but something like this...well I'm
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
post #7 of 37


I have never made one, There appears to be several ways, like a styrofoam pyramid, and build them around it, I think the spun sugar is the correct one, not good on a humid day. Let me know if you do one and how it turned out.
post #8 of 37
Thread Starter 
no, I"m not making one, don't need to as it's not something my customers demand, but personally...I make a MEAN cream puff! lol:lol:

I agree with you...Sugar work is a real pain to do down here in Miami as it is sooooo very humid, unfortunately, as it's so very pretty and I would love to do more of it.

when we did it in school, we had to do ISOMALT and even then it was pretty in the labs, but turned cloudy the minute we took it outside!
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
post #9 of 37

Me again.

I have just read your first post again, and I agree with what you are saying, that you want your rose to look like a rose before showing it to anyone else,.
But you know it amazes me what some people post and think looks fabulous.
Although I am not a professional, I do like my work to look as if it was done by a professional.

post #10 of 37
Hi Everyone,

As a French speaking individual, I just wanted to interject only to say that the dessert in question is called and spelled Croque-en-Bouche which translated to English means, Crunch (bite) in the mouth.

examples: croque en bouche - Google Image Search

As for your rant Risque Cakes, I hear you. I have come to the conclusion that not everybody adheres to the same ethical standards and pride on a job well done. I do whatever I can to be honest, live with myself and be able to sleep soundly at night.

Luc H.
I eat science everyday, do you?
I eat science everyday, do you?
post #11 of 37


Just saw one made on Iron Chef... I'm not making one for sale any time soon... rant on!
post #12 of 37
i was thinking about making one as part of my brunch display centerpiece for the holidays.. i know its more of a wedding thing, would it be wrong to use it as i stated above?

i think im not going to fill the puffs with anything considering that its just display...
post #13 of 37
some people dig graves for others too. I was in the hospital for a terrible case of food poisoning brought on by an event that was catered by an amateur. Oh, it was awful.

there's a lack of respect for time honored training in this instant gratification world. A friend said to me last week that everyone thinks they're an expert in everything. Maybe this is the product of our society where if you kid doesn't win the race, you don't dare say he lost, everyone gets a ribbon for participating because everyone's a winner.

And MAN, have I seen more than one butt ugly croque en bouche. The one in qahtan's link is an abomination! (along with their spelling cro-***-bouche:rolleyes:)

I have done them, and I have always done it as a 2 or 3 person job, as it's extremely important those puffs don't sit once filled. I had molds and stands that cost about $200 a piece, imported. I have assembled them just before placing out in the room, and have had a back up set of dry unfilled cream puffs in case for some reason they sit before serving longer than I would want, to fill the dry cream puffs again and put the spun sugar on them then serve immediately.

I'm picturing the "what's crockenbush" poster you're talking about Risque having wet mushy eggy godawful cream puffs, then taking half a day to A$S-emble it, sogg, sogg, sogg.

Now I am all for everyone trying it at home and gobbling it up with the kids afterwards, but to do them for someone's once-in-a-lifetime event as though you know what you're doing, you're asking for the leaning tower of "crockenbush"! I'm also picturing some dental emergencies at the event too.

I must say however, I did have one experience where a small town local bakery did a fabulous job. My friend was getting married and really wanted croque en bouche, her best friend was flying in from Paris. So I loaned my equipment to the bakery and delivered them sugared roses (which the bride also wanted) in the morning, along with my two cents:lol:, and they totally blew me away and did a fabulous job:smiles:. I didn't get around to tasting them for some reason, but they looked great.

pgr555, I would have loved to see it on Iron Chef, who made it, anything unique they did? BTW, styrofoam pyramid, cringe cringe! :lol:

"crockenbush"..."crocumbouche"... Fermez la bouche!

Risque hope your new location is on track soon. I like the sounds of what you said about having a display window near a jazz club or something like that. Hopefully you'll have lots of extra work to make up for all the hassled. I love that blackberry cake of yours, I'm thinking if a permanent one is in the window you would sell tons as we all have friends with calloused thumbs from those things.
post #14 of 37
Thread Starter 
I do feel a little better after reading the I was just in a WTF mode for a week or so there, but I think it's because my relocation is taking so long that I'm super stressed like the cat that is jumping at his or her own shadow. lol

I actually love making cream puffs because for some reason when ever I go to my Polynesian friend's parties, ( when I used to Hula ) they have a great sweet tooth and can give me feed back.

I have made different kinds of fillings for my cream puffs, I'm made a "coconut" filling, mango, rum and coffee flavored pastry cream to fill the puffs just for fun.

I have seen a Master Chef assemble one with Croquant as a support and he decorated it with the sugar and sugar was amazing! ( I should have my friend go back and find that thread and ask the person asking what was "CROCKENBUSH and HOW DO YOU MAKE IT?" lol if they did...and if they learned how to spell it.

Now, how about those PETITE FOUR? I've seen them at weddings, people cut up cake they bake in jelly roll pans they throw some raspberry filling between and dip in colored coating (cheap ) chocolate and call a Petite Four!


I think that I will make it my mission to single handedly bring back POURED
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
post #15 of 37


Stir it up, it was a special for Christmas with Paula Dean & Cat... on 1 team and Tyler... and Robert the Dinner Impossible guy on the other. Tyler was the one who did it. The secret ingreidient was SUGAR!

Not your standard Iron Chef!
post #16 of 37
oh stop, stop!:lol: That'll be the next question from that poster, What's a pettyfoer, I have an order for 3,000 of them for tomorrow for a state luncheon.

I had to make my own petits four for my wedding to get what I was after, (in between toasting the baumkuchen:rolleyes:) although the good part was eating all those that didn't look exactly right to me... Yeah, bring back poured fondant! There seems to be a general lack of regard that taste and flavor is required in petits four.

OK I'm done my little rants too.
post #17 of 37
Thanks pgr, we must have been posting near the same time.
post #18 of 37
Thread Starter 
I just got a great opportunity to do a grand scale job for a newspapers 19th anniversary.

The same company that owns THE VILLIAGE VOICE in New York owns THE NEW TIMES down here.

They are expecting 2 to 3 thousand people...

YIKES...put my baking hat on, before when we did jobs like this..( fairs and such ) I had the help of another chef to work on 1,000 pieces of "giveaways"

mmmmm maybe I could do creams puffs for this party..hehehe!!

maybe some mini cream puffs, dip the tops in the sugar..or spins some sugar on top and fill on site.

I have to see if there is a kitchen available or if there is going to be a caterer..
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
post #19 of 37

Oh dear. Stir it up

[QUOTE]And MAN, have I seen more than one butt ugly croque en bouche. The one in qahtan's link is an abomination! (along with their spelling cro-***-bouche) /QUOTE]

If I spelt it's name wrong and the picture was lousy, at least you could see what it was supposed to be.
post #20 of 37
oh qahtan, I didn't mean anything towards you by that. That was THEIR spelling, not yours! And you didn't make the thing. I was being mean to the bakery/site, especially since it seems they put themselves forth as an example. I will retract my claws now... Sorry if you misunderstood! It was absolutely not directed to you in any way!

Risque, great about the gig!
post #21 of 37
OK, ;-)))) ;-))) qahtan
post #22 of 37
Thread Starter 

I think I posted my gallery a picture of one we made in school, cool looking cake too! we toasted the layers right in the deck ovens! lol

I liked the pastry part of this cake, wasn't crazy about the orange yogurt filling
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
post #23 of 37
Thread Starter 
I had to go back to check on "the spelling"...sound like one I should be making!

Very risque..hahaha:crazy:
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
post #24 of 37
I have a lovely photograph of a well-done Croque-en-Bouche. I gaze at it every once in a while and hope for the bravery to one day tackle such a thing.

Supportive sites are nice, but I gave up participating in one that was supportive to the point of being unhelpful (different subject, not food). Constructive criticism is a good thing. Even if it's meant not to be constructive, it can be helpful.
post #25 of 37
I made a croquembouche for Christmas, but the caramel holding the puffs together softened up and the whole thing imploded. Any ideas as to why? Is it humidity?
post #26 of 37
Thread Starter 
I am DYING for an update from that website, but I'm afraid to

I'm so evil...:roll:
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
post #27 of 37
Hi hilary, Welcome! I love that you attempted a Croque-en-bouche at home for Christmas.

1) Are you in a humid environment - yes, humidity is the devil when it comes to caramelized sugar.

Cooking a Christmas dinner will drastically increase the humidity, even if you lived in Arizona, having pots on the stove, taking out a steaming bird or roast, you will have a very humid environment in your home.

2) What was your timing for making and serving. Croque-en-bouche doesn't hold well. You can't fill the puffs in advance, the assembled item must not sit long before serving. So if you also needed to make a Christmas dinner, and made it before and it sat...

3) how was the texture of your cream puffs, were they nice and hollow inside and puffy and "crisp/dry" (hard to describe, not really crisp per se but not soft or chewy or moist in any way) or was there some eggy mass inside and were they softer?

4) would have to know more about your caramel itself, that could also be part of the equation of what went wrong.

Risque, I just got that joke about the spelling :suprise: :lol:
post #28 of 37
Hi - thank you for responding

We live in New York city, so not that humid. And we made the Croq in the early afternoon. Actually made 2, one larger and a small one with the few remaining puffs. The small Croq held up. Although the caramel threads that we "spun" around it that were hard in the afternoon, had softened by evening. So I figured that caramel must have softened and wasn't holding the structure together.

Caramel was just sugar and water.

Some of the puffs were harder than others, though all were hollow.

It was delicious anyway.
post #29 of 37


I am glad to see that this post is getting some results. This is a lovely holiday addition that sets a fabulous tone as a centerpiece.

You're guest will be in awe.
post #30 of 37
What you are asking for is a tree shaped stacked dessert that is made from profitarolles or mini cream puffs.(pate e choux mix) They are stacked on top of one another in a xmas tree type design that sometime could be many feet high. The puffs are filled with assorted fillings and then dipped in a light caramel, this holds them together. It is usually used as a main display piece on a pastry table and is drizzled with fondants and other syrup type glazes and icings. Made a lot around xmas season by hotels and classy clubs. It is spelled Croqenbouche. Sometimes it is also finished with spun sugar being drizzled on it.:o
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