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.
I was pretty confident going into this challenge, because in the past year I've made both pâte à choux and pastry cream, and ganache is something I can do in my sleep. The caramel is what had me hesitant. The few times I've tried it, I've either burned it or it's just not worked out somehow.
Well, this challenge just kind of fell apart for me. It tasted great -- what's not to like about cream puffs and chocolate? But my pâte à choux was sort of flat, and in an effort not to burn the caramel, I didn't cook it enough, and it was more like chewy corn syrup. But of course the entire thing was consumed within a 24-hour period. That's what I love about dessert -- you can mess it up, but when was the last time you had one that was inedible?
I guess these are called "challenges" for a reason ;-).