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I made a lot of noise about the a-maz-ing Croquembouche I planned to make for the Christmas Day lunch I was going to at a good friend's place ... in typical Graham fashion I completely underestimated how long it would take to put it all together.  That, combined with getting some new additions to the household comfortably re-housed (a pair of Red Rump parrots that I gave to Le Husband for Christmas) meant that at 10 o'clock Christmas morning I was frantically making custard from scratch and chocolate ganache-ing the slab of meringue I'd made the night before.

The icing on the cake (in a manner of speaking!) was when I went to fill the profiteroles with the creme patisserie (the egg custard folded with whipped cream).  Out comes the brand new piping bag I bought for the occasion (didn't want to take any chances with the old one!) and I managed to fill three or four when - kapow! - the bag bursts.  Panicking and squeezing the bag too fast - moi? - never!  Must have been a faulty bag!!!

It was spectacular.  I had custard in my hair, under one armpit (huh?!), all over the cake, on the floor (dogs enjoyed it), on the walls and every other place possible.  I even found some on the kitchen blind the following day.  Of course, Le Husband is laughing so hard he almost wets himself, all the while reaching for the camera.  I don't think he'll be reaching for the camera again in a hurry.  My dreams of spun toffee decoration and toffee angels wings went out the window, and I settled for trusty chocolote drizzles and toasted almonds.  I'm not going to tell you how I actually managed to fill the rest of the profiteroles, but it involved the handle of a teaspoon and an excessive amount of swearing.

So ... here it is.  The not-quite-Croquembouche-that-nearly-wasn't.  Not for the faint hearted.   It was taller than it looks in the photo! :)  (Just as a side note, Christmas lunch was a-maz-ing ... we started at 1pm with tiger prawns, oysters and smoked salmon, moved on to ham, turkey, roast pork and some amazing salads around four o'clock and ended up having dessert (mine was one of three) at 8pm!  We never actually got to the cheese platter.  My kind of day :D)




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