Did Carême Invent the Croquembouche?

Indeed he did, reader Jesse, both the item and the name. The trouble is that no one is completely sure what Carême’s croquembouches looked and/or tasted like. Evidently he built them out of a variety of things: chestnuts, candied oranges and sweet (probably also savory) pastries, all glued together with sugar syrup cooked to the hard crack stage. As to what exactly they looked like, it’s a mystery. Many culinary historians believe he built his in the shape of a Turkish fez. Apparently there’s no evidence that he ever stacked them into cones as we do now, but it’s hard for me to believe that a creative fellow like him would have been satisfied with just one shape.

3 thoughts on “Did Carême Invent the Croquembouche?”

  1. My daughter decided to go to culinary school & the head chef there seemed to be quiet impressed that I had made croquembouche & insisted on meeting me after she mentioned it during a pastry session. They are not tht hard but are a lot of putzy work. They are impressive. I am glad to know who to credit the origin to, thanks!

    1. My pleasure, Frankly!

      Did you use a form for yours? What was the occasion?

      – Joe

      1. I formed a cone from light card stock & then sprayed the inside with release agent. It was Christmas so I made a red and green royal icing. It was not as stiff as I would have liked & thought if I did it again I would go with a cooked syrup. I saw a chef take a cooked syrup up on a spoon & spin a thin thread into a web to drape over the top, I want to try that.

        I would love to work with sugar & make all those elaborate decorations.

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