Let’s cut the crap — when you first heard Lauren utter the word “croquembouche” on Tuesday night’s “Faking It” episode, you probably thought she, or the show, had made it up. WELL NOT SO FAST, FRIENDS. Turns out, the towering assembly of pastry, cream and caramel is the real deal, and when it came crashing down after Amy yanked out a low-hanging piece, Lauren’s devastated reaction was more than warranted — that confection was a masterpiece!
According to croquembouche.ca (yup, that’s a thing), Antonin Carême, a pioneer of high-art French cooking, first made the croquembouche — which translates to “crunch in the mouth” — vogue in the early 19th century. It began as a centerpiece for French baptisms and weddings, and is made of layered profiteroles that sit on a base of nougatine, are glued together with caramel and decorated with hazelnuts, chocolate, flowers or spun sugar (!@$!%%). Though it can take different shapes (Carême made everything from pavilions to towers), the cone shape, which was featured on “Faking It,” is the most famous.
The show isn’t the only one that’s put the sweet treat on the boob tube, either. In spite of the fact that the croquembouche recipe is now more than 200 years old, pop culture continues to eat it up — it’s been on everything from “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” to an episode of “Desperate Housewives.”
Is your mouth watering yet? Here’s hoping you get a taste soon, but if you’re on a budget, you might have to stick to Oreos and Nutter Butters for the time being — a modest croquembouche at the French Patisserie will run you upwards of $225!
Suddenly, Funfetti ain’t lookin’ so bad…