A delicious Cream Puff Christmas Tree Cake will attract the attention (and appetite) of all your guests during Christmas dinner.

A couple of friends invite my family to their house every Christmas Eve, and my job is to bring a cake. My initial project was to make a croquembouche. Croquembouche is a special dessert with a very particular and spectacular structure: its vertical development makes it difficult to find and even more unlikely to be made at home. Due to its shape, it is often placed next to a Christmas tree and is preferably prepared during Christmas.

Christmas

It is a small fir tree with a mountain of stuffed puff creams (bigne choux pastries) held together by a caramel sauce. As I said before, it is very difficult to make if you are not an exceptional pastry chef, so to prevent my tree from collapsing, I made crispy waffle disks as flat plains to rest the bigne on and stacked them into a cone shape.

Luckily, it was a success! Both in terms of decoration and a gustatory level.

You can decorate the cream puff tree as you like: sprinkles, edible flowers, and whatever else you can think of to give this cake the look of a real Christmas tree … magical.

I decorated it with pomegranate seeds and sprigs of rosemary.

To prepare your cream puffs Christmas tree, prepare the ricotta cream, which must be completely drained of water. You can also prepare the base of the tree the day before. It is made of sponge cake soaked in orange and lemon syrup and stuffed with ricotta cream.

Cream Puff Christmas Tree Cake
Cream Puff Christmas Tree Cake

Beautiful Cream Puff Christmas Tree Cake

Prep Time 20 mins Cook Time 2 hrs Total Time 2 hrs 20 mins Difficulty: Advanced Best Season: Winter

Description

A delicious Cream Puff Christmas Tree Cake will attract the attention (and appetite) of all your guests during Christmas dinner.

Ingredients

Cooking Mode Disabled

Bigne` (Choux Pastries)

Sponge Cake

Crispy Waffle Disks

Ricotta Cream

Pistachio Cream

Orange Lemon Syrup

Caramelized Sugar

Instructions

Bigne` (Choux Pastries)

    • Pour the water into a saucepan.
    • Add the butter, sugar, and salt and bring to a boil.
    • Remove the pan from the heat and add the flour, stirring continuously to avoid lumps.
    • Place the pot back on low heat and stir vigorously, slamming the mixture with a wooden spoon until the dough combines and begins to come away from the sides of the pot (you will see a white film on the pot's walls).
    • Preheat the oven to 400°F (200° C)
    • Add the eggs one by one to the cool mixture and mix well before adding the additional eggs, one at a time.
    • Spoon the dough into a "sac a poche" (pastry bag) and pipe the desired shape onto the baking sheet.
    • Then, with a damp finger, flatten the apex.
    • Bake until the choux pastry shells puff up and are golden brown on top (35-40 minutes).
    • Fill the puff creams from the bottom first with the pistachio cream and then with ricotta cream, being careful to keep the cream inside the choux pastry, meaning don’t fill it up too much to the point where the cream is dripping out.

Sponge Cake

    • Mix the eggs with the sugar.
    • Beat the mixture in a mixer for 15-20 minutes at medium speed.
    • Add the sifted flour and starch potatoes with a spatula from the bottom to the top to obtain a homogeneous consistency.
    • Put the mixture into the properly greased and lightly floured cake pan (24 cm in diameter, 9 inches round, and 1 1/2 inches deep).
    • Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C (356°F) for 40-50 minutes. Never open the oven before 35 minutes.
    • Do the toothpick test to check cooking, insert it in centers, and it has to come out clean.
    • After the time necessary, allow it to cool and remove it from the mold.
    • Allow the sponge cake to cool completely before slicing.
    • Cut the cake into two layers and soak them with the orange lemon syrup.
    • Pipe ¼ of ricotta cream on the soaked bottom layer.
    • Cover with the other soaked layer and frost with the other ¼ ricotta cream over the top and the sides of the cake.
     

Ricotta Cream

    • Mix the ricotta with the sieved sugar.
    • Combine it with whipped cream to obtain a soft and silky cream.
    • Divide the mixture into two equal parts to be used for the sponge cake and to fill the choux pastries.

Pistachio Cream

    • Blend the pistachios with the sugar in a blender until you get a paste. Add half the milk and continue to blend.
    • In a saucepan, melt the butter and the chopped chocolate over low heat in the remaining milk.
    • Remove from the heater add the pistachio paste and mix everything together.
    • Add the pistachio paste and mix everything.
    • Then, with a hand mixer, blend everything until you get a smooth and homogeneous cream.

Crispy Waffle Disks

    • Mix the soft butter with 1 cup of powdered sugar well with the electric whisk.
    • Then, add the egg whites, constantly mixing with the whisk. When the mixture is well combined, add the sieved flour.
    • Preheat the oven to 180 °C (350°F).
    • Prepare greaseproof paper disks: 1 of 10 cm (4 inches) diameter, 2 of 16 cm (6.5 inches), and 1 of 22 cm ( 9 inches).
    •  
    • Spread evenly the mixture over each disk to cover it.
    • Cook in the preheated oven for 6-8 minutes.
    • Let them cool down.

Orange Lemon Syrup

    • Prepare the fresh orange and lemon juices (4 oranges and two lemons) and set them aside.
    • In the meantime, put the sugar water in a saucepan and place it on the stove.
    • Ensure the heat is low and mix the sugar and water solution until it boils.
    • Turn off the heat when you notice that the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture has thickened.
    • Add the orange juice, continue stirring, and let it cool.

Caramelized Sugar

    • In a thick-bottomed saucepan, pour the sugar and then cover the sugar in water and lemon juice.
    • Stir with a wooden spoon to dissolve the sugar, then put it over medium heat without stirring; swirl the saucepan if the sugar is sticking to the bottom.
    • When the sugar is amber, turn off and immerse the saucepan in cold water to cool it down.

Assembling

    • Take the cake and place it on a cake stand.
    • Dip the stuffed beignets in the caramel. It will serve as a binder between one cream puff and another and give them that crystallized effect.
    • Arrange eight beignets on the cake in a circular shape and one in the center; choose almost all of them of the same size and height.
    • Then, I placed the disc, which had a diameter of 9 inches, on the eight puff creams.
Keywords: Cream Puff Christmas Tree Cake
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