Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Merci!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Have you heard of the Croquembouche [CROCK-you-EAM-butchy]? It's a French thing. Well, if not, here's what it's supposed to look like:

So kinda like old, cobweb-wrapped monkey bread. But in a yummy way.

Well, a certain anonymous person - who shall remain unnamed to protect her anonymity - found this gem at a wedding which she may or may not have anonymously attended:


I believe her exact words were, "it looks like some kind of primitive jungle cake being attacked by a swarm of lactating spider-wasps."

Mmmm, lactating spider-wasps...


Well, uh, Jane D. [wink wink], thanks for putting a new spin on these things.


Update: I think it's important to ask yourself a couple of questions before commenting here on Cake Wrecks:
Question: Did John and Jen really intend to give us the pronunciation of a word?
Answer: No.
Question: Are John and Jen complete and total idiots?
Answer: No.
Question: Do they...
Answer: No.
Question: Would they...
Answer: No.
Question: What about...
Answer: No.
That is all.

- Related Wreckage: MORE Weird Wedding Cakes (with the famous "albino booby tower")
Nitrocat said...

And now we know what turns them into Bridezillas.

Syldoran said...

Admittedly, it's hard to make that look good. :v It doesn't look all that appealing anyway.

Granted, it doesn't mean there's an excuse for the cake that came out of it.

feathergirl said...

I don't think I'd be eating that cake. It doesn't look ... good.

Tigerwolf said...

TRIBBLES!!!

^..^

P.S. Or, perhaps, a pile of little Epcots.

Gary said...

Well, for old, cobweb-wrapped monkey bread, it doesn't really look that bad. I'd eat it.

tonkelu said...

The French nerd in me feels compelled to say that croquembouche is actually pronounced CROAK-Ä-N-BOOSH.

Mmmkay. I'll quit now.

greeblygreebly said...

*runs screaming from page*

*but not before discovering a latent phobia of spider webs*

RecoveringActor said...

Haven't you seen Julie and Julia?! OF COURSE! I've heard of a Croquembouche. I just didn't know how to spell it...

Jenny Jo said...

My favorite thing about this is your pronunciation guide. Brilliant!

Sue said...

Sacrebleu but that is one fugly croquembouche!

Rusty and Bandit said...

Yay, first comment!
Wow. Those are, um, interesting. And no, I have never heard of a Crocky-whatever, but I can assure you that the people making those cakes probably had no idea what it was either!
Anna Marie

Anonymous said...

Celery or broken palm fronds as the base? WTF? This is a French dessert. Is this the French Polynesian version of the mountain of pastry balls? That spun sugar, er, those spiderwebs, defy gravity!

btw, love your intentional butchering of "croquembouche." Kinda like an American literal interpretation.

For those who want to compare, "Croquembouche" should probably be pronounced croak-em-boosh.

wv: thons-Some people should not wear thons, also known as butt-floss.

I'm Lori...and maybe I'm you, too. said...

How? Just...how? I mean...how?

Dorci said...

Yeah, that's pretty..umm...webby. I've always wanted to make a croquembouche. I guess this'll have to be the year.

Maria said...

Hey, guys - Croquembouche is actually made with profiteroles, not monkey bread, stuck together with hot caramel (the kind that takes your skin right off if a single drop falls anywhere on your body), made to look like a sort of meshy wrap.

My Mom used to make this for very special occasions, that's how I know.

Delaney said...

I hope you guys took bets on how many people would correct your pronunciation "guide" :)

Cecile said...

I would totally have that thing for a cake, if it was Halloween and I was marrying Indiana Jones in a theme wedding.

Okay, maybe not.

Sharon said...

I didn't know weeping willows could cross pollinate with palm trees.

Karen said...

I live in Montreal, Quebec, and it is definitely pronounced 'krok-en-boosh'. The 'm' is silent. And the 'r' must be rolled properly.

Kelly said...

Now the phrase "lactating spider-wasps" will be haunting my brain today. Thanks for the horror-filled laughs!

Anonymous said...

My six year old just looked at the picture and said "what is that? Is that a web with eggs? It looks like spider eggs in a web!" Couldnt have said it better myself!

April said...

Actually Croquembouche looks much more appetizing when you know that those spider webs are made from caramel :-) good stuff...but very ugly indeed, even when it's done right.

Jael said...

My husband, wandering past and happening to see the screen: "What IS that? A pile of rocks with spiderwebs?"

I don't even think the real one looks appetising. The wrecky one I don't think I would touch with an eleven-foot pole. Yuck.

Jasry said...

I can't post my first response to that... cake... thing. It wasn't exactly polite. The green things underneath scared it out of me. And now I have a strange urge to go dust in all the corners....

Elodie said...

Croquembouche is made of chouquettes (cream puffs) with crystallized spun sugar around it (hence the croque, crunches, en bouche, in the mouth). It may not look pretty but it's yummy! (In response to those who said it looked unappetizing even in the first shot). That second one is... scary though. wtf.

Elodie

husky mom said...

See a better-looking croquembouche here:

http://www.jeanmarcchatellier.com/croquembouche2.html

Jenniffer said...

Wow, that's a Mighty Boosh!

(crimpity, crimpity!)


-Jenniffer
http://cupadeecakes.blogspot.com

Glory von Hathor said...

My friends got married abroad last weekend and I am resisting the urge not to submit a picture of their 'unique' looking croquembouche, because I can't believe it was a professional job.

Let's just say it makes this baby look pretty close to the mark. At least this one doesn't appear to involve gravy browning. I may have to share it with Jen,

Remerdre said...

This kind of pastry may not look appealing, but it's actually very good. Having said that, I wouldn't touch the one from that wedding with a ten-foot stalk of celery, which is apparently what they used for the base.

diopsideanddiamonds said...

Oh my GAWD, what the HAYELL?!?

Aside from the ... obvious ... that would be a mess to eat. There'd be sugar strands everywhere. I pity the clean-up crew.

Terry Lee said...

my spidey senses are tingling.

Michelle said...

*snicker* whhaaat?? Croquembouche looks good but NOT on palm fronds with lactating spider-wasps!

Donna said...

They look good when done "right," but that reminds me of Miss Haversham's cake in Great Expectations by Charles Dickens:

"I crossed the staircase landing, and entered the room she indicated. From that room, too, the daylight was completely excluded, and it had an airless smell that was oppressive. A fire had been lately kindled in the damp old-fashioned grate, and it was more disposed to go out than to burn up, and the reluctant smoke which hung in the room seemed colder than the clearer air — like our own marsh mist. Certain wintry branches of candles on the high chimneypiece faintly lighted the chamber: or, it would be more expressive to say, faintly troubled its darkness. It was spacious, and I dare say had once been handsome, but every discernible thing in it was covered with dust and mould, and dropping to pieces. The most prominent object was a long table with a table-cloth spread on it, as if a feast had been in preparation when the house and the clocks all stopped together. An epergne or centre-piece of some kind was in the middle of this cloth; it was so heavily overhung with cobwebs that its form was quite undistinguishable; and, as I looked along the yellow expanse out of which I remember its seeming to grow, like a black fungus, I saw speckled-legged spiders with blotchy bodies running home to it, and running out from it, as if some circumstance of the greatest public importance had just transpired in the spider community."

Anonymous said...

I had to post just to use my word verification, which sounds like it should be a french verb - patesser.

See, you can use it sorta like this:
"J'ai patesser du croquembouche, s'il vous plait."

My translation:
I'll pass on the cobweb monkey bread, please.

AmyRaz

matt said...

This cake is not allowed.

Ally said...

A quick note - a croquembouche is a tower of profiteroles (AKA cream puffs) held together with caramel and then decorated with spun sugar. I think both examples are TOO spun-sugar-y. A real croquembouche is very tasty and pretty when well-done. The traditional dessert at a French wedding.

WV: hinden - the tasty cream puffs are well hinden under the spiderwebby sugar

Anonymous said...

I admit that I have trouble telling a good croquembouche from a bad one. Call me culturally illiterate.

Tresjolie9 said...

Okay, now I'm thinking of Bree on Desperate Housewives, and the episode where Katherine knew how to do "spun sugar," and Bree didn't.

Eric said...

Meanwhile, at Google Headquarters, a dozen engineers are scratching their heads, trying to figure out the reason behind a sudden spike in searches for "croquembouche..."

Frank said...

Martha Stewart is demonstrating how to make a Croquembouche on today's show with Rachel Maddow assisting. Quite a coincidence!

Mira8 said...

Pâte à choux! Those little balls under the web are cream puffs. I love me some cream puffs. I'd take on a whole army of mutant zombie lactating spider wasps to get at them.

Auntie M. said...

I guess they gave to the guests a tiny machete to open their way into the profiteroles...By the way, the top croc-en-bouche (crunchy-in-the- mouth) is not the best I have seen, either!

lazy7snickers said...

That's a disaster all the way around.
Lactating spider-wasps--interesting.
Is this a wedding between Spiderman and Wonderwoman, maybe?

Amy B-H

Anonymous said...

croquembouche?

They look like a pile of scrota, no doubt the companion to King David's mountain of Philistne foreskins.

Do. Not. Want.

--Vince
wv: denespai, what the cannibalistic Mr. Wilson ate for dessert.

Caroline B said...

....you know that scene in Lord of the rings when Frodo gets wrapped up by the giant spider........or maybe the scene in The Mist where the chap gets wrapped up by a giant spider and then millions of baby spiders burst out of his chest? Well, I think I'll say 'non' to any of that croakybush ta very much......(I done a year of French at school...)

Marie-Lucie said...

I just wanted to say: I am French, and honestly, I never saw something like this, and I have no idea what it is! Oo

The Tieman Family said...

To be honest, I think even the "good" looking ones are pretty wrecky

Amanda in Austin said...

I remember Lisa Kudrow had one of these at her wedding, because her husband is French, and it was interesting and lovely and quite unusual. It was the first time I'd ever heard of it.

But it did not look like lactating spider webs. Mmmmm.....

Anonymous said...

I had a croquembouche for my wedding, and it was much prettier than that squat little thing in the first picture. It also tasted better than any dry cake I've ever had at a wedding!

shopKCQ said...

I'm going to have to agree with Anonymous up there... No idea a "good" croquembouche with a "bad" one.

Dan Lewis said...

I'm just waiting for a bunch of baby spiders to burst our of that thing. Anyone ever see the movie "Arachnophobia"?

Trude said...

Oh sweet jaysus, that's gotta be one of the best ones yet!!

Jeremy said...

Pass the crock-you-eam-butchy on the left. hand. siiiiide...

Diedra said...

Neither look like something edible but I think I'd rather have the second one. It looks fresher.

Little Lovables said...

holy holy.... how is that sucker of a beast served, sliced, eaten...?

love her description, you mean it's not being attacked by lactating spider wasps?

Anonymous said...

When they're made properly, they're kinda pretty...not awe-inspiring, but pretty.

But holy cow...can you please tell me how freshly-made cream puffs (made with real butter and filled with whipped heavy cream OMG) drizzled with crunchy caramel could ever, ever be anything but mindblowing.

DejahThorisofHelium said...

http://images.google.com/images?sourceid=ie7&q=croquembouche&rls=com.microsoft:*:IE-SearchBox&oe=UTF-8&rlz=1I7ACGW&um=1&ie=UTF-8&ei=UFIVS7mEGYy1tgfb-cD6BA&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ct=title&resnum=4&ved=0CCQQsAQwAw

Anonymous said...

Going out on a limb here...I'm guessing they had quite a bit of cake left over.

@ Eric 10:51-- Haha. Probably quite true.

@ Donna 10:29-- Regrettably, this is not the first cake I've seen on this site that has immediately summoned poor Miss Havisham to mind. But yes, this one certainly is added to the list. :)

--kate

Stacy said...

It's actually croque-en-bouche (literally, crack in the mouth because the choux crunch when you bite them). Pronounced "CROAK-ehn-BOUSH"

Stephanie said...

Oh... wow...
Well, I guess it was only a matter of time before we had a French Cake Wreck... see, we can mess up our cakes/desserts too! :P
(btw, I'm half French/half American, so your featuring wrecks from both of my home countries makes this blog doubly fun for me) :)

Dawn said...

I've made one of these before. The one we made in culinary school was skinnier and taller than you example, which does look like a cobweb covered monkey bread! But I've seen much prettier ones.

I rarely refer to it as a croquembouche though because very few people know what that is! I just simply call it a "Cream Puff Tower"!

Also, the second one scares me a little.

Felicia said...

In my area (north-central Florida) there are these huge spiders called Golden Orb-Weavers; they are about 2 inches long, tend to hang suspended from trees exactly at face level whenever you go out in the summer, and they make huge webs of really thick, bright yellow silk. That thing looks like what I imagine a nest full of Golden Orb-Weaver eggs to look like. Only dusted with sugar.

And I'm pretty sure that the proper name for that thing is pronounced "CROAK-um-boosh"

Lori Leaumont said...

Honestly, even the original picture of how it's supposed to look is pretty creepy. It's like Crypt Keeper cake.

Kristen said...

Croquembouche is French for "cupcake cake."

Anonymous said...

Leeks! They put the sugar-coated cream puffs on a bed of leeks? That's what it looks like to me. Cripes.

Chrissy (aka Chefgirl in certain circles)

Anonymous said...

it might be the college student in me...but am i the only one who sees this cake as a giant cannabis bud?

Melissa said...

Well, I'm not French, but I am lactating, and I strenuously object to any reference to lactation in relation to this cake. At least not any kind of lactation I've ever seen. Not that I watch anyone else lactate. Oh, never mind. How about "pissing in the wind on a cold day" instead of lactation, 'kay?

Word verification: QUILIG. The soft leather envelope that I used to store my quills when I attended Hogwarts. I bought it at Flourish & Blotts on Diagon Alley.

Anonymous said...

croakenbush, crackenbush... looks like hairy monkey balls to me!

Bonnie said...

Jeremy said..."Pass the crock-you-eam-butchy on the left. hand. siiiiide..."

OMG!!! I just had to try to explain to my co-workers why coke just came out my nose...and totally couldn't...

Anonymous said...

lol@ Donna-- I immediately thought of Miss Haversham, too. I wondered where the bugs were, and the old broad who won't take off her wedding dress, already. That's all this unfortunate display needs!

Anonymous said...

I don't think anyone has done this justice. Croquembouche is apparently French for "CCC."

Katie said...

yeah.. what the heck IS that spiderwebby stuff? spun sugar? if so- that looks disguisting because it really looks as if it is a spider web- and I do not find that appetizing in any way. I have never heard of the croquewhatever it is..... UGLY!

Shana said...

Now this is a croquembouche...

http://www.toptiercakes.com/index.php?module=photoalbum&PHPWS_Album_id=7&PHPWS_Photo_op=view&PHPWS_Photo_id=126

ksaldria said...

I really hope that's sugar gone horribly wrong and not ectoplasm.

lisadh said...

Oh, Melissa @ 1:18pm: that had me in stitches! Whew!

Le grand travail aujourd'hui, Jen!

E.M. Green said...

*whimper*

jane said...

is it just me or is that first one on fire?.

Melissa (& Billy) said...

Normally I laugh and shake my head at these wrecks.

This is the first one that has actually given me goosebumps (and not in a good way). Yeeeeeikes!

Maddy said...

Not at all sure about the greenery! Spun sugar certainly must affect brain function.
Cheers

Kimberly Chapman said...

The thing is, if they were going for freaky-creepy-alien-thing, it'd be awesome.

Kylie F. said...

Jeremy's comment, "Pass the crock-you-eam-butchy on the left. hand. siiiiide..." is. my. favoriiiite...Oh, and Eric's google comment - hilarious!

The first thing I thought of when I saw this, er...wreck, was the gypsy moths that cover branches of trees in spider webby material, which resembles the croquembouche with the palm fronds that seem to have had an unfortunate run-in with a weed-whacker.

Jen, your mangled CROCK-you-EAM-butchy reminds me A LOT of my MIL's "Trompee Loyal Fox paint". She was so proud of her work, I just didn't have the heart to correct her!

archersangel said...

that's just freaky! and why the hell is it on a pile of palm fronds?

Vodalus said...

old, cobweb-wrapped monkey b...

"bread" is not where I thought that phrase was going.

Anna said...

Hilarious post, even if it will surely give me nightmares.

I'm not sure if you're joking in the phonetic pronunciation part, but I'm French and I do feel compelled to remark that it is, in fact, pronounced completely differently (and differently from another pronunciaton suggestion I saw in the comments).

It's pronounced crock-en (the French nasal tone) - boosh

Great wrecky find!

Anonymous said...

Glad to see corrections of the pronunciation of croquembouche.

That there was not yet said...

http://isoldall.blogspot.com/

joanne said...

Here's a pretty one without spun sugar and with roses and marzipan gifts. http://www.hotelstgermain.com/new/Croquembouche.jpg

here's one with sugar, rose petals and sugared almonds (i think)
http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1801/images/1801_MEDIUM.jpg

wv: cradj: a cringe with a shocked "ack" of surprise. "That second picture of spider wasp nest made me cradj"

Anonymous said...

LOL @ Kristen. "croquembouche = French cupcake cake"
And Felicia--I saw those spiders in South Carolina. Great analogy!

Kate from Iowa said...

For those of you that are thinking/feeling that even the "example" croquembouche leaves something to be desired, about a year ago Elizabeth Faulner did a pretty stunning one (about 3ft tall, I think) for a Food Network Challenge. Don't know if there's a piccy anywhere, but if there is, you should definately check it out to see how nice these can look.

And in (central) Iowa we say kroak-en-bushe (actual long u sound not a oo sound), so go figure. Everyone seems to say it thier own way.

Bek said...

Completely reminds me of gypsy moth nests. And while it may be tasty, I'm just not prepared to eat anything that reminds of that stuff.

love your "pronunciation guide" - reminds me how our family loves to butcher Merci Beaucoup into Murky Buttercups. :) (and am amazed that people really felt the need to correct you. snort)

Deborah in California said...

Are you absolutely CERTAIN that this isn't part of an Alien Conspiracy ... Aren't those really the pods from Invasion of the Body Snatchers?

Do you REALLY know those "people" who returned from the wedding....

hmmmmmmmmm?

Anonymous said...

Traditionally, the croquembouche is served by hitting it hard with a sword, with the bridesmaids catching the pieces in a tablecloth.

Maybe the spiders are just protecting their food from encroaching swords and tablecloth laden bridesmaids.

CarolineLD said...

Er, for those correcting the pronunciation, it begins (as Karen said above) 'croc' not 'croak'. Best to correct correctly! ;-)

Angela said...

hey I just watched martha stewart make this with her guest rachel maddow today! the name means "crunch in the mouth"
but by the looks of that thing they should call it "punch in the eye"

Jenny said...

That first croquembouche pictured isn't all that attractive either. It is much too fat at the bottom and should be relatively taller. The real thing is much more elegant.

Anonymous said...

it's a french traditional wedding "cake". they're cream puffs, doused in honey. however, i've neer seen the tent-worm effect.

erinerin!

Anonymous said...

Having made a few of these, the biggest flaw I see is that the caramel is too light; the strands should be more golden. They can be quite elegant.

Creampuffs make up the cake and are delicious; I sometimes use chocolate ganache to bind them instead of caramel.

But why you would put one on leaves--which would make the bottom layer soggy--escapes me.

And now I have a craving for monkey bread...

--midnightcyn

Anonymous said...

cream puffs, not profiteroles. profiteroles are ice cream filled.

Lucia said...

Oh my gosh! i am sick now!

Lucille Ball Jr. said...

what i want to know is, did anonymous EAT this, um, cake thing??!?!?

redmorningstar said...

omgew. it looks like some sort of upside-down rotting pineapple. why would anyone want to go near it ? much less eat it.. D|

Anonymous said...

Now you can watch cake wrecks in the making: Bake Decorate Celebrate! runs on our local PBS station. I watched today as the "expert" demonstrated how to properly write on a cake. You could barely decipher her writing.

website: http://www.bakedecoratecelebrate.com/

Stephanie said...

Hilarious AS ALWAYS! (I can't believe you needed to add the update. You'd think people would figure out the humor on this site by now. Never overestimate the intelligence of the internet.)

Jennifer said...

The first (proper) picture actually looks rather gross to me. The next ones looked grosser. That being said, I'm sure the croquembouche is actually delicious. It's the cobwebs that turn me off!

WriteCards said...

@ Eric 10:51 -- LOVED the google comment!

@ anon (midnightcyn) 5:14 PM -- After I looked at the pictures, I said to myself, "Hmmm, it's been a while since I've made monkey bread. I should make some today!"

I do use caramel to soak my monkey bread and it definitely looks better than both of these pictures. However, it's not very light, so there's no comparison to the french pastry cake. (I'm not even going to attempt to spell that word!)

Kath' Aama said...

I can only think that the baker was being mean...

And about the update: I love it when I'm not the only overly literal person in the world! Or as Hermione would say, "It's not "croak-em boosh", it's "croak-EHRM-boo-shay"!

WriteCards said...

And I just have to add . . . the Tiki gods must be very angry!

Corran Horn said...

Every time John and Jen's wonderful sense of humor peeks through in a Cake Wrecks post, and some geniuses decide to correct them (remember the EPCOT/Spaceship Earth cake?), whether said individuals are robots with no humor sensors, uptight readers with some sort of complex, or just plain dumb, I want to beat my head against the desk. I almost did tonight. And that is just sad.

That being said, if I saw this at a wedding, I don't think I would have been able to remain anonymous. The raucous laughter would have made me a little bit conspicuous, indeed.

Erica said...

WV:pormectr -
Person 1:"Did Mectr see the croquembouche that the bakery delivered?
Person 2: "Yes, she's pretty upset about it."
P1: "Pormectr."

Mel said...

Croquembouche is heavenly and divine. Or at least it's supposed to be. If you haven't had it, you should. Just maybe not from that particular creation.

Kateness said...

Ha ha, to make this even better, On www.marthastewart.com, where there is a "pretty" one, it says Croquembouche means "crunch in the mouth". Palm fronds are cruncy.

IrisFleuron said...

Holy cow, that's just awful

Anonymous said...

I like to call them a profiterole cake or tower. Much easier. These were all the rage in Australia this year due to it being a challenge on MasterChef. The chefs all got burns to their fingers whilst trying to spin the sugar and probably also the hundreds of viewers who thought they could do it at home.

*Jewels* said...

That Croquembouche, looks like one of Marie Antoinette's left over wigs....

CountessLaurie said...

Are they?
Funny as heck? (keeping it G rated)
YES!!

Mia said...

I like the green spikes! They're kinda manly- they prevent it from being so poncey and FRENCH!
I have to admit the spiderwebs look diseased though. Shudder.

Angela said...

Dear sir or ma'am,

I applaud you for taking the higher ground; had I been at a wedding where the cake looked like that, there would have been an ensuing series of "poke it and see if it gets angry" photos.

-Angela

Mtgchic said...

I want your update as my email signature.

No, wait, I NEED your update as my email signature.

And perhaps on a t-shirt.

Maggie said...

JEN. THAT IS NOT CROCKERBUTCHERS. THAT IS EPCOT. DUHHHHH.

Lex said...

hahahaha first time commenter but that was priceless. Especially loved the butch-ery of the name. :)

And I agree.. WTF?????

Jess said...

Uh, even the real French croquembouche doesn't look that appetizing... but the wrecky version of it is downright frightening.

Anne S. said...

Jeremy - bwahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!

Awesome Musical Youth reference...

Caren said...

Don't try this at home:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIGaidsM-NI

Pastry balls stuck together with toothpicks are just asking for lacerated tonsils...

wv: haryor -- har har haryor croquembouche is ridiculous!

Colleen said...

That's a scary looking cake. Timbits and cobwebs aren't appetizing up in Canada either...makes it look like it's been sitting out for awhile.

What's with the pointy parts though on the cakewreck? At least the original I could see eating knowing what it is, but the wreck? Yikes!!

Chris said...

They've made this twice on Australian MasterChef and both times even the contestant's versions have looked better than that 'real' one, and definitely better than the wreck one!

This isn't a terrible good photo of it, but this was the professionally done Croquembouche the second time they made it: http://www.masterchef.com.au/4459.htm

I'm actually kind of impressed about how they managed to get the sugar out in corners like that... That's talent. Wrecky talent, but talent :P

NinjaRaven said...

They just did these in the last season of Master Chef (in Oz). choux pastry, filled with cream or custard (the ever tasty profiterole) are dipped in caramel and arranged in a cone mould, and decorated with some additional caramel spun over the piece. additional decorations may be added (they did sugar butterflies for the competition).
Looks like they got a little carried away on the spun caramel on this one... and neither seems to have used a cone mould to shape the stack (which is what gives the croquenbouche its elegance.

Nettie said...

kinda makes all those nasty CCC look pretty o.k. doesn't it! ;)

Anonymous said...

"I like to call them a profiterole cake or tower"

Um, NO. Profiteroles are puffs filled with vanilla ice cream and covered with hot chocolate (yummyyummyyummy). Croquembouche is a traditional wedding cake made with a bunch of cream puffs held together with caramel. Hardly the same thing.

(French Brainy Smurf talking)

Nick said...

Both of those croak-em-barfs are equally repulsive looking. What a horrible excuse for baked goods . . . no wonder the French always act slightly pissed.

Nil Zed said...

hmm, the greenery looks like palmetto leaves. Giving me the idea that this fiasco happened somewhere between the Mason-Dixon line & Cuba.

Humidity & spun sugar don't mix. Just don't try it.

WV: elthic = an Irish health nut?

Anonymous said...

I think it's pretty.

~*Mish*~ said...

Oh.... my... goodness....

I don't know which was more amusing... the horrifying spider wasps *shudder* or reading all the comments. I have tears rolling down my cheeks from laughing so hard!!

LOVE the google comment.... and also want Jen's update on a Tshirt... and the wv's... and.... and.... and... LOL!!

wv: pyrothnb - what each of these croquembouche chefs suffered from after burning their thumbs on all that hot spun sugar time and time again.

Miranda said...

*cough*balls*cough*

bahahahahahaaaaaa

VW: buggin.

I saw that thing and decided I was buggin out.

Beth said...

I surely can't be the only one that the example of "real" Croquembouche (I totally just had to copy/paste that word) looks just as unappetizing as the wreck...

Jezzica said...

You have to give the Wreckator some credit. It's not exactly a pretty dish. I honestly thought the first picture was the wreck, until I scrolled down...

anna said...

Oh mon dieu!! Mes yeux!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Jen, John, seriously... you guys just do stuff like that pronunciation to see how many morons "correct" you, don't you? I laughed when I read it, and then I died a little inside before I ever got to the comments because I knew what was coming!

Anonymous said...

I guess if you're going to bother with spun sugar, it seems like you might as well keep going 'til you run out of ammo.

Francois Tremblay said...

John and Jen complete and total idiots ;P

Bek said...

tee-hee, love your update almost more than the post.

Seriously.

deemack said...

I had one of these! I loved it, but it didn't look anything like this weirdly ninja-like 'bouche. Did they stick chopsticks in the top to support that?

Anonymous said...

Merde!

That is one ugly dessert, in any language :P My teeth hurt just thinking about trying to bite into all that sugar :P

Pam Walter said...

Way too bizarre! What is it supposed to be? http://blog.sweetservices.com/sweetscandyblog/

whizkidforte said...

Wow - this should be just the thing should Howard Goodall remake the comedy revue song, "I Hate the French!"

Sara said...

I think thhat each one of those little "balls" are called "profiteroles". Well, at least in Portugal. lol

They have usually cream inside and chocolat outside. I love it!

I mean, I love it, but I woudn´t try the primitive jungle...

blueiguana said...

Oh. Oh. Oh.

I so glad that I learned to stop sipping coffee as I read this blog.

nuccio said...

It looks as though the spider from Harry Potter relocated to a jungle den and laid a pile of precious eggs, then protected them with deliciously magical webbing.

Somewhere in an alternate universe, magical jungle spider eggs nested in maternal webbing is probably a delicacy. Or maybe I'm just thinking of the Amazon.

blueiguana said...

The croak-em-butchy comments are the best I have ever read. I am in tears!

Tristan said...

Any person that went to a culinary school for their pastry education would not only know about, but how to assemble a croquembouche. At Le Cordon Bleu schools it is the first thing you will create in the wedding/celebration cakes class.

As for their design, the tower should be significantly taller and thinner than the example image and the spun sugar, while an option, is not the only way to decorate this dessert. (And judging by the wreck, should probably be avoided by people with no idea how to do so.)

Anonymous said...

The first 'correct' one actually looks worse to me than the cakewreck approved one. Least the second one looks like it's a bunch of doughnut holes sheltered under a shiny little web. First one looks like it sat on a table too long ala-Ms.Havisham.

~R

CJ Lucke said...

Kristin is soooo funny with her comment that this is the French Cupcake Cake. Haaaaaaaa, Merci!

Bakery Owner said...

For all you that know nothing about French or international pastry:

That picture is a beautiful and artistic example of a "croquembouche". Depending on what international country you might be in the look will vary.

The part that looks like "spider webs" to all you culinary commeners is actually hand applied spun sugar which takes real talent to heat and apply corectly much less shape it into points and corners. Maybe if more americans could think outside of a (cake) box we might have more innovative desserts such as our european cousins. And... no I'm not French I am a proud American that owns a bakery.

Bailey's Leaf said...

I couldn't eat this. Not only does it have that whole nasty spider thing, but it looks like a crop of celery blew out of the butt of this thing.

Eee-ghad! Someone paid for that thing? Scary!

Anonymous said...

This is such a great blog! I laughed really hard looking at some of the cakes.
Check out my blog! http://blogs.yorkschool.com/yorkstudents/mgoldberg12/

Anonymous said...

Is the first cake on FIRE?

zephyr said...

that "STRABERRY" santa cake looks a lot like the killer santa robot from the Simpsons sister show FUTURAMA... and there's a lot of xmas slaughtering in there too...

Sooz said...

Okay, I'm watching Chef Academy on Tivo right now and the students have to make a croquembouche. The teacher made one as an example and the students' comments were all, "That thing looks like a giant disaster!"

Suzanne said...

Oh fun times!

MJ said...

Aww, your example of a "good" croquembouche isn't even terribly good. I've seen much lovelier at events - and they are DELICIOUS!! On the other hand, that wreck is just....yikes.

Thank goodness Aunt Sandy hasn't taken to making them too...

Megan
www.adventuresofacarnivore.com

Anonymous said...

Man, that more than anything else looks like mosquito netting over the little pastry balls.

Kate said...

It's not a wreck; it's a wedding cake of the Nox!

Anonymous said...

All the "better" examples everyone is submitting look a bit... phallic.

Anonymous said...

LOLZ. I don't know what that thing at the top is, and I live in France. My [French] husband didn't either. When he saw it, he said "What is that?"

P.S. I've seen "pièce montée" that look a little like that (and they're usually served at weddings), but they don't have those cobwebby things.

rascalmom said...

If I saw that...that THING at any wedding I was attending, I would lean over to my husband during dinner and say, "Dear, quick—fake a gallbladder attack; we HAVE to get out of here before they serve that...cake...." And I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE cake (well, okay, mainly I love frosting [REAL frosting, buttercream—not that awful whipped cream crap that often passes for frosting in the South]), so it has to be veeeeery bad for me to want to run screaming. Yikes!

JaxonWest said...

My four year old roommate just asked why the cake was make with broccoli.

ShiraTheRavenclaw said...

Mmmmm croquembouche (and Stacy, it can be written either croquembouche or croquenbouche). It was just my birthday, and a week ago my friend (who's a talented patissier) asked what I wanted. I was irritated with work at the time and replied, "Make me a croquembouche!" figuring that she'd just laugh it off.
Yesterday, she presented me with a sky-high, chocolate-cream-filled croquembouche. And it was the farthest thing from a Wreck ever, let me tell you. :D

pretemoiparis said...

I really enjoyed the update part. (especially because I almost thought about commenting with pronunciation help hahahaa!) :-D

gayil said...

my sister made me 1 for my birthday. the webby thing is accatually just caramel drizzled all over to keep it 2gether. i dont know what u called it, but i just call it a cream puff tower. but the caramel burned so it tasted like bitter poo.