Daring Bakers : Chocolate Berry Pièce montée(Croquembouche) with Mango Cream

Never in the deepest dreams did I think of putting together a spectacular French wedding cake.Thanks to daring bakers club for making the seemingly impossible bakes,possible.Every daring bake(17 so far) has indeed been a challenge,needs lot of planning ahead,thoroughly understanding the recipe before making any changes to it,allotting good amount of time for implementing the task,that could fail at first attempt but striving till succeeding should be the motto of a daring baker.The posting day is sure excitement in anticipation of fellow daring bakers creative takes on the challenge.I for one ,try not to deviate too much from the given original recipe while giving it a healthy make over,which is the best part of these challenges.

The May 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Cat of Little Miss Cupcake. Cat challenged everyone to make a piece montée, or croquembouche, based on recipes from Peter Kump’s Baking School in Manhattan and Nick Malgieri.

A sure delightful dessert,cannot be reserved exclusively for special occasions,the following recipe has been changed enough to make it often.The Croquembouche,also known as Pièce montée, recipe has 3 main components: the pâte à choux(the puff pastry), the crème patissiere(pastry filling), and the glaze(Sugar or chocolate) used to mount/decorate it.The main building block of the centerpiece are cream filled pate a choux ,mounted in to a conical shape using hot sugar or chocolate glaze as glue.I choose pure dark chocolate for its good benefits and filling is a luscious cream with one of my favorite fruits.And for the decoration,the berries were a fitting juicy garnish.Goes without saying,we loved every bite of this dessert,devoured it all for a dessert course of meal.
Recipe : Dark Chocolate Berry Pièce montée(Croquembouche) with Low fat Mango Cream

The recipe makes a medium piece montee,double the quantities proportionately for a taller piece.


For low fat Mango Crème Patissiere
1 cup reduced fat milk or soy milk or almond milk
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 cup unsweetened mango puree or 1 large mango,peeled and pureed

Dissolve cornstarch in ¼ cup of milk. Combine the remaining milk with the sugar in a saucepan; bring to boil; remove from heat.Mix in the mango puree until combined,chill before filling in the choux buns.

For Pate a Choux (Yield: About 18)
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 tablespoon all purpose flour
2 large Organic or free range eggs
1/3 cup water
3 Tablespoon Organic unsalted butter
1/8 Teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
Pre-heat oven to 425◦F/220◦C degrees. Line a big baking sheets with parchment paper.

Preparing batter:
Combine water, butter, salt and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and stir occasionally. At boil, remove from heat and sift in the flour, stirring to combine completely.

Return to heat and cook, stirring constantly until the batter dries slightly and begins to pull away from the sides of the pan.

Transfer to a bowl and stir with a wooden spoon 1 minute to cool slightly.Add 1 egg. The batter will appear loose and shiny. As you stir, the batter will become dry-looking like lightly buttered mashed potatoes. It is at this point that you will add in the next egg.

Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a large open tip or use a ziploc and snip off the tip. Pipe choux about 1 inch-part in the baking sheets. Choux should be about 1 inch high about 1 inch wide.

Using a clean finger dipped in hot water, gently press down on any tips that have formed on the top of choux when piping. You want them to retain their ball shape, but be smoothly curved on top.

Bake the choux at 425◦F/220◦C degrees until well-puffed and turning lightly golden in color, about 10 minutes.

Lower the temperature to 350◦F/180◦C degrees and continue baking until well-colored and dry, about 20 minutes more. Remove to a rack and cool.

Can be stored in a airtight box overnight.


When you are ready to assemble your piece montée, using a plain pastry tip, pierce the bottom of each choux. Fill the choux with pastry cream using either the same tip or a star tip, and place on a paper-lined sheet. Choux can be refrigerated briefly at this point while you make your glaze.

For Chocolate Glaze:
4 ounces/100 g. finely chopped best quality Dark chocolate(with at least 60% cocoa)
Melt chocolate in microwave or double boiler. Stir at regular intervals to avoid burning. Use the best quality chocolate you can afford. Use immediately.

For decoration
Fresh berries of choice

To assembly of your Piece Montée:
You may want to lay out your unfilled, unglazed choux in a practice design to get a feel for how to assemble the final dessert. For example, if making a conical shape, trace a circle (no bigger than 8 inches) on a piece of parchment to use as a pattern. Then take some of the larger choux and assemble them in the circle for the bottom layer. Practice seeing which pieces fit together best.

Once you are ready to assemble your piece montée, dip the top of each choux in your glaze and start assembling on your cake board/plate/sheet. Continue dipping and adding choux in levels using the glaze to hold them together as you build up.
When you have finished the design of your piece montée,dip the berries in chocolate and fill in along the gaps, you may drizzle with remaining glaze and use ribbons,almonds, flowers, etc. to decorate.

Explore more Pièce montée at Daring baker's blog roll.


Wow that looks fantastic! Hats off
Finla said…
I know what you mean, i would have also never thought of making a croquembouche if it was not for DB. Your looks so good.
maybelles mom said…
great job. i love the fruit.
Simplyfood said…
Wow what a fansatic masterpiece you have created.Excellent and looks amazing.
Hamaree Rasoi said…
Fantastic !!!What a presentation. Hats off to you Yasmeen!!
Hamaree Rasoi
Asha said…
Looks fantastic with Strawberries!
Shri said…
Fabulous looking,Yasmeen!This came in Food Network Magazine a while bk and I was thinking how on earth some one can make this..You guys did it then!!Nice!
A beautiful croquembouche! Very well done!


Hari Chandana P said…
looks soo beautiful and delicious.. awesome job!!!
Jeanne said…
The mango filling sounds excellent! I was wondering if the cream patissiere would work with rice milk, since that's what I normally have in the house. I ended up sticking with the recipe (whole milk) because I was afraid it wouldn't work. Yours turned out beautifully!
Anhar said…
MashAllah you are so talented Yasmeen!I bake cakes now and then and try to do them as healthy as possible,so I know its too easy to put in full-fat ingredients and get the job done,but way too difficult to use low-fat substitutes and still get a fabulous end-product!You rule the healthy food scene.Looking forward to more of it inshAllah.
Anonymous said…
Looks great, and I love how you made it healthier. I am going to try your version next time. I am trying to use whole grains more. BTW, I used oil instead of butter in my pate a choux and it worked perfectly.
Suganya said…
This is fantastic. Looks gorgeous.
shelley c. said…
Between the mango cream and all those berries, that looks absolutely delectable and refreshing! Awesome job.
absolute delicious. love your decoration too.
That's wonderful...simply loved the presentation !!!1
Kiran said…
Berry mango croqembouche looks very delicious.Nice presentation.
Swathi said…

Berry croquembouche looks really awesome i love the mango cream.
Priya Suresh said…
Wat a gorgeous piece montee Yas...hats off dear..
Unknown said…
That is amazing looking piece !!! I love your new blog pic too :)
Cham said…
That looks amazing with berries! U ve done an excellent job!
Unknown said…
This is a beautiful Croquembouche, well done, fantastic job, the photos looks incredible. I love the mango cream and the fruit.
What a stunning dessert! I love that you studded the studded the cream puff tower with plump blueberries and strawberries. I can't blame you and your family for eating it all at once. We would too!
Deeba PAB said…
Excellent stuff Yasmeen. Love the fruity twist you gave it. The mango pastry cream must have been awesome! WOW!!
Ruth H. said…
What a beautiful way to make dessert healthy! I am so impressed with both your artistry and your commitment to making good food that is good for you! Thank you so much for sharing your inspiration!!
Joanne said…
With every new Daring Bakers challenge I become increasingly awed with everyone's creations! These look seriously amazing and the mango cream is the perfect twist!
Meeta K. Wolff said…
lovely lovely filling for this- just love it!
Unknown said…
looks awesome...
Lot-O-Choc said…
Mmm wow you made a mango cream that sounds absoloutely delicious! What a great job youve done on this months challenge :).
Woooooooooow Looks soooooooooo gorgeous with drooling mango cream filling sounds delicious yasmeen.... OMG I am drooling again..but mine all finished now.
Chef Jeena said…
Wonderful recipe Yasmeen. I like how you made it healthier with your tweeks. :)
Jamie said…
WOW!I can never put together such dessert...hat off to daring bakers :)
A_and_N said…
Love the addition of strawberries! :) Beautiful, beautiful
chahira daoud said…
Love it MashaAllah Yasmeen you did a great job ;))
Namitha said…
That looks beautiful !! great job Yasmeen :-)
Cherine said…
Beautiful. Great job!
Sugar Daze said…
My goodness! Does that sound good! Chocolate and mago cream....hmmmm I am salivating!! Well done!
Anonymous said…
Lovely! Love the addition of the berries!
Mother Rimmy said…
I've really enjoyed reading the blogs that have done this Daring Bakers challenge. I love yours with all the colorful berries!
Arlette said…
This is scrumptious, with all the flavours.... Love it ...
yummy goodness in your mouth... you id a great challenge.
Yasmeen, thats very nice of you to drop by my blog. First timr here and I just loved ur blog. Jowar pilaf is awesome and all the wonderful bakes :)
kitchen tables said…
This is simply sinful! My mouth is now watering over your masterpiece.
tasteofbeirut said…
This daring baker challenge was met and exceeded by you Yasmeen and I love the mango pastry cream that you concocted!
Sara said…
Gorgeous! The mango cream sounds absolutely delicious!!
Renata said…
Wow, that sounds delicious! Great job!
Andy said…
The way you break down the different parts of your recipe is good! I can just follow the steps clearly to make the best Chocolate Berry Pièce!
Stephen said…
Oh my... deliciouso! The pics makes me hungry. :)