I’ve always been intrigued by the traditional French wedding cake. It’s an unusual structure – made up entirely of caramel coated profiteroles which are filled with creme patisserie or variations thereof. I asked Chef Tim how they are made and he gave us a demonstration.
The process is much simpler than I thought (although it is time consuming):
- Make choux pastry (see how to make choux pastry)
- Pipe your profiteroles onto a baking tray and pop into the oven (see how to make a Saint Hanore cake)
- Make your creme patisserie (see how to make creme patisserie/pastry cream)
- Make your caramel (see how to make caramel)
- Coat the tops of your profiteroles with caramel and pipe creme patisserie into the undersides
- Lay your first layer of profiteroles RIGHT WAY UP onto a plate (glue the undersides with caramel to create stability)
- Glue your next layer onto the base layer SIDEWAYS using caramel as your glue (that was the missing link for me)
- Carry on layering profiteroles as above creating a conical shape as you go
- Fill the inside of the cake with loose profiteroles as you go
You could fill the profiteroles with chocolate or coffee flavoured pastry cream or mix the pastry cream with cream for a lighter Saint Hanore cream.
The French often decorate their profiterole wedding cakes with sugar coated almonds or ‘candy floss’ caramel.
It turns out that Chef Tim did, in fact, make a profiterole cake hat for a beauty queen a few years back. What one can do with choux!