Mar 2, 2014

Mardi Gras 2014 {Mardi Gras Croquembouche, Mardi Gras Waltz, more Cajun Mardi Gras}

It's King Cake time, don't cha think?

Each year, I try out a new version.
This year I combined my King Cake experiment with my cooking bucket list and made

Mardi Gras Croquembouche
Mardi Gras Croquembouche | Ms. enPlace


The only thing really King Cake about this is the icing and colored sugars.  
The flavors are classic cream puff.
Mardi Gras Croquembouche | Ms. enPlace

It was an...um...interesting undertaking.
One that involved a pan of cream puffs on the floor, a burnt hand, yelling, cream puffs that were much, much too big to stack like I wanted...
oh, and using the smudge tool to edit the photo because this King Cake baby looked like he was all boy.
Mardi Gras Croquembouche | Ms. enPlace


Despite my mistakes and fussing, I think it turned out pretty.
And they even ate it.
Mardi Gras Croquembouche | Me. enPlace


~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~
My son has been playing Cajun fiddle for 6 years.  This year, he decided to take the next step and compose a song...a Mardi Gras Waltz.
The lyrics were written by my husband.
Pictures are from several Courir de Mardi Gras in Basile, LA, Eunice, LA, and Vermilionville in Lafayette, LA.


~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~
More from the Courir de Mardi Gras in Basile, LA.
Pictures courtesy of my parents.

These are two gals I met during the run.  We stay masked...or at least somewhat masked...the entire day.  The day after Mardi Gras, two women came into where I was working in another town.  I thought their voices sounded familiar.  I asked if they ran Basile the day before.
Yep.  It was them!


My favorite picture from last year.
It captures Cajun Mardi Gras so well.  
The flag was "stolen" from a local store.
The Mardi Gras have found an object to mess with.
I also like the two masks together--comedy and tragedy.
Mr. Potsy (our head Capitaine, Mr. Potic Rider) once commented that "The frown stands for the Mardi Gras while they're begging, when they don't have enough food to feed the town.  The smile is for the Mardi Gras at the end of the day, when they have all the food they need for the gumbo."


Every Mardi Gras run has a band to accompany them.  The Boy (purple, green, gold costume) is playing fiddle.  The husband is on guitar.   I was stomping, dancing, and chanting like a fool somewhere in all of this.


Dancing, general chaos, and mayhem at one of the stops along the run.


Allons au Mardi Gras!



Featured at:

  April J Harris of The 21st Century Housewife Hearth and Soul Blog Hop 

Print It!

Mardi Gras Croquembouche

for the pâte à choux:
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
6 large eggs

Preheat oven to 450. Boil the water in a heavy pot. Add the butter and stir until it has melted. Add the flour and salt. Cook and stir until the mixture forms a soft ball of dough. Remove from the heat and cool for about 10 minutes. Make the pudding while you wait. After 10 minutes, add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Spoon or pipe dough into small round shapes onto a greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 450 for about 12 minutes. Lower oven to 325 and bake for about 13 minutes, until golden (will depend on size--check them!). Remove from oven and allow to cool.

for the filling:
2 small boxes (4 servings) instant vanilla pudding
4 c cold milk

Follow the package directions. Chill until ready to use.
When the cream puffs have cooled, poke a hole in the bottom of each one with the end of a wooden spoon.  Place the pudding in a zip top bag or piping bag.  Pipe into the each cream puff.

for the icing:
2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 Tsp lemon juice
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix all ingredients together with a fork until smooth.

for the colored sugars:
2 Tbsp granulated sugar per color (6 Tbsp total)
purple, green, and yellow food coloring

Place 2 Tbsp sugar in each of 3 zip top bags.  Add green food coloring (a few drops) to one bag, yellow to another, and purple to the third.  Massage the food coloring into the sugar.  You can always add more food coloring if you want the colors more intense.

assembly:
filled cream puffs
icing
colored sugar
gold pearlized sugar or sanding sugar (optional)
1 king cake baby

Choose a platter or cake plate. Spread a circle of icing down on the edge of the cake plate.  Form a ring with the filled cream puffs, using the icing to "glue" them down.  Spread icing on the bottom of more cream puffs and "glue" them to the tops of your original ring.  Repeat until you have a tower of cream puffs.

Drizzle the tower with the remaining icing (you may not use all of it).  Sprinkle the purple, green, and gold colored sugars.  Sprinkle gold pearlized sugar over the top (optional).  Add the King Cake baby to the tower (or place it inside of one of the cream puffs).



Need more Mardi Gras?
Bourbon Milk Punch
Praline Pecan Milkshake
Gerry's Favorite Punch
Need more sweets?
Bananas Foster
Gâteau de Sirop
Creamy Louisiana Pralines
Linking with:
Yesterfood
Feeding BigThe 21st Century Housewife Hearth and Soul Blog Hop
Full Time MamaMiz Helen’s Country Cottage
Jam Hands
My Turn for us

14 comments:

  1. Pretty ambitious undertaking, but how fun! A Mardi Gras Croquembouche! They look really good!

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  2. Michelle, I absolutly LOVE this post! I can't wait to share it with my Mom. She will be filled with joy at all the fun and tradition as I am. She has been wanting to make a Croquembouche for forever. I see a project in our future. The slide show and music was amazing! You have such a talented family. Thanks for sharing so much of your Louisiana with us!

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  3. This was super creative! Loved the tune. :)

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  4. Wow! That looks amazing - the Croquembouche and the party! So wish I could have been there :)

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  5. What a great post Michelle!!
    I looooooooove the cake, and it's definitely not and easy one. I'm afraid even to try :)

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  6. Hi Michelle~ I love your post!! The music, (the "boy" is very talented), the party, and the wonderful Croquembouche~ I have no idea how to pronounce it!! You post makes me realize just how little I know about Louisiana and the traditions there.....maybe that's why I enjoy stopping here:) Lynn

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  7. Oh my ..... I'm sure I don't want to ask about the "pan of cream puffs on the floor" or "a burnt hand" .... hope you're ok!! Your Croquembouches sound delicious :) Pinning to my Mardi Gras board!

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  8. I really enjoyed this post and your son's song as well! It's lovely that you shared the real experience of making Croquembouche, Michelle - it's nice to know other folks have kitchen "challenges" too :-) The end result is gorgeous - what a lovely treat! Thank you for sharing your Mardi Gras - and delicious Croquembouche - with us at the Hearth and Soul Hop.

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  9. Michelle, I feel as though I have been to Mardi Gras after reading your fun post! Your Croquembouche are amazing and so festive- really pretty! My favorite part was when you had to use the smudge tool on the King Cake baby, lol! Your son is quite talented- I enjoyed his song and his playing!

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  10. I have never been to Mardi Gras but I am loving the photos, the food and music you shared! What a cool party.

    Thank you for your warm wishes on the birth of my granddaughter!

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  11. Woot! You have been featured this week at Recipe Sharing Monday! The new link party is up and I'd love to see you back. Have a great week. :)

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  12. Madigras Croquembouche Looks beautiful and delicious I like the tradition behind it.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing with Hearth and Soul blog hop,

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  13. lovely post.... happy to follow you. also view my space http://prachisvegkitchen.blogspot.in/

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Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your comments.