The Essie Collection: Topless Croquembouche d’Aix

French Affair collection:
  • Colors: coat azure, french affair, nice is nice, topless and barefoot, kisses and bises, st tropez 
  • Dish: A “topless” croquembouche with a calisson d’aix filling, with some carmelized figs worked into the bouche itself, and then over the top after the caramel, sprinkled (kissed!) with candied orange peel, lavender, and mint (all indigenous to the cote azur), served with a bit of blueberry whipped cream on the side to look like a beach


  • pizza dough
  • figs
  • heavy cream
  • orange peels
  • fresh herbs
  • blueberry juice
  • cream
  • melon
  • almond paste
  • orange 

To make the donuts, pull off small bits of pizza dough and fry.

To make the whipped cream, whip the cream with an electric mixer until it forms stiff peaks, then add blueberry juice a little bit at a time until the cream is slightly blue (if you add too much, the cream will not re-whip). If you really need it bluer, use a food coloring. 

To make the calisson cream, cook hot cream with orange peel and some melon (I used honey dew), and then strain out the fruit, and melt in the marzipan. Sorry, I don’t know how much I used… maybe 2 cups of cream, 1 orange’s peel and a half cup of melon, and whatever amount of almond paste came in the container? When this cools, stuff the donuts with it by splitting them open and force-feeding those little pac man mouths they have. It’s OK (even good) if the donuts are oozing this mix.

To make the orange peels, peel an orange, and boil the pieces in water, then pour out the water, then refill the water and add a cup of sugar, and boil them again. To get more sugar, remove the peels and let them cool slightly, and then dip in the sugar-water again.

To assemble, use a bundt pan. Grease it really well. Use a little bit of honey (or simple syrup, or the leftover orange water) to stick the donuts together and squeeze them all the way in. Put the whole thing in the fridge.

When ready to serve, turn the whole thing out and top with the halved figs, sugared orange rind, lavendar, mint. Serve with a bowl of azure whipped cream.


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