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The modern day wedding cake, adorned with sugared flowers, satin-y buttercream and stacked tiers, has grown out of many traditions, one of which is the croquembouche, the traditional French wedding dessert. The term literally means "crunch in the mouth," referring to the hard caramel that coats delicate puffs of pate a choux filled with vanilla cream.

Legend has it that a French pastry chef was visiting England and witnessed the tradition of cakes being stacked as high as possible for the couple to kiss over (if they were successful, they would have a prosperous union). He brought the idea back to his country and put a French twist to it by piling sweet rolls into a tower, thus creating the first croquembouche. Today, the delectable dessert is built from profiteroles, given a halo of spun sugar and adorned with fruits and sugared flowers.

And for those of us across the pond who favor the French culture, it’s a unique and untraditional confection to serve at weddings. We rounded up some amazing croquembouches from around the Web for l'inspiration. 

 

gay-wedding-planning-croquembouche-wedding-cakes

This magnificent two-tiered beauty features an edible nougatine base made of caramel and crushed almonds. The roses and ribbons are pastillage, a sugar paste that dries with a porcelain-like finish and the giant swirls are pulled sugar.

 gay-wedding-planning-mini-croquembouche-wedding-cakes

This pretty petite pastry is perfect for those who just want a taste of the gauzy confection.

 gay-wedding-planning-croquembouche-wedding-cake

The creative pastry chef behind this elegant option paired butterfly-shaped cookies to her profiteroles for a whimsical (and tasty!) design.

 gay-wedding-planning-croquembouche-wedding-cake-lavender

Incorporate sugar (or real) flowers into your croquembouche to match your wedding theme and floral design. The lavender added to this treat makes it look absolutely heavenly.

 gay-wedding-planning-croquembouche-wedding-cake-macarons

Croquembouche and macarons—can you get any more French than this lovely sweets display?

 gay-wedding-planning-croquembouche-wedding-chocolate-covered

Drizzle with milk, dark or white chocolate for a chocoholic's dream dessert.

 

Photo: marthastewartweddings.com; sprinklebakes.com; bakeinparis.blogspot.com; sunday-suppers.com; marthastewartweddings.com; sarie.com

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