Eiffel Tower pièce montée

The Eiffel Tower (a culinary innovation)

A traditional French tiered wedding cake better known today as a “pièce montée” consists of a structure of cream filled puff pastry balls that are assembled with large quantities of caramel.

The actual inventor of the first pièce montée, which back in the days went by the name of Croquembouche, was a royal cook named Antonin Carême (1784 – 1833). The original pièce montée consisted of a pyramid of fruit, walnuts and glazed chestnuts.

The one unpleasant aspect about a pièce montée that has existed for centuries is the awful feeling of caramel sticking to your teeth. Not having seen a pièce montée served with a toothbrush and toothpaste anywhere, I decided to revisit this recipe without dental accessories.

To assemble a structure such as the Eiffel Tower without using huge blocks of sticky caramel I created a rice cake with salted butter caramel. The light rice cake structure is served with a cream-based cake, adding a crunchy texture and a more balanced sweetness than that found in traditional recipes.

After some initial setbacks during the assembly process, I discovered that there is substantial engineering involved in building an edible Eiffel Tower. There is more to it than just rice and sugar. Please be reassured: there are no iron bars in this recipe.

I hope you will be tempted by this new innovation if you are organizing a Paris theme event. The Eiffel Tower comes with flashing light decorations and other goodies depending on time and budget constraints.

Michael Kolafa

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