This towering confection is the traditional wedding cake of France. The name croquembouche, which means "crunch in the mouth," refers to the hard caramel that coats delicate puffs of pate a choux filled with vanilla cream. The top tier rests on 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; the giant swirls are pulled sugar.
Croquembouche for Christmas - A traditional French wedding pastry, a pyramid of cream puffs, usually filled with pastry cream, and held together by caramel. Decorated with edible embellishments... pulled sugar, icing flowers or spun sugar. But, you could do an easier version made of choux buns and other pastry buns that you make or buy. Just buy the cream puffs! Don't need the spun sugar (does look pretty, though!)...just drizzle with caramel and add pecans and cherries.