The pièce montée, also known as the croquembouche, is a French wedding tradition. This dessert consists of many choux (or pastry puffs) shaped into a design, usually a tower. Each choux is stuffed with a flavored cream, such as chocolate, vanilla, or praline.
The dessert has started to become more popular in the States for special events, especially during the holidays. Check with your local pastry shop to see if they may be ordered.
We ordered a pièce montée for our destination wedding welcome dinner in France. The dessert was not only a piece of artwork, it was incredibly delicious. The dessert proved to be a great conversational piece and everyone had fun breaking apart the tower and making a big mess.
We ordered our pièce montée from an adorable pastry shop. We were given a book of all the different shapes the baker could create, everything from a boat to a church. In the end, we chose the traditional tower often used for wedding celebrations. The baker offered to add colored flowers (made with sugar) and dragées (or chocolate covered almonds) for additional color and style. I was impressed that the dessert because it was so beautiful AND delicious. Thank you, Maison Leone, for the special wedding treat!