Victoria Dearmond

The classic croquembouche—a decadent tower of cream-filled choux pastry puffs encased in ribbons of hard caramel—is showing up on menus once again. In this fresh, bright update from Victoria Dearmond, pastry chef at Georgia James in Houston, the puffs are filled with orange- and anise-infused cream. Rather than spun sugar, a white chocolate drizzle holds the tower together.  When piping, use a wet finger to gently shape the cream puffs to prevent peaks. Once baked and filled, build the tower in layers, setting the cream puffs on freshly poured chocolate to secure the shape. Gold luster dust provides shimmer and shine for a seriously dramatic dessert every holiday table needs.