Truth is, it depresses me to know this particular creation I will so lovingly give life to is sadly ephemeral, for it stands no chance against the elements. Creme pat is highly perishable, left more than 4 hours at room temperature, it will go bad and KILL YOU, while the heat and humidity melts the caramel coating into a sticky mess and renders the glue holding the structure in place soft and unstable. Refrigeration? A double-edged sword, it may keep the creme pat from going off but the moisture-rich environment will only deteriorate the caramel with equal efficiency.
Yet as my Croq came to being, I started to appreciate why there are people (including friends of ours) who continue to request for this bastion of French tradition to mark their special day: a majestic tower of profiteroles each covered in a sheen of golden caramel, punctuated sparingly with intricate marzipan roses, wrapped in a blanket of delicate spun sugar that glistens like morning dew, all resting on a decadently edible platform of golden nougatine to match this proud symbol of grandeur and dramatic flair. Indeed there can be no cake more fitting of a celebration than the Croq.