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Big Black Dog: Daring Bakers and my Chocolate Eclairs!

August 31, 2008

Daring Bakers and my Chocolate Eclairs!



Although my work load has lessened this week, the allergy season has begun! So between sneezing and sniffles I made the Chocolate Eclairs any way and they were delicious.

I've made Choux Pastry before and I have to admit this time my puffs did not puff like I'm used too...darn Midwest humidity but they tasted delicious! But I almost did not get a picture. I had misplaced my camera and could not for the life me find the darn thing! Finally I found it right before the last 2 eclairs were gobbled up!




For the filling I used a pastry cream recipe of Dorie Greenspan's and added Dark Rum. It was so good and I could not help stealing spoonfuls every now and again.

Cream Puff Dough
Recipe from "Chocolate Desserts" by Pierre Hermé

½ c. whole milk
½ c. water
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
¼ tsp sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 c. all-purpose flour
5 large eggs, at room temperature



Pastry Cream
Recipe from "Baking: From My Home to Yours" by Dorie Greenspan

2 c. whole milk
6 large egg yolks
1/2 c. sugar
1/3 c. cornstarch
2 TBL dark rum
1/2 tsp vanilla
3½ TBL unsalted butter, at room temperature


Chocolate Glaze
Recipe from "Chocolate Desserts" by Pierre Hermé

1/3 c. heavy cream
3½ oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
4 tsp unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces, at room temperature
7 TBL Chocolate Sauce (recipe below), warm or at room temperature

Cream Puff Dough:

1) In a heavy bottomed medium saucepan, bring the milk, water, butter, sugar and salt to the boil.

2) Once the mixture is at a rolling boil, add all of the flour at once, reduce the heat to medium and start to stir the mixture vigorously with a wooden spoon. The dough comes together very quickly. Do not worry if a slight crust forms at the bottom of the pan, it’s supposed to. You need to carry on stirring for a further 2-3 minutes to dry the dough. After this time the dough will be very soft and smooth.

3) Transfer the dough into a bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using your handmixer or if you still have the energy, continue by hand. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each egg has been added to incorporate it into the dough. You will notice that after you have added the first egg, the dough will separate, once again do not worry. As you keep working the dough, it will come back all together again by the time you have added the third egg. In the end the dough should be thick and shiny and when lifted it should fall back into the bowl in a ribbon.

4) The dough should be still warm. It is now ready to be used for the éclairs as directed above.

Notes:
1) Once the dough is made you need to shape it immediately.

2) You can pipe the dough and the freeze it. Simply pipe the dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets and slide the sheets into the freezer. Once the dough is completely frozen, transfer the piped shapes into freezer bags. They can be kept in the freezer for up to a month.

Baking Cream Puffs:

1) Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Divide the oven into thirds by positioning the racks in the upper and lower half of the oven. Line two baking sheets with waxed or parchment paper.

2) Fill a large pastry bag fitted with a 2/3 (2cm) plain tip nozzle with the warm cream puff dough. Pipe the dough onto the baking sheets in long, 4 to 41/2 inches (about 11 cm) chubby fingers. Leave about 2 inches (5 cm) space in between each dough strip to allow them room to puff. The dough should give you enough to pipe 20-24 éclairs.

3) Slide both the baking sheets into the oven and bake for 7 minutes. After the 7 minutes, slip the handle of a wooden spoon into the door to keep in ajar. When the éclairs have been in the oven for a total of 12 minutes, rotate the sheets top to bottom and front to back. Continue baking for a further 8 minutes or until the éclairs are puffed, golden and firm. The total baking time should be approximately 20 minutes.

Notes:
1) The éclairs can be kept in a cool, dry place for several hours before filling.


Chocolate Glaze:

1)In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a boil. Remove from the heat and slowly begin to add the chocolate, stirring with a wooden spoon or spatula.

2) Stirring gently, stir in the butter, piece by piece followed by the chocolate sauce.

Notes:
1) If the chocolate glaze is too cool (i.e. not liquid enough) you may heat it briefly? in the microwave or over a double boiler. A double boiler is basically a bowl sitting over (not touching) simmering water.

2) It is best to glaze the eclairs after the glaze is made, but if you are pressed for time, you can make the glaze a couple days ahead of time, store it in the fridge and bring it up to the proper temperature (95 to 104 F) when ready to glaze.


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22 Comments:

Blogger MaryMary said...

Ahhh, how I remember midwest humidity. They look phenomenal despite the humidity. Cheers!

August 31, 2008 at 5:52 PM  
Blogger Natashya said...

I like the rounds, neat idea.
The stars and stripes remind me of the US flag! How patriotic.
I was thinking of doing Dorie's pastry cream too, the rum would have been a good foil for all that chocolate.

August 31, 2008 at 5:58 PM  
Blogger Robyn said...

The taste is the important part. Glad they tasted good, even if they didn't look like you wanted them.

August 31, 2008 at 8:08 PM  
Blogger kat said...

I love the way you decorated yours!

August 31, 2008 at 9:21 PM  
Blogger Lisa Michelle said...

I love the way you decorated your profiteroles, so pretty!

That's funny that you mentioned misplacing your camera. I didn't misplace mine, but the battery ran out just as I started to snap pics. Sure enough, I lost the good light! It's always something..lol

September 1, 2008 at 1:09 AM  
OpenID shellyfish said...

I think adding rum is a most excellent idea! Should have thought of it!

September 1, 2008 at 6:46 AM  
Anonymous Ann said...

Nice work! And know what you mean about humidity...

September 1, 2008 at 8:54 AM  
Blogger Natalie... said...

Mmm your eclairs look delicious!
Love the decoration, looks so thick and chocolatey :)

September 1, 2008 at 9:11 AM  
Blogger ingegerd said...

its look yummy!

September 1, 2008 at 12:00 PM  
Blogger Millie Price said...

I'm originally from the midwest and know exactly how the humidity can ruin things. I also have bad seasonal allergies, so I'm feeling your post. Thanks for checking my eclairs and blog out, that was so nice.

September 1, 2008 at 12:44 PM  
Blogger How To Eat A Cupcake said...

I used that pastry cream recipe also! So delicious!

September 1, 2008 at 2:03 PM  
Anonymous linda said...

Your eclairs look refreshingly different :)
I like your filling better than the original chocolate one.

September 1, 2008 at 3:27 PM  
Blogger Claire said...

Those are very cute puffs! I love the decorations.

September 1, 2008 at 3:49 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

Midwest humidity is notorious. I grew up in Missouri and Illinois, and I remember cold winters and humid summers.

Your eclairs look great, and Dorie's filling sounds yummy!

September 1, 2008 at 4:09 PM  
Blogger Amy J. said...

Pastry cream with rum - omigosh! Did they have to pick you up from underneath the table after you'd had several spoonfuls of that?! LOL Looks delicious - you did a great job!

September 1, 2008 at 4:26 PM  
Anonymous Jane said...

At least you had two left to photograph! This challenge was good enough that they might have all disappeared!
Jane of VeganBits.com

September 1, 2008 at 5:48 PM  
Blogger giz said...

Humidity is a killer - to baking and to hair - what can I say.

Sorry you're getting hit with allergies.

September 2, 2008 at 6:55 AM  
Anonymous Angela said...

Rum pastry cream! What a wonderful idea. I really like the way you've decorated the profiteroles :)

September 2, 2008 at 5:00 PM  
Blogger Nik Snacks said...

oh! how cute!

September 2, 2008 at 7:10 PM  
Blogger Shari said...

Love the idea of pastry cream with a bit of rum. Your eclairs look delicious. Love the shape!

September 4, 2008 at 4:15 PM  
Blogger Natashya said...

Hello again, friend.
I have an award on my site for you today. (Monday, 8th)
Cheers.

September 8, 2008 at 7:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lovely looking eclairs. Wish I could have a spoonful of the pastry cream too!

September 10, 2008 at 12:24 AM  

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