C for Chocolate Eclairs I How to make Chocolate Eclairs - Day 3


In this post we travel all the way to France, literally of course.. through Chocolate Eclairs. These have been on my to-do list for such a long time that I was wrote down Chocolate Eclairs first on the A-Z list. You can follow the link at the bottom of the post to know more about this month's Blogging Marathon. 

C for Chocolate Eclairs - FRANCE 




Chocolate Eclairs are a French confection made with a pate a choux, a soft dough cooked to dry out a bit and then piped into either puffs or long shells. These shells are then filled with a super delicious pastry cream, trust me when I say super delicious.. I had to try really hard to not eat it all with a spoon! The tops are then dipped in chocolate. I've been in chocolate heaven lately, last month I made 3 chocolate dishes back to back.. remember the Hot Fudge Sauce? If you don't then just click on the link and drooool! Ok , back to Chocolate Eclairs. I made Mini Eclairs, easily eaten in a bite or two. 

My first rendezvous with Pâte a Choux was when I made Croquembouche & a Piece Montee for the Daring Bakers. It was my first taste of cream puffs and boy was it good!! I followed the same recipes for the pate a choux and the pastry cream. 

You will need:
For the Vanilla Crème Patissiere (Half Batch)



1 cup (225 ml.) whole milk

2 Tbsp. cornstarch

6 Tbsp. (100 g.) sugar

1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
2 Tbsp. (30 g.) unsalted butter
1 Tsp. Vanilla


Dissolve cornstarch in ¼ cup of milk. Combine the remaining milk with the sugar in a saucepan; bring to boil; remove from heat.

Beat the whole egg, then the yolks into the cornstarch mixture. Pour 1/3 of boiling milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly so that the eggs do not begin to cook.

Return the remaining milk to boil. Pour in the hot egg mixture in a stream, continuing whisking.

Continue whisking (this is important – you do not want the eggs to solidify/cook) until the cream thickens and comes to a boil. Remove from heat and beat in the butter and vanilla.

Pour cream into a stainless steel/ceramic bowl. Press plastic wrap firmly against the surface. Chill immediately and until ready to use.

This can be made 2 days in advance. Use chilled. 

Pate a Choux 
(Yield: About 28 large puffs, 40 Mini eclairs)

¾ cup (175 ml.) water

6 Tbsp. (85 g.) unsalted butter

¼ Tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. sugar
1 cup (125 g.) all-purpose flour
4 large eggs


For Egg Wash: 1 egg and pinch of salt

Pre-heat oven to 425◦F/220◦C degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Preparing batter:
Combine water, butter, salt and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and stir occasionally. At boil, remove from heat and sift in the flour, stirring to combine completely.


Return to heat and cook, stirring constantly until the batter dries slightly and begins to pull away from the sides of the pan.

Transfer to a bowl and stir with a wooden spoon 1 minute to cool slightly.
Add 1 egg. The batter will appear loose and shiny.

As you stir, the batter will become dry-looking like lightly buttered mashed potatoes.

It is at this point that you will add in the next egg. Repeat until you have incorporated all the eggs.




Piping:

Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a large open tip (I used Wilton #2D) Pipe choux into 1-1.5 inches long fingers about 1 inch apart in the baking sheets. You can make 3-4 inches long eclairs too. 

Using a clean finger dipped in hot water, gently press down on any tips that have formed on the top of choux when piping. You want them to retain their ball shape, but be smoothly curved on top. 

Brush tops with egg wash (1 egg lightly beaten with a pinch of salt).

Bake the choux at 425◦F/220◦C degrees until well-puffed and turning lightly golden in color, about 10 minutes. 

Lower the temperature to 350◦F/180◦C degrees and continue baking until well-colored and dry, about 20 minutes more. Remove to a rack and cool.

These shells can be baked 2 days ahead too. Once cooled store in an air tight container. Use when needed. 

Assembly: 

When ready to assemble, take pastry cream out of the refrigerator. Fit a pastry bag with a small flower tip. Fill pastry bag with the cream. 

You can fill these two ways.

Method One: You can make a small hole on one end of the eclair with the piping tip and squeeze gently to fill with cream. The shells are hollow on the inside so they will begin to feel heavy once the cream is filled. 

Method Two: Using a sharp knife slice the shell in half lengthwise. Pipe the cream and place the upper shell on top, like a sandwich. 

Melt chocolate in the microwave in a small bowl or a clean piping bag. I used Ghirardelli chocolate wafers, they are simply the best. I used them to make Cake Truffles, it's my go-to chocolate now. No fuss at all.. melts smooth and easily, sets even more beautifully. 

I didn't want a lot of chocolate on the top, considering these were mini eclairs. Wanted the cream and chocolate to compliment each other than over power each other. So I drizzled a few randomly and few others I drizzled back and forth across the top. Placed a few silver dragees for decoration (optional) 




Chill these for 2-4 hours at the most. If you chill them longer they will get soggy, still tasty but not melt-in-the-mouth kind. 

I had friends over for dinner and served this for dessert. So I assembled them about 3 hours ahead and they were perfect. Chilled, creamy, Chocolatey Eclairs!  

BAKES FROM AROUND THE WORLD:




 Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 75

12 comments:

  1. i loved your eclairs it is baked to perfection, very well made...

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  2. absolutely stunning eclairs..drooling dear.

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  3. Oh I have always drooled over the Chocolate Eclairs but never tasted because of the eggs. Yours really has turned out so good..and love your plating as well..so cool..:)

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  4. This is a classic dish and you have made it perfectly! Beautiful looking eclair

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  5. Very attractively plated. I guess these gorgeous ones need that, right?

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  6. This is such a classic recipe and you have nailed it. I had bookmarked this to try, but was not too sure about how I will handle it. Looks great!

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  7. Amazing they looks. Ecalirs are my favourite and you nailed them super prefectly. Wish i get few straight from my lappy screen.

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  8. Wow.. it looks sinful.. Please pass me some!!Love the clicks..

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  9. Eclairs are super inviting. I want to bake these soon.

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  10. Airy and delicious looking eclairs Namratha. Chocolate makes them extra special.

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  11. Delicious. Droolworthy dessert there. Awesome pick for C

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  12. perfect looking eclairs. kids would love this..

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