Ok so firstly I would just like to say that today is the opening voting day for Iron Cupcake is today and I would really appreciate it if you could all vote for my cupcakes at No One Puts Cupcake in a Corner!
But anyway back to the real reason for this post, none other but the Daring Bakers challenge of the month! This month it was delicious chocolate éclairs, I actually only made them a couple of days ago, as I have been so busy this month, so actually we are still all enjoying them..mm!
I used choux pastry and instead of filling the éclairs with a chocolate pasty cream, I altered the recipe and produced a mint pastry cream...which was DELICIOUS! I then topped the éclairs with a chocolate glaze which was so rich and creamy!
Despite reading countless posts on how to stop your éclairs deflating a few of mine still did :(; however I still did get a couple of puffy ones! I put a jug of water in the bottom of the oven and baked for 7minutes, I then used the wooden spoon turninbg technique and then continued to bake, after baking I left them in the oven with the door cracked open to let them cool in a still warm environment...but some still deflated! Oh well! I'll most likely be trying this recipe again so hopefully all should be big puffy éclairs next time hehe!
I only got 13 out of this recipe (wooo a "Daring" Bakers dozen hehe) but thats because we're all so greedy we like our éclairs bigger hehe!
I really enjoyed making this recipe although disastor nearly struck when I was making the pastry cream and had it in the ice bath! The ice bath was overflowing into the pastry cream, I had butter in one hand and the wooden spoon in the other with stuff all over the floor and all over me, my phone was ringing and the doorbell was going! It was really a time where you just feel like screaming hehe!! Can't wait until next month! :D
If you want to see what other Daring Bakers did click here.
Ingredients Needed for everything
Bringing the milk, water, sugar, butter and salt to a rolling boil
Beating the eggs into the dough
Beating with a wooden spoon to achieve the correct consistency
Piping the dough (caterpillars)ready to be baked!
A puffy éclair out of the oven
Mint Pastry Cream
Bringing the milk to a rolling boil
After whisking the eggs in, stirring in the peppermint and green food colouring
After stirring in the butter, allowing the pastry cream to cool
Chocolate Sauce/Chocolate Glaze
Attempting to thicken the chocolate sauce
The finished chocolate glaze
Halving the éclairs
Spreading the tops with chocolate glaze
Piping the mint pastry cream onto the bottoms
Recipe from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé
*makes 13 biiiiig éclairs*
Pierre Hermé’s Cream Puff Dough
½ cup (125g) whole milk
½ cup (125g) water
1 stick (4 ounces; 115g) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
¼ teaspoon sugar• ¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup (140g) all-purpose flour
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1) In a heavy bottomed medium saucepan, bring the milk, water, butter, sugar and salt to theboil.
2) Once the mixture is at a rolling boil, add all of the flour at once, reduce the heat to mediumand start to stir the mixture vigorously with a wooden spoon. The dough comes together veryquickly. Do not worry if a slight crust forms at the bottom of the pan, it’s supposed to. Youneed to carry on stirring for a further 2-3 minutes to dry the dough. After this time the doughwill be very soft and smooth.
3) Transfer the dough into a bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using yourhandmixer 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 donot worry. As you keep working the dough, it will come back all together again by the time youhave added the third egg. In the end the dough should be thick and shiny and when lifted itshould fall back into the bowl in a ribbon.
4) The dough should be still warm. It is now ready to be used.
5) Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Divide the oven into thirds bypositioning the racks in the upper and lower half of the oven. Line two baking sheets withwaxed or parchment paper.
6) 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.
7) Slide both the baking sheets into the oven and bake for 7 minutes. After the 7 minutes, slip thehandle of a wooden spoon into the door to keep in ajar. When the éclairs have been in theoven for a total of 12 minutes, rotate the sheets top to bottom and front to back. Continuebaking for a further 8 minutes or until the éclairs are puffed, golden and firm. The total baking time should be approximately 20 minutes.
Chocolate Pastry Cream Recipe
2 cups (500g) whole milk
4 large egg yolks
6 tbsp (75g) sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch, sifted
7 oz (200g) bittersweet chocolate, preferably Velrhona Guanaja, melted *I omitted this*
*3 teaspoons peppermint extract* - I added this
*3 teaspoons green food colouring* - I added this
2½ tbsp (1¼ oz: 40g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1) In a small saucepan, bring the milk to a boil. In the meantime, combine the yolks, sugar and cornstarch together and whisk in a heavy‐bottomed saucepan
.2) Once the milk has reached a boil, temper the yolks by whisking a couple spoonfuls of the hot milk into the yolk mixture.Continue whisking and slowly pour the rest of the milk into the tempered yolk mixture.
3) Strain the mixture back into the saucepan to remove any egg that may have scrambled. Place the pan over medium heat and whisk vigorously (without stop) until the mixture returns to a boil. Keep whisking vigorously for 1 to 2 more minutes (still over medium heat).Stir in the melted chocolate and then remove the pan from the heat. * I stirred in the peppermint extract and green food colouring here*
4) Scrape the pastry cream into a small bowl and set it in an ice‐water bath to stop the cooking process. Make sure to continue stirring the mixture at this point so that it remains smooth.
5) Once the cream has reached a temperature of 140 F remove from the ice‐water bath and stir in the butter in three or four installments. Return the cream to the ice‐water bath to continue cooling, stirring occasionally, until it has completely cooled. The cream is now ready to use or store in the fridge.
4½ oz (130 g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup (250 g) water
½ cup (125 g) crème fraîche, or heavy cream
1/3 cup (70 g) sugar
*I also added 3tablespoons corsnstarch mixed with 15ml cream to form a paste as I couldn't get mine to thicken*
1) Place all the ingredients into a heavy‐bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil, making sure to stir constantly. Then reduce the heat to low and continue stirring with a wooden spoon until the sauce thickens.
2) It may take 10‐15 minutes for the sauce to thicken, but you will know when it is done when it coats the back of your spoon.
1/3 cup (80g) heavy cream
3½ oz (100g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
4 tsp (20 g) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces, at room temperature
7 tbsp (110 g) Chocolate Sauce, warm or at room temperature
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.
Assembling the éclairs
1) Slice the éclairs horizontally, using a serrated knife and a gently sawing motion. Set aside thebottoms and place the tops on a rack over a piece of parchment paper.
2) The glaze should be barely warm to the touch (between 95 – 104 degrees F or 35 – 40degrees C, as measured on an instant read thermometer). Spread the glaze over the tops ofthe éclairs using a metal icing spatula. Allow the tops to set and in the meantime fill thebottoms with the pastry cream.
3) Pipe or spoon the pastry cream into the bottoms of the éclairs. Make sure you fill the bottomswith enough cream to mound above the pastry. Place the glazed tops onto the pastry creamand wriggle gently to settle them.