Sunday, August 31, 2008

Is an éclair supposed to be like this?

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Daring Bakers time again, my friends. This month's recipe, chosen by Meeta and Tony, is from a book I'm dying to get: Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé.

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Thus, I was excited from the get go. Even more so when I actually read the recipe and realized that this was all about éclairs. Something I've never tried. As in, never, ever, tried. Not to eat, not to make.

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I have made cheese puffs, using a choux pastry dough with cheese, and loads of armpower. (Most of it provided by my able friends.) That was.. not so much fun actually, but quite tasty in the end.

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This recipe turned out to be a lot easier. First of all - there was specific instructions for using a stand mixer. Excellent. That sure saved my shoulder from excessive beating. And second of all - I didn't encounter a single snag, because I was so appallingly late in doing this that many other Daring Bakers had already put up their posts, complete with good tips.

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Thanks in particular to Fanny, who mentioned spraying the dough with water after shaping and also slitting the baked puffs with a knife right away. I did both - misting the dough once right before going in the oven and twice during baking, and then slitting them open straight away when they were done. Which they were after about 17 minutes. I have a convection oven and didn't bother with the rotating sheet thing. Sorry. But other than that, I followed the instructions.

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Wait. More or less. Because I didn't make a pastry cream. I know, I know. But the guidelines gave us some leeway there, and I ended up just mixing vanilla custard (from a box!!) with some whipped cream. I had plans to add fresh berries, but the realities of life foiled me once again and well, no berries. I bet it'd have worked really well though, a few fat raspberries tucked underneath the glazed tops... well, next time. They were delicious just like this though. I particularly liked the chocolate glaze - that recipe is a keeper for sure!

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You can find the recipes here, the blogroll here, and the discussion forums - open to everyone! - here.

I translated the parts of the recipe that I used - you can find that here.

41 comments:

Rebecca said...

Nice tips from Fanny! Maybe that would cut back on how eggy I thought these were.

BC said...

Ohhh, the pastry cream was the best part! But life is like that some days.

Bellini Valli said...

What a beautiful job you did with your eclairs. I made mine this morning leaving it to the very last minute...no room for error;)

Dagmar - A Cat in the Kitchen said...

They look lovely. I'll try to do mine tomorrow after work... :-)

maybelle's mom said...

gorgeous. I hear about life sometimes foiling your blog plans. But, clearly it all worked out for the best.

Dragon said...

I love how your glaze drips down the sides of the eclairs. Yum! Great job, they are lovely.

Cynthia's Blog said...

I love your blog. I too have a convection oven, and it didn't even occur to me to use it. I was a dummie and did not read the other members pitfalls. So far so good. terrific post.

glamah16 said...

Great post , pictures, and job. Hey I bet the custard and berries worked great.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

What scrumptious looking Eclairs! Really beautiful! Great job here!

Cheers,

Rosa

Natalie... said...

mm yours look great
really good job.
i love how the glaze drips off the end, looks so appetising!

enza said...

I did with berries instead of you, it's the same, isn't it?
your eclairs looks beautiful but I'm suggestin you to use the cream version without chocolate, as I did, is perfect and I must confess I thought about mixing with whipped cream eheheh

Marija said...

Ohh! YUM!!

Mcwhisky said...

The chocolate glaze is dripping!! (*wipes saliva*)

The writer and the singer said...

They look very yummy!

Claire said...

So...you did better with these not knowing what they were than I did knowing! They have perfect air pockets. Looks fantastic.

rainbowbrown said...

Your pastry shells look rather perfect. Great work!

Candace said...

Beautiful job! I used my convection too... definitely the way to go!

Vickie said...

Oh My Gosh I haven't made eclair's in years. They look perrrrfect! Take Care :)

MaryMary said...

Your eclairs are stunning and look so very happy sitting in the sunshine! cheers!

Amy said...

After seeing the glaze in your photos, I'm a believer, I definitely must try it! :)

marie said...

oh shit vad dom där såg smarriga ut..vill haaaa......

Marija said...

Your eclairs look so yummy! Make me wanna make them again!

Sass E-mum said...

What a great introduction to eclairs. I didn't read a lot of the tips - was too short of time to blog much.

Really pays off though. Your eclairs look tasty.

natalia said...

Ciao Anne I must say they look great ! I'm addicted to cookbooks as well I'll look through your list . And many miao from my four (sadly) cats !

Pamela said...

Beautiful! Those look so yummy I love anything with berries and cream you just can't go wrong. Great blog

Half Baked said...

The glaze dripping off your eclairs makes me want to lick the screen. Beautiful!

shellyfish said...

These sure look beautiful, bravo!

kat said...

They look just beautiful! I'm with you about waiting until other people make theirs first & then getting all the hints off the forum

Lisa Michelle said...

Gorgeous! I love the macro shots of the chocolate dripping down the side of the eclair. Plus, looks like we were on the same wavelength with the berries and cream!

Katie B. said...

Great eclairs - they look just perfect!

Jeanne said...

YES! Those are picture perfect :) I take my hat off to you for rising to the challenge!

Jeanne said...

YES! Those are picture perfect :) I take my hat off to you for rising to the challenge!

Susan/Wild Yeast said...

I'm sure berries would have been good but they look just perfect without them too!

Jude said...

Looks delicious... It seems like you're an expert eclair maker based on your excellent results. Do try the pastry cream when you have time -- it's definitely a keeper.

Amy J. said...

Your eclairs look great! And the puddles of glaze...ahh.... Awesome job!

Andrea said...

I think your eclairs look perfect with the puddling chocolate. Ooey and gooey and creamy. Great job on the challenge!

Molly Loves Paris said...

Wow!! Your eclairs look absolutely fantastic. They made my mouth water. And your photography is terrific. All around good job.

Angela said...

Your eclairs look so decadent with the glaze running down to the plate. I wish I could reach into the photo and steal one from the plate :)

Mark Ngui said...

Your photography is amazing... truly edible photos of perfect eclairs!

Betsy said...

Your eclairs look wonderful. I should try the chocolate glaze next time.

silverrock said...

Ooo... your eclairs look devilishly delicious; I can just taste it now! I just love the photos of the dribbling chocolate sauce :) Way to go on this month's challenge