8/16/10

chocolate eclairs.

eclairs are downright luxurious. the textures all add up perfectly- the rich chocolatey shell, the thick not-too-sweet pudding-like filling, and the crispy on the outside but soft, and light as air on the inside pastry. eclairs had always been off my baking radar since i figured some long, overdrawn process went into them and the likelihood of a terrible outcome would be expected. well, i couldn't be more wrong. yes, there are quite a few steps, expect the kitchen counters to be a mess, and maybe there are quite a few ingredients, but overall this recipe is way worth the labor. in fact, i perfected the eclair on my first try and was blown away with my finished product. this was exactly how i imagined a decadent eclair would turn out, in a perfect world, of course. 


----Ingredients for pastry and chocolate glaze----

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs

  • 2 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons hot water

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Grease a large cookie sheet.

In a medium saucepan, combine 1/2 cup butter and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, stirring until butter melts completely. Reduce heat to low, and add flour and salt. Stir vigorously until mixture leaves the sides of the pan and begins to form a stiff ball. Remove from heat. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well to incorporate completely after each addition. With a spoon or a pastry bag , spoon or pipe dough onto cookie sheet in 1 1/2 x 4 inch strips.

Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven, then reduce heat to 325 degrees  and bake additional 20 minutes, until hollow sounding when lightly tapped on the bottom. Place on a wire rack to cool. Poke a hole with a sharp knife or toothpick to prevent the eclairs from becoming soggy from the steam. Cool completely on a wire rack.

For the chocolate glaze:

For the icing, melt the chocolate and 2 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Stir in 1 cup confectioners' sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in hot water, one tablespoon at a time, until icing is smooth and has reached desired consistency. You have to really stir quite awhile to remove lumps. Remove from heat, cool slightly, and dip each top in chocolate or just drizzle over filled eclairs. Refrigerate until serving.

For the filling (via Julia Child's pastry cream recipe), you need:

---Ingredients---

6 egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups hot milk
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon vanilla extract or 1/2 tablespoon vanilla plus 1 or 2 tablespoons rum or kirsch

Mix egg yolks and sugar in a 2 1/2 quart saucepan with a wire whip until thick and pale yellow, several minutes. It should form a ribbon.

Beat in flour, then beat in hot milk in a thin stream. Set over moderate heat and stir slowly and continuously with the whip until it thickens. When lumps form, beat vigorously to eliminate them. Lower the heat and cook slowly, stirring all the time, to thicken the cream.

Remove from heat and beat in the butter and flavoring. Film the top of the cream with 1/2 tablespoon of milk, rum, or kirsch to prevent crusting. Chill.



2 comments:

  1. what i wouldn't do to be enjoying that eclair in those scalloped cream shorts. the perfect dessert.
    xx
    JJ Scholl

    ReplyDelete
  2. here is so many inspirations!

    have a nice time!
    Paula

    ReplyDelete