Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Chocolate Éclairs

Today is my one year blogoversary! To celebrate the occasion, I made Chocolate Éclairs. If you have been reading my blog for a while, you’ll remember that Chocolate Éclairs were once my page layout. I made those éclairs before I started my blog, so I never had the chance to post the recipe. For my blogoversary, I wanted to make a French pastry, so these were perfect! They’re not very hard to make, though they are time-consuming, but well worth it because they are A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! Rating: six 5 out of 5!

Chocolate Éclairs recipe: Martha Stewart – Baking Handbook

Ingredients:
- Pâte à Choux (see recipe below)
- Pastry Cream (see recipe below)
- 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 2 ¼ cups heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup

Instructions:
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. With a ruler and a pencil, mark lines about 3 ½ inches long on the parchment, spacing them 1 ½ inches apart. Turn parchment over, marked side down. Fill pastry bag fitted with a ½-inch plain tip with Pâte à Choux; pipe along the lines on the prepared baking sheets. Gently smooth tops with a moistened fingertip to ensure even rising.
- Bake for 10 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Continue to bake until pastries are golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes more. Transfer pastries and parchment to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Place chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. Heat ¾ cup cream and corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat until bubbles begin to appear around the edges, about 5 minutes; pour mixture over chocolate. Let stand 5 minutes, then stir until smooth. Let cool, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
- To fill the pastries, insert a wooden skewer into one end of each shell. (I cut the pastries side ways open and filled them using a teaspoon)
- In a medium bowl, stir the Pastry Cream to soften. In another bowl, whip the remaining 1 ½ cups heavy cream to stiff peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the Pastry Cream in two batches to lighten. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a ¼-inch plain tip, and pipe to fill with the whipped Pastry Cream.
- Dip the top of each Éclair into the chocolate glaze; let excess drip off, and place, coated side up, on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. (I doll-upped the chocolate glaze with a teaspoon over the éclairs) Refrigerate Éclairs in a single layer in an airtight container until glaze is set, about 10 minutes or up to 1 day.

Pâte à Choux recipe: Martha Stewart - Baking Handbook

Ingredients:
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs, plus 1 large egg white

Instructions:
- Bring butter, sugar, salt, and 1 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Using a wooden spoon, quickly stir in flour. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until mixture pulls away from sides and a film forms on bottom of pan, about 3 minutes.
- Transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until slightly cooled, about 1 minute. Raise speed to medium; add whole eggs, 1 at a time, until a soft peak forms when batter is touched with your finger. If peak does not form, lightly beat remaining egg white, and mix it into batter a little at a time until it does.

Pastry Cream recipe: Martha Stewart - Baking Handbook

Ingredients:
- 2 cups whole milk
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped
- pinch of salt
- 4 large egg yolks
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Instructions:
- In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, ¼ cup sugar, vanilla bean with seeds, and salt. Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a simmer.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, cornstarch, and remaining ¼ sugar. Whisking constantly, slowly pour about ½ cup of the hot-milk mixture into the egg-yolk mixture. Continue adding milk mixture, ½ cup at a time, until it has been incorporated. Pour mixture back into saucepan, and cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until it thickens, about 2 minutes. Remove and discard vanilla bean.
- Transfer to the bowl of an electric mixture fitted with the paddle attachment. Add butter, and beat on medium speed until the butter melts and the mixture cools, about 5 minutes.
- Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface of pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours or up to 2 days. Just before using, beat on low speed until smooth.


This is the banner I had on my page-layout throughout most of the year. I changed it to Ladurée's Religieuse à la Rose a couple of months ago.


Pâte à Choux piped as éclairs.


Baked: they look like mini-baguettes!


"The French traditionally fill their éclairs with pastry cream; the British prefer whipped cream. Our recipe borrows from both, for a filling that is at once rich and light."


Topped with an over-the-top delicious chocolate ganache.


Et voilá! My Blogoversary treat!


Chocolate Éclairs circa 2010 ...


Chocolate Éclairs circa 2009.


The ones I baked today were much better than last years. I guess all that baking paid off!



Éclairs

12 comments:

Bonjour Madame said...

These look delicious!

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Congratulations! I love your eclairs- I can say with certainty that I will never make them (too complicated!) but I am thoroughly enjoying admiring yours :)

Lucie said...

My first time making eclairs a while back was an epic endeavor, with a spectacular fail and a happy end. I must agree they're delicious, although now I just stick to going out and buying them across the street :)

Happy blogoversary!!!

Snooky doodle said...

yummy yummy . these look delicious!

Sarah, Maison Cupcake said...

Happy Blogoversary! My husband adores these so I must make them for him soon.

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Bringing Lady Back said...

Wonderful improvement!

Congrats on one year!

Anonymous said...

I'm falling in love with your blog.Congratulation guy.

Paris Pastry said...

Thank you very much!! :D

little wisher said...

They look great!!! But how many can you make? from this recipe...

Paris Pastry said...

@little wisher: I believe I got 18 eclairs out of this recipe.

ringr said...

You are my inspiration for eclairs - please check out my blog (with many mentions of you) and thank you for walking me through this!! http://ringr.wordpress.com/2010/12/18/eclairs/