Sunday, August 31, 2008

Chocolate Eclairs from the Daring Bakers

This months Daring Bakers challenge was to make Chocolate Eclairs. It was hosted by Meetak from What's for Lunch Honey and Tony Tahhan. This sounded like a great challenge. I love eclairs for one and the last time I made Pate a choux was when I was about 13 years old. That time I made a ring of dough that puffed up very nicely and then filled it with chocolate mousse. The center of the ring was filled with cut up strawberries. It was delicious!

I had great plans of making the eclairs with a non-chocolate filling and adding in some fresh fruit like bananas, but then the weekend got away from me and I only had time to make the recipe as given.

The dough came together fine. When I got to the point of piping the dough onto baking sheets , I realized the tip that I had was a little on the small side. So I used it and made very petite eclairs. This worked out well since I was planning on taking them to a party that evening. I used a star tip instead of a plain tip and I liked the wavy effect on the finished shells.

I had grand plans of making splitting the pastry cream in half and making one part rum flavored and the other half chocolate, but in the end, I decided the added chocolate gave it a better texture for filling. I still added 2 Tbsp of rum which made it delicious! I had never made pastry cream before, but it turned out very well. Since the recipe uses cornstarch, the filling went from runny to very thick in an instant and I was lucky I didn't over cook it since I was trying to melt the chocolate at the same time (a little step that I had initially overlooked).

For the glaze, I didn't want to deal with the multi-step process that was part of the original recipe since I was running out of time . The original recipe called for making a chocolate sauce that was then incorporated into a glaze with more chocolate. Instead, I made a simple glaze of bittersweet chocolate and cream, heated together to melt the chocolate. It turned out fine and my daughter had fun helping me glaze all the tops while I filled the bottoms with pastry cream. The finished product was wonderful, and was a hit at the party.


HoneyB said...

Sometimes making the recipe just as is can be the best way! I would love to do this again with the chocolate pastry cream...and probably will eventually!

Mary said...

I really like your wavy eclairs shells. Very pretty. I think I'll try that when I make the eclairs again.

The Bahens said...

I love how the star tip makes your eclairs looks. Good idea on the chocolate glaze; the one from the recipe was kind of labor intensive.