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.