Sunday, August 31, 2008

Daring Baker August Challenge

This months daring Baker Challenge was Eclairs. I have never made Eclairs so this was a fun and tasty challeng e for me. I followed the pate a choux recipe, used chocolate pudding for the filling, chocolate sauce for the topping and star and moon sprinkles for the top. I had a vanilla filling but it was a flop so I had to throw out the whole mess and switch to chocolate. Great challenge. Tasty.I learned from this challenge to be sure and cook the pastry long enough or they will deflate and make a slit where you will split the pastry after you remove them from the oven for the steam to escape.

Pierre Hermé’s Cream Puff Dough
Recipe from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé
(makes 20-24 Éclairs)

• ½ cup (125g) whole milk
• ½ cup (125g) water
• 1 stick (4 ounces; 115g) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
• ¼ teaspoon sugar
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 1 cup (140g) all-purpose flour
• 5 large eggs, at room temperature

1) In a heavy bottomed medium saucepan, bring the milk, water, butter, sugar and salt to the

2) Once the mixture is at a rolling boil, add all of the flour at once, reduce the heat to medium
and start to stir the mixture vigorously with a wooden spoon. The dough comes together very
quickly. Do not worry if a slight crust forms at the bottom of the pan, it’s supposed to. You
need to carry on stirring for a further 2-3 minutes to dry the dough. After this time the dough
will be very soft and smooth.

3) Transfer the dough into a bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using your
handmixer or if you still have the energy, continue by hand. Add the eggs one at a time,
beating after each egg has been added to incorporate it into the dough.
You will notice that after you have added the first egg, the dough will separate, once again do
not worry. As you keep working the dough, it will come back all together again by the time you
have added the third egg. In the end the dough should be thick and shiny and when lifted it
should fall back into the bowl in a ribbon.

4) The dough should be still warm. It is now ready to be used for the éclairs as directed above.

Once the dough is made you need to shape it immediately. Pipe the dough onto parchment lined baking sheets and bake for 20 minutes at 375 degree F in the middle of the oven.

For the filling I made a chocolate pudding.
I only use the chocolate sauce for topping. It is great on its own.

Chocolate Sauce
Recipe from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé
(makes 1½ cups or 525 g)

• 4½ oz (130 g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
• 1 cup (250 g) water
• ½ cup (125 g) crème fraîche, or heavy cream
• 1/3 cup (70 g) sugar

1) Place all the ingredients into a heavy‐bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil, making sure to stir constantly. Then reduce the heat to low and continue stirring with a wooden spoon until the sauce thickens.

2) It may take 10‐15 minutes for the sauce to thicken, but you will know when it is done when it coats the back of your spoon.


Angela said...

Your éclairs look great! I love the sprinkles you used, too.

Kirstynn Evans said...

Delicious little devils weren't they?

Andrea said...

Great job on the challenge. Shame about your vanilla filling, but the chocolate was very tasty!

Harmony said...

Thank you Angela, Kristynn and Andrea for stopping by. This was a challenge the whole family enjoyed, although i really wanted to try a vanilla filling. I was pleased even still, we maybe I will try again soon, they will certainly not go to wate!

MichaM said...

Your choux pastry looks so lovely! Nice job!

The Recipe Fairy said...

It was fun, wasn't it? I love your star and moon sprinkles!