Hope you're doing great!
I want to share with you a baking "experiment" if you will. It's not really novel in any way, but for me it was quite exciting because it was the first time I made this dough.
I baked éclairs!
Éclairs are these delicious little pastry made with choux dough, or pâte à choux, which is a dough that you cook. Yeah, you heard me. You cook the dough, and instead of a raising agent, the steam incorporated into the dough helps it poof up!
I've only ever tried éclairs once when I was in London, and bought a chocolate éclair from Ladurée. It was delicious, but I don't feel like it prepared me for the adventure of baking my own.
I decided to take the vanilla route myself, but then added chocolate ganache on top as a glaze. Yummy and a match made in heaven in my opinion - but apparently not something you'd do classically as a pâtissière, I was informed by a French friend. I have started rebelling lately after my quiet and calm adolescent years, so I'll put it down to that.
Chocolate and Vanilla ÉclairsRecipe adapted from Joy of Baking.
- 65 grams flour
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated white sugar
- 55 grams butter, cut into pieces
- 120 ml water
- 2 eggs
Preheat your oven to 200°C.
Whisk the flour and sugar together. Bring the water and butter to a boil in a saucepan. Remove from heat and the add in the flour+sugar mix. Return to heat and keep mixing until the dough comes away from the sides of the saucepan and forms a ball. Pour the dough into a mixing bowl and beat for about one minutes to let some of the steam rise away. Once the dough has cooled a little (it's still warm to the touch) add the eggs. Beat until the dough becomes a smooth, thick paste. Pour the dough into a piping bag and pipe oblongs, about 2 cm wide, and however long you want them to be. I made small ones of about 8 cm. Bake for 15 minutes, and then reduce the heat to 180°C and bake for another 25 minutes.
- 300 ml milk
- One vanilla pod
- 3 egg yolks
- 50 grams granulated white sugar
- 20 grams flour
- 15 grams cornstarch
Scrape out the seeds in the vanilla pod and add that as well as the actual pod to a saucepan containing the milk. Bring the milk just to a boil.
Mix the sugar and egg yolks together. Mix the flour and cornstarch together and then add the egg mixture to it.
Remove the milk from heat (remove the vanilla pod) and add to the egg mixture whisking constantly. Then pour everything back into a saucepan and cook until boiling, whisking all the while. As it comes to a boil, let it continue for about a minute as the cream thickens up. Pour the cream in a clean bowl and cover the surface with plastic film. Let cool to room temperature and then refrigerate.
Before filling the oblongs with pastry cream, dip the prettier side of the oblong in chocolate ganache. Let it dry for a couple of minutes and then you can either cut each oblong into two halves and add pastry cream in the middle. I used a piping bag and filled it with the pastry cream and then stuck the tip into the uncut oblong and pressed the pastry cream into it. It's a bit trickier, but it looks neater. I also added some 23 karat edible gold leaves as decoration to make it even fancier. I got my gold from the Etsy shop Layer Cake Shop (here).
Hope you all have a lovely day!