Sunday, August 31, 2008
Daring Bakers August Challenge - Chocolate Eclairs
Well, it seems like some time since I have posted a Daring Bakers challenge and in fact it seems like some time since I made the August challenge, as I was very organised and made it the first weekend in August. The challenge this month was chocolate éclairs and was chosen by Meetak of What’s for Lunch Honey and Tony Hahhan.
For someone who has never made choux pastry until a couple of months ago, I’ve made choux creations three times now in the last two months – Dorie’s peppermint ring, savoury choux for a Hey Hey It’s Donna Day challenge and now éclairs for Daring Bakers. It is a lot easier than you think to make, but I am also learning a few tricks along the way – like don’t open the oven door while it’s baking, and beat the hot dough a little before adding your first egg.
If I was in a cake shop I would probably pick a chocolate cream bun or cream doughnut ahead of a chocolate éclair, but actually, anything with chocolate and cream has got to be good. The actual recipe called for a chocolate pastry cream as the filling of the éclairs. However, there was no requirement to make this – provided that you used a chocolate component somewhere in the éclairs. I filled my éclairs with whipped cream and topped them with the chocolate ganache from the recipe.
I halved the recipe but unintentionally made my éclairs a lot larger than I probably should have. I used a plastic bag with the tip cut off to pipe the choux pastry into éclair shapes and then I made a couple of cream puff shapes at the end. I made about 6 eclairs in total and two of them weren’t that good – they had that eggy kind of taste. I wonder if I made them too big?
The rest were delicious though and I found the fresh cream filling not as rich as pastry cream. The topping was a simple, thick ganache with some butter added. The recipe also called for chocolate sauce to be added, but once again I was lazy and didn’t bother.
I would make éclairs again and actually wonder if there is a trend back towards them, as in the latest issues of both Taste and Cuisine, there are recipes for chocolate éclairs with chocolate pastry cream fillings.
Check out how the other Daring Bakers did here.