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.

24 comments:

steph- whisk/spoon said...

i don't think eclairs ever go out of style! these look great--and that glaze...oh my!! :)

Di said...

Yum--your eclair looks great. I much prefer whipped cream over pastry cream (though I'm going to give the chocolate pastry cream a try to see if I like it better than vanilla).

Engineer Baker said...

Whipped cream would be quite a tasty filling - much less heavy than a pastry cream, I agree. Then again, I can't say much, I went with ice cream as my filling! Love the glaze dripping down the side of the eclair, it looks delicious!

rainbowbrown said...

That's a lotta choux pastry you've been cranking out. How fun. Your éclairs look marvelous.

Cakelaw said...

These look delicious Tammy - I think the bigger, the better :)

Passionate About Baking said...

A lawyer that makes such wonderful looking eclairs? WOOHOO...don't these look absolutely delicious!! YUM Tammy!!

Deb said...

Yes, they do look fabulous. And I think eclairs are much nicer with whipped cream too. Maybe it's a Kiwi thing.

Anonymous said...

Your eclairs look delicious,especially the chocolate topping !

Heather B said...

Looks delicious! Great job!

Lauren said...

they look great. and there is no such thing as an eclair that is too big!

Aran said...

me too, chocolate and cream together. i'm there! lovely!

Speedbump Kitchen said...

Great job! I was on the other size spectrum and accidentally made mini-eclairs! I think bigger would be better...that way you can say you only ate one or two...not 10!

April said...

Your eclair looks wonderful!! The whipped cream sounds great in these!

Angela said...

Your eclairs look wonderfully decadent, especially with that drip of glaze running down... Delicious!

Tartelette said...

They look wonderful...all that cream oozing out...yum!

Anonymous said...

They look wonderful & I too love the fresh cream inside. Try doing a savoury filling, I once made a mushroom sauce & made the roux into a circle & filled it. Lyn

Bellini Valli said...

Congrats on completing another DB challenge Tammy:D Your eclairs look wonderful:D

Linda F said...

Tammy those eclairs look amazing!!!!!Great photo!!!!

dobetter said...

Yummy! Looks so good. Well done.

Barbara Bakes said...

I love the chocolate dripping off the side - looks tasty!

Amy J. said...

Gosh almighty! That just makes you want to mush your face into the plate and start chowing down! Good job.

ingegerd said...

look great!!very yummy!

Kirstynn Evans said...

You did a good job. I would love it if eclairs make a come back!

Michelle Dargen said...

I like the idea on whipping cream for the filling. I think I am going to do that next time!