As I mentioned in my previous post, this month Swathi of Zesty South Indian Kitchen, challenged us to bake éclairs and/or gougères. While the gougères baked us happy, I also wanted to try my hands at éclairs. The method used to prepare the éclairs was similar to that of gougères. the only difference was in the fact that an extra helping of sugar was used in the dough for éclairs and one had to keep lowering the oven temperature at regular intervals so that the outside of the shells becomes firm and crispy and the inner core is soft and dry..
In the words of Dorie, "Antonin Carême, the father of modern pastry was the first to pipe Pâte à choux into long fingerlike shapes. Once the pastry was baked he sliced the strips in half, filled them with pastry cream, glazed their tops, thereby creating an enduring classic which he christened éclairs (meaning lightening)." While there are several theories as to why he named them so, Dorie says, "I hold with the camp convinced that the name described the way an éclair is eaten - lightening fast." I quite agree with Dorie on this because the chocolate éclairs that i had made hardly took time to vanish even though mine were not glazed... just filled and piped with some chocolate custard on top...
As in the case of gougères, these are best consumed within a few hours of baking. however if you need to prepare a large-ish batch in advance, you can store them by shaping the dough, freezing the mounds on a baking sheet and packing them off in airtight plastic bags soon after they solidify and then bake them straight from the freezer whenever you want to... and if you are like me and choose not to fill some of the pastry shells and serve them later, then you can heat the shells in the oven at 300 degrees F for 10 minutes before filling them with the cream and serving...
now the recipe... For the chocolate filling I followed the recipe from Around the French Table and for the pastry shells I followed the measurements from Alton Brown's recipe and procedure from the recipe that Swathi had mailed to us. I also used The Joy of Baking for video and reference.
Chocolate éclairs (makes 12 pieces)
| ingredients :|
what i did :
though I had intended to publish this earlier I couldn't. glad that i managed to post it before the linky tool closed... do check out what my fellow bakers have baked.. i think most of them look really professional.. do they ??