Saturday, January 12, 2013

Chocolate Eclairs


For a long time now I have wanted to learn French, and this year I am making it happen. I've downloaded some great apps onto my iPad and they have been really helpful. My desire to learn French stems mostly from the fact that I really want to visit France one day and be able to communicate well there. I can't wait to experience a true French Patisserie and eat a fresh French baguette!


In the meantime, while I save for such a trip on an apprentice wage, I decided to make my own Chocolate Eclairs. I have made choux pastry before for profiteroles and found it very hard to get a consistent result. Sometimes they would be brilliant and sometimes they would crash and burn. I found a great recipe for choux pastry on Poh's Kitchen on ABC when she had Emmanuel Mollois on making his Chocolate Eclairs, they turned out perfect first go!


Chocolate Eclairs

(Recipe adapted from Poh's Kitchen)

What you will need


100g chocolate
1 egg

For the choux pastry
200ml milk
90g unsalted butter
1tsp salt
1tsp sugar
120g plain flour
3 eggs

For the chocolate cream
200ml cream
130ml milk
4 egg yolks
60g caster sugar
165g dark chocolate

What you will need to do


Preheat oven to 190*C and line two baking trays with baking paper. In a saucepan combine milk, butter, salt and sugar and bring to the boil. Take off heat and mix in flour. Place back on heat and cook stirring until mixture resembles a dry ball, about 5 minutes. Place dough into a bowl and add eggs one at a time mixing well after each addition.

Place dough into a piping bag fitted with a large round nozzle. Pipe thick lines of dough onto the baking trays whatever size you desire, leaving space between each. Lightly whisk the 1 egg and brush the tops of the eclairs. Place in oven for 30mins then turn down to 150*C and bake for a further 15mins. When done place on a wire rack to cool.

To make the chocolate cream place the milk and cream into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Whisk egg yolks and sugar together until thick and pale. Add the cream mixture and cook gently, stirring without boiling, until mixture thickens. Take off heat and stir in chocolate, set aside to cool.

Place the chocolate cream in a piping bag with a small round nozzle. Poke a small hole in the end of an eclair and pipe in the chocolate. You may need to do it from both ends to get the chocolate throughout the whole eclair. Repeat with all the Eclairs.

Melt the extra chocolate and place in a container just longer than the Eclairs. Dip the top of the eclair into the chocolate to coat. Set aside to let chocolate set.

NOTE
I am still having some trouble adjusting to my oven though so when I thought it was time to turn the heat down, I opened up and rotated the trays too. This was a mistake as some of the Eclairs flopped. I think I may have also piped some a bit thin and this contributed to some not puffing up as much as I would have liked. I was also a little impatient with the chocolate cream filling I tried filling the Eclairs when the mixture was still a bit runny and hadn't cooled and thickened enough(this was a bit messy!).


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