Friday, September 30, 2011

Chocolate Eclairs

Éclairs....Mmmmmmm! Éclairs consist of 3 different components: 1)Pâte à Choux (the dough), 2)Pastry Cream and 3)Chocolate Ganache. I had never heard of the term Pâte à Choux until we made eclairs in school. Also known as Éclair paste, it is unique among doughs because it is cooked on the stove top before baking. Pàte à Choux can be used to make Eclairs, Paris Brest, Cream Puffs or Profiteroles. It just depends on how you pipe out the dough.

These take some time to make since there are 3 different recipes that have to be assembled together in the end, but the outcome is very rewarding. These are amazing!!! Even the leftovers from the fridge were great the next day.

I made most of them into eclairs but the ones below are little cream puffs filled with chocolate ice cream!

Pâte à Choux (pronounced paht ah shoo)
Source: On Baking: A Textbook of Baking and Pastry Fundamentals

8 fl. oz. Milk
8 fl. oz. Water
0.3 oz. Salt (1 1/2 t.)
7 oz. Unsalted Butter
10 oz. Bread Flour
16 - 17.6 oz. Eggs (10-11 eggs)

1. Place the milk, water, salt and butter in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Make sure the butter is fully melted.

2. Remove from the heat and immediately add all the flour. Vigorously beat the dough by hand. Put the pan back on the heat and continue beating the dough until it comes away from the sides of the pan. The dough should look relatively dry and should just begin to leave a film on the saucepan.

3. Transfer the dough to the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat it for a few seconds at medium speed. Once the dough has cooled down to 140 degrees then begin to beat in the eggs one at a time.

4. Continue to add the eggs one by one until the mixture is shiny but firm. It may not be necessary to use all of the eggs. The dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl in thick threads; it will not clear the bowl.

5. Put a workable amount of dough into a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip and pipe onto the sheet pans in the desired shapes at once. (Lines for eclairs; circles for cream puffs.)

6. Bake immediately at 450°F for the first 15 minutes and then reduce heat to 375°F until the pastries are dry and crisp, approximately 35 minutes for éclairs. To test for doneness, when the éclair paste seems to be baked through, remove one unit and let it sit for 1 to 2 minutes. If it does not collapse, the product is sufficiently baked.

7. Cool completely, then fill with pastry cream. Leftovers can be frozen or stored at room temperature.

Yield: Approximately 3 lb. of dough

Pastry Cream
Source: On Baking: A Textbook of Baking and Pastry Fundamentals

1 qt. Milk
1 Vanilla Bean, split (or 1/2 t. vanilla extract)
7.5 oz. Sugar
6 oz. Egg Yolks (10 yolks)
2.5 oz. Cornstarch
2 oz. Unsalted Butter

1. Bring the milk, vanilla bean and 3 ounces (120 grams) of the sugar to boil in a large nonreactive saucepan.

2. Whisk the egg yolks in a mixing bowl and gradually add the remaining sugar. Whisk in the cornstarch to combine.

3. Temper the yolk mixture with one-quarter of the boiling milk. Return the yolk mixture to the pan and cook, whisking vigorously, until the cream boils and is well thickened. Allow the pastry cream to boil approximately 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

4. Remove the pastry cream from heat and immediately pour it into a clean mixing bowl.

5. Fold in the butter until melted. Do not overmix, as this will thin the custard.

6. Cover by placing plastic wrap on the surface of the custard. Chill over an ice bath. Remove the vanilla bean just before using the pastry cream.

Yield: Approximately 3 lbs.

Chocolate Ganache
Source: On Baking: A Textbook of Baking and Pastry Fundamentals

1 lb. Bittersweet Chocolate
1 pt. Heavy Cream

1. Chop the chocolate into small pieces and place in a large metal bowl.

2. Bring the cream just to a boil, then immediately pour it over the chocolate, stirring with a rubber spatula to blend. Stir gently until all the chocolate has melted.

3. Allow the mixture to cool, stirring frequently with a rubber spatula until the desired consistency is achieved.

4. Dip the filled Éclairs into the chocolate ganache and swirl around in circular motion until all excess chocolate is removed.

Yield: Approximately 2 lbs.

No comments:

Post a Comment