Friday, November 21, 2008

Cream Puffs/Chocolate Eclairs

Okay Stace, I have a good recipe but it's kind of involved. If you can muster up the energy it will hopefully satisfy your craving :). It's the real thing from the California Culinary Academy. I tried it a long time ago and it was good, but I haven't made it in a while. Anyway, here it is:

1 1/3 C. Cream Puff Pastry
1 egg lightly beaten with 1 tsp. water (egg wash)
1 1/2 c. Pastry Cream
1/2 c. whipping cream
1 c. Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce

1 1/3. Cream Puff Pastry:
1/2 C. water or 1/4 c. water and 1/4 cup milk
4 Tbs. Unsalted Butter cut into pieces
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 c. unbleached white flour, sifted
3 eggs

1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Place water, butter, salt and sugar in a 2 1/2 quart saucepan; bring to a boil over low heat. The mixture should be heated slowly so the butter is just melted when the water reaches a boil. When mixture boils, remove from heat immediately and add flour all at once. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon. Return to heat; stir over medium heat until mixture pulls away from sides of pan, begins to leave a white film on pan, and forms a ball (about 30 seconds).
2. Remove from heat, allow to cool 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. The paste should look smooth and shiny but be stiff enough to hold its shape when piped or dropped onto a baking sheet. If paste looks dull and is very stiff, lightly beat another egg and add a little of it to paste; beat until mixture is smooth. Add more egg if needed.
3. Place dough in a large pastry bag fitted with a 3/4 inch tube (#9). Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit a baking sheet; using a dark pen or pencil, draw two parallel lines on it 5 inches apart (parallel to the long edge of the paper) and turn paper over on baking sheet.
4. To form eclairs, pipe eight 5-inch strips of pastry, 2 inches apart, onto the paper on the baking sheet, using the lines on the paper as a guide. Brush the eclairs with egg wash. Run the back of a fork along the top of each eclair to score top and keep it flat during baking.
5. Bake at 425 F for 15 minutes. Reduce oven to 400 F and bake 15 minutes more. Make a few small slits along the side of each eclair to release steam. Turn off oven; return eclairs to oven for 10 minutes, keeping oven door slightly ajar with a wooden spoon. Cool in wire racks.
6. Prepare Pastry Cream and flavor it as desired. Stir cold Pastry Cream until smooth. Beat 1/2 c. whipping cream until it hold stiff peaks and fold into pastry cream.
7. Just before serving (no more than 2 hours before), place filling in a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4 inch tube (#3). Poke a hole in one end of eclair with the tip and fill with 3 to 4 tablespoons of the filling. If you don't have a pastry bag, slit eclairs along one side with a serrated knife and spoon filling inside before icing.
8. To ice eclairs, spread 1 to 2 tablespoons warm Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce on top of each eclair. If you want to do as much as possible in advance, you can ice the eclairs before filling them, up to 4 to 5 hours before serving. Store iced eclairs in a cool, dry place, then fill them carefully just before serving.
Makes 8 eclairs.

1 1/2 c. Pastry Cream:

1 1/4 c. milk
4 egg yolks
1/3 c. sugar
3 Tbs. Flour, sifted
1 Tbs. cornstarch, sifted
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Bring milk to a boil in a medium saucepan; remove from heat.
2. In a medium bowl beat egg yolks with sugar until thick and pale. Beat in flour and cornstarch.
3. Pour hot milk into yolk mixture and whisk. Return to saucepan; cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until mixture comes to a boil. Just before mixture begins to boilg, it will become very lumpy. Whisk vigorously until smooth; continue to cook gently for 2 minutes, whisking constantly. (the mixture will thin slightly during this time). Remove from heat and pour into a bowl; stir in vanilla and rub a piece of cold butter gently over the surface of the cream to prevent a skin from forming.
4. When pastry cream is cool, cover and refrigerate. Will keep up to 2 days in refrigerator.

Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce:

3 Tbs. water
3 Tbs. sugar
6 oz. semisweet chocolate, broken into pieces
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, broken into pieces
1 c. whipping cream

1. Combine water and sugar in a saucepan; bring to a boil over low heat, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and cool to 120F (test with an instant read thermometer).
2. Combine semisweet and unsweetened chocolate in top of double boiler; place over hot (not boiling) water until chocolate is just melted. Remove from heaet. Pour in sugar syrup (at 120 F) all at once. Stir until smooth.
3. Heat cream in a small saucepan over low heat to 120 F. Pour into chocolate mixture and stir until smooth and shiny.
Makes 2 cups.

Wow, that was long!


deckerfam said...

Maybe I should wait until the morning sickness is over to try this one : ) They sound heavenly! I can't wait until I get the energy to try them.

deckerfam said...

Oh and P.S. To Ashlee, Yes the costco ones are heavenly which is why I can't buy them I will just sit and eat the whole freakin carton of them! Which sounds really really good right now!

Anna said...

Oh, the joys of pregnancy. I am ready to be done! All the holiday foods are going to be the end of my good intentions.