Sunday, August 31, 2008

Daring Bakers - Chocolate Eclairs


Meeta K of What's For Lunch Honey is the host of Daring Bakers this month, and she chose a recipe by Pierre Herme for a dessert close to my own heart - chocolate eclairs. Now these are not just any ordinary chocolate eclairs for, in addition to being Pierre Herme's recipe, these are chocolate on chocolate eclairs, with chocolate pastry cream and a chocolate glaze.

As directed, I used Pierre Herme's recipe for the choux buns. They puffed up nicely in the oven, but sank immediately on removal from the oven, despite my cutting a slit in them to let the steam escape as suggested on the Daring Bakers Forum:


We were given the option to substitute one of the chocolate components (pastry cream or glaze) for another option, and I nearly did substitute the chocolate pastry cream altogether for another flavour. However, after reading on the Daring Bakers Forum about how good the chocolate pastry cream was, I decided to make half of the eclairs with the original chocolate pastry cream. I was so glad that I did - it was absolutely devine, and in fact, was my favourite part of these eclairs. I would make this pastry cream again as a filling for other cakes and desserts.

I made the other half of the pastry cream a champagne flavour by the addition of an eighth of a cup of sparkling wine. I was initially going to add more, but I found that an eighth of a cup made the pastry cream very runny, so I didn't dare add more. I ended up having to return the champagne pastry cream to the stovetop and adding more cornflour to thicken it up again. It ended up OK, although not as good as the chocolate version, as it was of a thicker, less smooth consistency, most likely due to my emergency addition of more cornflour at the last minute. Here are both versions of the pastry cream:


I also chose to make the Pierre Herme chocolate glaze, which includes a chocolate sauce that is made separately. The glaze was my least favourite part of the recipe - it turned out rather greasy, and seemed to not want to stick to the choux buns. When I next make eclairs, I would use a ganache or a plain old chocolate glace icing in its place.

Here is the finished product:



They are not the prettiest eclairs in the world, but they tasted very good. I really enjoyed this challenge, as I am a fan of chocolate eclairs.

Thanks to Meeta K for hosting this month's challenge. You will find the recipe for the eclairs on Meeta's site. For a glimpse at the eclairs from the kitchens of the other Daring Bakers, please check out the
Daring Bakers blogroll.

34 comments:

Arfi Binsted said...

YUM!! I love eclairs with coffee cream filling, since I am a coffee lover. These look lovely, Gaye!

Kelly said...

Definately looks good enough to eat. Great job - this was a tough challenge. (It's not morning in my time zone as of reading this so you can check out my FAIL in a few hours)

Tammy said...

Your eclairs look gorgeous! This was a fun challenge!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Your Eclairs look beautiful and really scrumptious! Very well done!

Cheers,

Rosa

steph- whisk/spoon said...

sorry to hear about the sinking choux, but sounds like they were well-enjoyed!

Swati said...

Finally its the taste that matters.. and they do taste divine..

Beth said...

Mmmm...champagne. Can there be anything more French than champagne eclairs? Wonderful choice.

jasmine said...

How creative to use sparkling wine.

I should keep that in mind for next time...

j

Gloria (Canela) said...

Dear, this look absolutely fantastic. I love these eclairs and I love Pierre hermé!!! xxxGloria

Ivy said...

Wow, they look great. Great job Cake. I tried to make them once and it's not that easy.

Emiline said...

I love eclairs too! These look awesome. Lots of chocolate.

Tablebread said...

Well, as I always say: "They don't have to look pretty they just have to taste good." and it looks like you hit that one out of the park!

Rachel said...

Mine collapsed the first time..stood firm the second time....

I bet yours tasted yumm..the pics guarantee it

Bellini Valli said...

Oooh sparkling wine in the eclairs...I wonder if FedEx would get them here quickly enough:D

Natashya said...

Champagne was a really interesting idea, I was pretty chocolated out by the end of baking and wishing I had tried other flavours too!
I love your cupcake tray, too cute!

Meeta said...

champagne pastry cream? sounds lovely. i think we need to work on that ;-) but seriously thanks for giving the recipe a go and yes that pastry cream is delicious!

Dhanggit said...

your eclairs came out lovely!!i love the way they've puffed :-) with all these yummy goodies we're definitely gonna gain weight LOL have a great day!

The Caked Crusader said...

Your choux pastry looks awesome!

zorra said...

You are to hard to you: your eclais look perfect! And yes I will make the Chocolate pastry cream soon. ;-)

Dee said...

As am I :) Yours look pretty enough in my book.

Rosie said...

Your Eclairs look beautiful and so yummy!! Well done :)

Rosie x

Ann said...

Wasn't the pastry cream fabulous? Your eclairs look very tasty!

Clumbsy Cookie said...

I really think you did a great job! I would have loved to try that champagne pastry cream, that was very creative!

Ruth said...

I love the idea of the champagne filling. How chic.

Lore said...

My drooling tastifies to the fact that these do look yummy!

Y said...

Great eclairs, and interesting idea, that champagne pastry cream one!

Mary said...

Your eclairs look yummy!

Half Baked said...

mmmm I bet they were fantastic! I almost went with a coffee cream. Great looking eclairs!

Astra Libris said...

Oooooh, your eclairs sound SO yummy!! I love your idea of a champagne glaze - such a creative and sophisticated eclair! Bravo!

Cakelaw said...

Thanks to all who dropped by to comment on my eclairs - I appreciate your kind thoughts and support.

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Looks great! I love that you experimented with a champagne filling!

Cakelaw said...

Thanks Jenn :)

Margaret said...

Eclairs aren't the easiest thing to make but well done to you for the Challenge.
I could just eat one of those!

Cakelaw said...

Hi Margaret, thanks - wish I could send you one!