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8.31.2008

Daring Bakers Do Eclairs...And Missing My Real Sugar Daddy



I missed last months Daring Bakers and was happy to see this months challenge chosen by MeetaK an Tony. Eclairs , pastry cream, and chocolate glazes from Pierre Herme. A running joke between some Daring Bakers is to call the famous Pierre Herme their Sugar Daddy. After all he is the master of all things sweet. My blogging hasn't been as productive this past month for a multitude of reasons , and the main one being that my real Sugar Daddy has been in Europe for work all month. You see I feel inspired to cook for him . So when its hot and I'm busy, wheres the inspiration? Just before Certain Someone left , we were at a cocktail party and he wanted to know if I could make a choux like pastry like the appetizer he had. I informed him Bien Sur. He wasn't around the last time a made them for a family event. So naturally I was sad he would miss this months challenge. Meta and Tony gave us a leeway. The only requirement was that at least one chocolate element remain. With that I immediately knew I would make a Butterscotch filling, because that's what my Sugar Daddy likes!See how he inspires me! Even though he couldn't be home to taste the eclairs. Another thought was my mother. She used to tell me how when she was pregnant with me all she she craved was Napoleons and eclairs! I wish she were alive to make them with me. It's surprisingly simple.


I divided my process into a few hours for two days. Make the pastry creams and choux pastry to freeze day one. And make the chocolate sauce and glaze the final day, along with baking. I followed Tartelettes suggestion on the forum to pipe and freeze. Great idea and that way I didn't have to cook it all once. I have some choux ready to pop into the oven when Certain Someone is ready. Please be sure to check out the global and ever expanding Daring Bakers. The recipes for all the Eclair elements follow in addition to my one modification. What did I do with the half batch I made? I took them to a family gathering.You know the family that looks with some unknown fear at new stuff to broaden their horizons.Pound cake people. The few that I saw tasted it loved it . I found it wasn't to sweet or rich and just a perfect dessert.
Glamah's Butterscotch Pastry Cream
2 cups whole milk
4 large eggs yolks
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons water
4 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons corn starch
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 dram butterscotch extract or 2 tablespoons Scotch for flavor

Mix brown sugar and water , over flame. Mix to dissolve and let reach a boil.Approx 2 minutes. Add the 2 cups of milk and bring to another boil. Mixture may curdle and separate but that's OK. In a separate whisk together add egg yolks, sugar, and corn starch. Slowly temper the egg mixture into the hot milk/Brown sugar mixture . Strain to be sure any curdles bits are removed. In a heavy bottomed sauce pan whisk constantly until mixture starts to thicken and boil. ( Like the Chocolate pastry cream directions below). Remove from heat. Add butterscotch extract of Scotch and whisk in .
Pierre Hermé’s Chocolate Éclairs Recipe from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé(makes 20-24 Éclairs)•
Cream Puff Dough (see below for recipe), fresh and still warm
1) Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Divide the oven into thirds by positioning the racks in the upper and lower half of the oven. Line two baking sheets with waxed or parchment paper.2) Fill a large pastry bag fitted with a 2/3 (2cm) plain tip nozzle with the warm cream puff dough.Pipe the dough onto the baking sheets in long, 4 to 41/2 inches (about 11 cm) chubby fingers.Leave about 2 inches (5 cm) space in between each dough strip to allow them room to puff.The dough should give you enough to pipe 20-24 éclairs.3) Slide both the baking sheets into the oven and bake for 7 minutes. After the 7 minutes, slip the handle of a wooden spoon into the door to keep in ajar. When the éclairs have been in the oven for a total of 12 minutes, rotate the sheets top to bottom and front to back. Continue baking for a further 8 minutes or until the éclairs are puffed, golden and firm. The total baking time should be approximately 20 minutes.


Notes:1) The éclairs can be kept in a cool, dry place for several hours before filling.Assembling the éclairs:•


Chocolate glaze (see below for recipe)


Chocolate pastry cream (see below for recipe)


1) Slice the éclairs horizontally, using a serrated knife and a gently sawing motion. Set aside the bottoms and place the tops on a rack over a piece of parchment paper.2) The glaze should be barely warm to the touch (between 95 – 104 degrees F or 35 – 40degrees C, as measured on an instant read thermometer). Spread the glaze over the tops of the éclairs using a metal icing spatula. Allow the tops to set and in the meantime fill the bottoms with the pastry cream.3) Pipe or spoon the pastry cream into the bottoms of the éclairs. Make sure you fill the bottoms with enough cream to mound above the pastry. Place the glazed tops onto the pastry cream and wriggle gently to settle them.
Notes:
1) If you have chilled your chocolate glaze, reheat by placing it in a bowl over simmering water,stirring it gently with a wooden spoon. Do not stir too vigorously as you do not want to create bubbles.2) The éclairs should be served as soon as they have been filled.
Pierre Hermé’s Cream Puff Dough Recipe from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé(makes 20-24 Éclairs)
• ½ cup (125g) whole milk• ½ cup (125g) water• 1 stick (4 ounces; 115g) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces• ¼ teaspoon sugar• ¼ teaspoon salt• 1 cup (140g) all-purpose flour• 5 large eggs, at room temperature1) In a heavy bottomed medium saucepan, bring the milk, water, butter, sugar and salt to the boil.2) Once the mixture is at a rolling boil, add all of the flour at once, reduce the heat to medium and start to stir the mixture vigorously with a wooden spoon. The dough comes together very quickly. Do not worry if a slight crust forms at the bottom of the pan, it’s supposed to. You need to carry on stirring for a further 2-3 minutes to dry the dough. After this time the dough will be very soft and smooth.3) Transfer the dough into a bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using your handmixer or if you still have the energy, continue by hand. Add the eggs one at a time,beating after each egg has been added to incorporate it into the dough.You will notice that after you have added the first egg, the dough will separate, once again do not worry. As you keep working the dough, it will come back all together again by the time you have added the third egg. In the end the dough should be thick and shiny and when lifted it should fall back into the bowl in a ribbon.4) The dough should be still warm. It is now ready to be used for the éclairs as directed above.Notes:1) Once the dough is made you need to shape it immediately.2) You can pipe the dough and the freeze it. Simply pipe the dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets and slide the sheets into the freezer. Once the dough is completely frozen, transfer the piped shapes into freezer bags. They can be kept in the freezer for up to a month.
Chocolate Pastry Cream Recipe from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé
• 2 cups (500g) whole milk• 4 large egg yolks• 6 tbsp (75g) sugar• 3 tablespoons cornstarch, sifted• 7 oz (200g) bittersweet chocolate, preferably Velrhona Guanaja, melted• 2½ tbsp (1¼ oz: 40g) unsalted butter, at room temperature1) In a small saucepan, bring the milk to a boil. In the meantime, combine the yolks, sugar and cornstarch together and whisk in a heavy‐bottomed saucepan.2) Once the milk has reached a boil, temper the yolks by whisking a couple spoonfuls of the hot milk into the yolk mixture.Continue whisking and slowly pour the rest of the milk into the tempered yolk mixture.3) Strain the mixture back into the saucepan to remove any egg that may have scrambled. Place the pan over medium heat and whisk vigorously (without stop) until the mixture returns to a boil. Keep whisking vigorously for 1 to 2 more minutes (still over medium heat).Stir in the melted chocolate and then remove the pan from the heat.4) Scrape the pastry cream into a small bowl and set it in an ice‐water bath to stop the cooking process. Make sure to continue stirring the mixture at this point so that it remains smooth.5) Once the cream has reached a temperature of 140 F remove from the ice‐water bath and stir in the butter in three or four installments. Return the cream to the ice‐water bath to continue cooling, stirring occasionally, until it has completely cooled. The cream is now ready to use or store in the fridge.
Notes:
1) The pastry cream can be made 2‐3 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator.2) In order to avoid a skin forming on the pastry cream, cover with plastic wrap pressed onto the cream.3) Tempering the eggs raises the temperature of the eggs slowly so that they do not scramble.
Chocolate Glaze Recipe from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé(makes 1 cup or 300g)
• 1/3 cup (80g) heavy cream • 3½ oz (100g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped• 4 tsp (20 g) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces, at room temperature• 7 tbsp (110 g) Chocolate Sauce (recipe below), warm or at room temperature 1)In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a boil. Remove from the heat and slowly begin to add the chocolate, stirring with a wooden spoon or spatula.2) Stirring gently, stir in the butter, piece by piece followed by the chocolate sauce. Notes: 1) If the chocolate glaze is too cool (i.e. not liquid enough) you may heat it briefly
 in the microwave or over a double boiler. A double boiler is basically a bowl sitting over (not touching) simmering water.2) It is best to glaze the eclairs after the glaze is made, but if you are pressed for time, you can make the glaze a couple days ahead of time, store it in the fridge and bring it up to the proper temperature (95 to 104 F) when ready to glaze.
Chocolate SauceRecipe from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé (makes 1½ cups or 525 g)
• 4½ oz (130 g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped • 1 cup (250 g) water• ½ cup (125 g) crème fraîche, or heavy cream • 1/3 cup (70 g) sugar 1) Place all the ingredients into a heavy‐bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil, making sure to stir constantly. Then reduce the heat to low and continue stirring with a wooden spoon until the sauce thickens.2) It may take 10‐15 minutes for the sauce to thicken, but you will know when it is done when it coats the back of your spoon.
Notes:
1) You can make this sauce ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for two weeks. Reheat the sauce in a microwave oven or a double boiler before using.2) This sauce is also great for cakes, ice-cream and tarts.

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51 comments:

breadchick said...

OH BOY!! Butterscotch!!! These were fun to make and I hope you get to make them again for your "sugar daddy" comes home.

marye said...

Butterscotch?
Brilliant!
When does C.S. get back? I bet it has been a very long month!
(I am 3/4 of the way done)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

They look wonderful! Mmmhhh, that Butterscotch filling must have tasted terribly good! Very well done

cheers,

Rosa

TeachGirl said...

They look delicious! Well done! I am certain that CS will like them.

Anne said...

Really nice! Butterscotch sounds like a great idea :)

Maryann said...

Good job, kiddo! Yay!!

Judy@nofearentertaining said...

Weren't these the best Courtney! Yours look terrific. I can just imagine the butterscotch filling!!!

Tartelette said...

Butterscotch is plain awesome! Well done!! I hppe your sugar daddy comes back soon!!

Beth said...

Butterscotch is an excellent choice! Safe travels for your man. I hope you're reconnected very soon.

Nikki Miller-Ka said...

I feel all wistful and emotional right now, hearing about how CS inspired you to make the butterscotch pastry creme. That's sweet, honest-to-goodness, sweet.

I'm glad your people enjoyed the eclairs. I have to find someone who wants to eat mine...

jasmine said...

I love how you measured in drams--takes me back to when I was in primary school and my mum measured everything in drams and ccs.

I think the choux may be the running joke between you and CS.

Lovely work.

j

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

They look AWESOME Courtney! The best I have seen yet! Wonderful job and I bet the butterscotch was wonderful!

Rebecca said...

Butterscotch! Nom nom nom. Lucky family!

Paz said...

Butterscotch!? Wow! You WERE inspired, indeed! And it produced a lovely outcome. Wonderful job!

Paz

Mary said...

I had to smile when I read "pound cake people". :) I totally know people like that too. So glad your eclairs could expand their horizons.

Ivy said...

Great job Courtney. I am jealous you can all make these lovely eclairs. I am sure your "sugar daddy" will love these when he is back.

Sara said...

they look wonderful!

maybelle's mom said...

longing can be tough. at least you are eating eclairs while you wait for him to return. they look wonderful.

Laurie said...

Butterscotch sounds divine Courtney!

Dagmar - A Cat in the Kitchen said...

I wish I could taste these, they look gorgeous!!! I'm ill and as usual I postponed the challenge until the last day. But I'll be making them tomorrow evening instead (if I feel better).

kellypea said...

I'm not sure I'd be inspired if I didn't have anyone to cook for, either. Well, I know it wouldn't be the same. The butterscotch sounds lovely. It's a flavor I didn't appreciate until I was no longer a child which still fascinates me. The buttery taste was perfect for these eclairs!

Courtney said...

love the butterscotch idea. i bet they tasted fantastic.

Darius T. Williams said...

Two words: totally awesome! Now, don't you live in Chicago? I'm just saying, where's my invite?

-DTW
www.everydaycookin.blogspot.com

Gabi said...

Butterscotch- oh I am so there- what was I thinking doh!
I bet CS is sorry he missed out on those ;)
xoxo

Mcwhisky said...

Butterscotch - what's not to love? It's a brilliant idea! Killer eclairs! ;)

Proud Italian Cook said...

You can always make CS a few of these when he comes home. Sorry you're missing him so much, but they do say "abscence makes the heart grow fonder", so have a wonderful homecoming when he comes back!

Swati said...

This is a "killer" recipe... Butterscotch sounds awesome.. Great job Glamah!!

Mochachocolata Rita said...

butterscotch...wowwww...gorgeous!

where do i apply to be your CS? hehe

linda said...

Love the butterscotch filling! Yum!
Sorry you had to miss Certain Someone for so long :(

The Caked Crusader said...

wow - your eclairs look amazing. Love the idea of using butterscotch too.

Dee said...

Coco, the eclairs are gorgeous (as expected), but the butterscotch filling... mmm, love it! You mean, scotch as in the whisky, right?

Have to bookmark this for when the jeans aren't quite so snug.

Nina Timm said...

A sugar daddy with a sweet tooth!!!! I know these eclairs will be just the right thing then...Well done on twisting the recipe a bit with the butterscotch filling!

Passionate About Baking said...

Love the butterscotch flavouring Glamah...well done on the challenge!!

Rosie said...

ooooooh my goodness yummy butterscotch coco - your eclairs are gorgeous!

Rosie x

Half Baked said...

OH. MY. GOD. butterscotch...YUM great flavor! My real sugar daddy is gone too, it makes it hard for me to get motivated to cook as well!

Meeta said...

butterscotch really sounds incredible! lovely going! glad you liked this!

kittie said...

I'm definitely feeling the butterscotch love! Nice work coco! :D

Dhanggit said...

oh my glamah dear, i love how your eclairs puffed!! and the butterscotch flavor is brilliant!

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Courtney, I bow down to you. These are my favorite dessert and definitely out of my baking reach. You ROCK!

Heck, I'd probably make the cream alone grainy.

veron said...

these look lovely! Hope your sugar daddy comes home soon so you can make it for him!

Núria said...

Oh la la! Courtney... please... could I come for tea time? your little sweets look awesome! You are such hard workers, daring bakers :D

Jude said...

Your headline cracked me up. Fun stuff and great-looking results!

shellyfish said...

My mouth is just watering - butterscotch??? Good grief, where were you when I was making mine?

Megan said...

Butterscotch and chocolate, yummy. I missed where you could pipe and freeze. What a great idea. Think I'll try that. Do you have to defrost and bake or just bake them? Glad certain someone made it home safe and soung!

Dharm said...

Yumm! Butterscotch and chocolate. Pure heaven! Great job on the eclairs!

Y said...

Great eclairs! I rarely cook or bake when my boyfriend isn't around, so I made sure to organise this challenge around his availability, as I knew he would love to try the eclairs.

Liz said...

Butterscotch?! Ooooh boy that sounds good. Gorgoues job!

Deborah said...

Butterscotch filling sounds amazing! I think you were quite inspired, even if you sugar daddy wasn't there! :)

farida said...

Your eclairs look amazing! Love your filling ideas a lot!

Adventures in Gluttony said...

Ugh! My husband's side of the family is the SAME way; they're afraid to try new foods. I'm glad that you got at least some of your family to try it. I would have never thought of butterscotch. That must have been heavenly!

wmpe said...

Your eclairs look wonderful! Butterscotch filling sounds delicious too. I imagine your family will be requesting these again. Wendy