Baking

Eclairs and Cream Puffs

I don’t like eclairs…. well at least that’s what I thought, turns out I just don’t like other peoples eclairs. After watching yet another cooking show featuring children making their Pate a Choux, I thought, I can’t have 11 year olds out-baking me.

So I googled up some recipes, figured out what I could do to make them better and went for it. The dough came out great and was quite easy. I does get a few pans messy, but it was worth it for the little puffy delights that came out of the oven about half an hour later.

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I think the real reason I didn’t like eclairs was the custard filling, it’s just not my thing, so i made some super-whipped frosting and filled them with that instead, to try to cut the sugary-ness I used a much darker chocolate for the ganache and they turned out lovely.

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Recipe:

ingredients:
1 cup water
1 stick butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 cup flour
3 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract

preheat oven to 425*

-boil water, butter, salt, sugar – immediately remove from heat and add flour mixing thoroughly
-return to heat for 30 sec, mixing constantly
-put in mixer with paddle attachment on medium
– add eggs one at a time
– add extracts
-mix until smooth and glossy
– scoop into pastry bag and pipe onto parchment paper covered pans, leave 2″ between
– size is your choice, for eclairs I did about 4″ logs and for puffs I just made dollops
– I got 11 eclairs or about 30 puffs from this recipe
– brush with an egg wash lightly (to avoid using a whole egg for this i simply added a  bit of water to the bowl my eggs had been in and this was plenty for the wash)

Bake for 11-15mins at 425* the REDUCE HEAT to 375* and bake for 20mins more.
Do not open oven! Its tempting, but just pop on the light to spy on them.

when they come out poke holes in the tops with a toothpick to let the steam come out, otherwise they will get soggy inside.

While they are cooling make your filling. I used a basic american buttercream recipe with a few extra tablespoons of heavy cream and let it whip up for as long as I could stand it.

Fill with a piping bag, in at least 2 places in eclairs or just the top for puffs. Empty puffs are sad puffs.

For eclairs make a basic ganache (heavy cream heated and poured over an equal part of chocolate) and dunk the tops in to cover the filling holes. I used 3:1 bittersweet chocolate and baking chocolate, this can be adjusted to whatever your sweetness preference is.

Let it set (if you can) and enjoy!

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