203. Chocolate Eclairs
happy birthday Meera
My niece, Meera loves baking. Whenever I go her place, we try and bake something together and in the process get to bond as well. She works with a lot of patience and joy. During school holidays she is busy baking goodies for her numerous cousins and large families. I am sure she gets loads of praises from them. Some years back Meera and I baked some eclairs for my dad, her grandfather and we were not too proud of the end result. The eclairs became a bit hard, but got consumed anyway within a few hours. Meera, this time when dada was here I tried out another recipe and they came out perfect. So do try them out again.
Eclairs are long French pastries that are made from choux (shoo) dough, baked and then filled with cream and topped with glace icing or melted chocolate. However, they can be filled with custard too and dipped in fondant icing. Frozen ones are served filled with ice cream and topped with melted chocolate.Eclairs means light as in light in weight. Its pronounced as ay-clair and not eeee clair as most of us say it.
makes approximately 12 to 14
50g(approx ¼ cup)butter
65g(approx ½ cup) plain flour (all purpose flour)
2 large eggs, beaten
a pinch of salt
300ml fresh whipping cream, cold
3 to 4 tbsp powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g plain or dark chocolate
1 tsp butter
75g icing / powdered sugar if using dark chocolate
2 to 3 tbsp milk
- Preheat the oven to 200°C.
- Grease a tray.
- Put butter and water in a pan and bring it to a slow boil. Add salt.
- Remove from the heat, add flour all at once and beat till a soft ball forms and leaves the sides of the pan.
- Cool the mixture a bit.
- Add beaten egg little by little, and beat the mixture using a hand blender or an electric egg beater.
- Beat till the mixture becomes a shiny smooth paste.
- Fill the mixture into an icing bag and using a star nozzle, pipe the mixture onto the greased tray into long fingers about 3 to 4 inches long. Leave room in between each finger as they will spread a bit and rise. I am not too good at using an icing bag so I used an icing tube without a nozzle to pipe out the fingers.
- Put the tray into the oven. Bake at 200°C for 10 minutes. The reduce the temperature to 180°C and bake for 20 minutes or till they become golden brown.
- Remove the tray from the oven and as soon as you are able to handle the eclairs, cut a split on one side to allow the steam to escape.
- Fill the filling when they cool down completely.
- Whip fresh cream,vanilla extract and sugar together till it begins to thicken and forms soft peaks when you lift the blades.
- Melt chocolate over a double boiler.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the melted chocolate and mix well.
- Let it cool down a bit.
- Using a piping bag or piping tube, fill the eclairs with the whipped cream and place them on a dish.
- Top each eclair with the chocolate topping using a spoon.
- Put the eclairs in the fridge for 20 to 30 minutes and then serve.
- When you add the flour, do not over beat the mixture. Over mixing will make the mixture gluteny and the eclairs will become dense.
- The mixture is cool when you can touch it with your finger.
- Adding beaten egg little by little and beating the mixture at this stage, helps the pastry to rise well while baking.
- Do not leave filled eclairs for too long as they can become soggy.
- If you do not have an icing bag or icing tube, just drop spoonful of batter onto the tray and you will get profiteroles. To fill them,split into half and use a butter knife.
- Instead of chocolate use coffee glacing.
- Add finely chopped strawberries to the whipped cream for a delicious dessert.
- I use a butter knife tipped in hot water to cut off the piped finger from the nozzle.
- I find using a pair of scissors very easy to split the side of the eclair.
- Make sure the filling is thick so that it does make the base soggy.
- Use an eclair baking tray if you have one for uniform size.
|chocolate thumbprint cookies|
|extra nutty dark chocolate fudge brownies|