Eclairs

It’s French Pastry Week here at From Scratch!  We’re kicking things off today with eclairs.  These eclairs are actually last week’s French Friday’s with Dorie recipe, but I was out of town for Spring Break and didn’t get a chance to make them.  I had hoped to make them a week early, but had to concede that getting the taxes done was more important than making eclairs (although a lot less fun!).

Dorie gives several options for filling and glazing the eclairs, suggesting vanilla, chocolate, and coffee in any combination.  She really gives you permission to be creative!  I chose to do the vanilla pastry cream filling and chocolate ganache glaze, because to me that is the “traditional” combination for eclairs.  I am intrigued by the vanilla glaze and may give it a try some day.

Pâte â choux, or cream puff dough, is very versatile.  It can be used to make sweet treats like eclairs and cream puffs, or savory dishes like gougères and Gnocchi à la Parisienne.  I made half my dough into puffs and froze them to make profiteroles for Easter.

Unbaked Puffs

Eclairs are very fun to make, though a little time consuming.  But, there are several distinct steps so you can break it up throughout the day.  First I made the Vanilla Pastry Cream and put it in the fridge to cool.  It tastes heavenly!  Next I made the pâte â choux.  It must be used while it is still warm.  I do not have the required pastry bag or large tip, so I improvised with a plastic zip-lock bag (as recommended by Dorie herself on the Eclairs P&Q).  I haven’t done much piping, so I was a little nervous, but it worked great!

The piped eclairs are baked and cooled.

Fresh Out of the Oven

Several Doristas had trouble with their baked eclairs sinking in after removing them from the oven.  Mine did deflate a little bit, but not enough for me to bother with re-making them.  I read some recommendations to cook them a little longer and I will try that next time.

Slightly Deflated

Finally, I made the chocolate ganache.  Assembly went more quickly than I expected.  The eclairs are sliced in half.  The vanilla pastry cream is piped onto the bottom halves.  The ganache is spread on the top halves, which are then placed on top of the eclairs.

Finished Eclairs

Oh. My. Goodness.  These are delicious!  There is nothing like a freshly made pastry.

You can check out all the other eclairs here.  So many different combinations of flavors!

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Before I close, I want to give a shout-out to Rachel at Eaternal Bliss.  She hosted a giveaway for two copies of the cookbook Hello, Cupcake! and I was randomly selected as one of the winners!  I have only recently discovered Rachel’s blog and it is lovely.  Her photos are beautiful and her recipes very tempting!  Check out the beautiful butterfly cupcakes she made using Hello, Cupcake! as her inspiration.

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7 Comments

Filed under Cooking

7 responses to “Eclairs

  1. Maureen

    Karen,
    The eclairs look heavenly! That is a lot of eclairs for 3 people and it sounds like you halved the recipe. My mouth is watering just thinking about them.

  2. Teresa

    Those look fantastic. I especially love the first photo – it looks exactly like a bakery eclair. Good job!

  3. Diane Libby

    Oh my gosh Karen, eclairs are my absolute favorite dessert/snack/main dish, whatever. I think the next time you are in Lake Forest Park, you need to make them for your folks and invite a select few (one) old friend over to help polish them off. Diane

  4. kak

    I want one right now! Beautiful.

  5. Karen

    I wish I could send one to each of you – we certainly have enough!

  6. Karen – The eclairs look fabulous! I love any dessert that includes the combination of pastry, chocolate, and pat a choux! Yum!

    And thank you for the shout out and kind words. 🙂

  7. You did a fantastic job with your eclairs, Karen! They look so light and puffy – just perfect! I’m so glad that you made them.

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