yes sit right there,
let me tell you all about
Sara and her eclair
Oh the day looked good
and it seemed like she had luck,
but by dessert-time
it was clear that she was f-
Oh hi! I didn't see you there. Let me just put down my poem. So you're here to check out my Daring Baker post for August. Well Meeta and Tony sure picked a fun recipe - Chocolate Eclairs by none other than Pierre Herme himself. Yum.
I was going to make these on some lazy Sunday, but then early in the month we invited some people over for dinner. Perfect - I could make the dessert and have extra people around to eat it.
Because Meeta and Tony are benevolent hosts, they allowed us to alter the recipe slightly. The eclair recipe as written called for chocolate cream in the pastry and chocolate glaze on the tops. M&T allowed us to change one of the components if we wished, as long as one stayed chocolate.
I decided to make them a little more summery and change the filling to simply whipped cream mixed with vanilla, a little sugar, and some raspberries.
And then I broke my eclairs.
The day of: Thank God the recipe is easy and fast. Got home almost an hour late from work. Instead of 2 hours until the guests arrive, I've got just over an hour to make the eclairs, filling and glaze, as well as get started on the rest of dinner. The choux pastry came together easily and with my plastic-bag-turned-into-a-piping-bag I got 24 eclairs.
We baked the pastries, and when the were puffy, golden brown and seemed firm, we removed from the oven and let cool. I turned my attentions to other parts of dinner, but a few minutes later I walked by the cooling rack. Almost all of the pastries had deflated. We cut one open and decided that they might be a little undercooked; perhaps that was why they sank. Back into the oven where they got a little browner and puffed up again. But again, as soon as they came out of the oven, flat city. I don't know why. We followed the recipe exactly, our size was right, our oven temperature was good. Last year cream puffs were an element in a different DB challenge and they were fine. Could it be the altitude here in Kamloops?
There wasn't time left to fuss with them any longer, so I started gathering the ingredients for the glaze for the tops.
Was that the doorbell?
I ran out of time. We'd hardly done anything for dinner, and now everyone was here. While I got drinks and put out some chips and salsa, Scott made a fast glaze of chocolate and cream, and drizzled the tops.
After dinner I squished some raspberries up, and mixed them into cream whipped with vanilla and powdered sugar. I used another plastic-bag-piping-bag to fill them, and look how lovely they looked:
Ok, so I didn't really break them. They just didn't go as planned. Were they warmly received by all diners? Yes. Were they yummy? Yes, although I found them to be more eggy than I am used to. Were they fairly easy to make? Yes. Would I make them again? I'm not 100% sure. We don't eat a ton of dessert anyway, and I was pretty bummed about the flatness. Which may or may not have anything at all to do with the recipe.
Head over to Meeta or Tony's to get the recipe. And over in the right column there's a link to the Daring Baker blogroll, all eleventy billion of us.