Saturday, 15 December 2012

Chocolate Eclairs

It's been a long time since I participated in a blogger baking event. So far, I've only joined Aspiring Bakers. I think it's a good idea to be part of such event. Not only does it introduce me to more blogger friends,  it also  gives me direction to my next baking  project. Unfortunately, I've not been able to follow the event closely. I think I should resume...


Recently I saw Lena baked chocolate eclairs for Free & Easy Bake Along, an event she co-hosted. I thought this would be a good time for me to participate in this event since I also wanted to try Chef Yamashita's chocolate eclair recipe. It took me two days to prepare this sweet treat. I prepared the custard cream on Thursday, mixed the dough & baked the shells on Friday morning and finally assembled the eclairs after lunch. I know it can be quite overwhelming when you look at the recipe, but I can tell you that it's really worth it! The eclairs are just superb! 


Chocolate Eclairs
Recipe by Chef Yamashita Masataka in Tanoshii, Joy of Making Japanese-style Cake & Desserts.

1 portion (250g) pate a choux dough (see recipe below)
1 egg , lighly beaten

CHOCOLATE CREAM - I doubled this up.
30g dark chocolate buttons - I used Valrhona Equatoriale 55%.
100g custard cream (see recipe below)

Place chocolate buttons  in a microwave-safe bowl & heat in a microwave oven on High at 20-second bursts, stirring & checking each time, so chocolate does not burn. (Alternatively, the chocolate buttons can also be melted over double-boiler.) When chocolate is smooth & melted, fold it into custard cream & mix well. Transfer chocolate cream to a piping bag fitted with a 0.8-cm round tip. Set aside.

GANACHE
70g dark chocolate buttons
70g heavy cream
Place dark chocolate in a bowl. In a saucepan, bring heavy cream to a simmer until it reaches 90deg C. Pour over dark chocolate & whisk to combine.

CHANTILLY CREAM
100g heavy cream

Using a hand whisk, whisk heavy cream until soft peaks form. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a 0.8-cm round tip. (I placed the bag of cream in the freezer while waiting to be used.)

PATE A CHOUX DOUGH
72g pastry flour (top flour) - sifted
60g milk
60g water
60g unsalted butter
2g salt
4g sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
1 egg white, if needed
  1. Preheat oven to 200 deg C. Line a baking tray.
  2. In a saucepan, stir milk, water, unsalted butter, salt & sugar over medium heat until mixture starts to boil. Remove from heat. Whisk in pastry flour until fully incorporated.
  3. Return saucepan to medium heat. Using a heatproof rubber spatula, stir until dough starts to stick together & pulls away from sides of saucepan. Transfer dough to a medium bowl.
  4. Using a spatula, fold in beaten eggs half portion at a time, ensuring full incorporation after each addition. The dough will be thick & elastic.
  5. Test by lifting half of dough with the spatula. It should fall off in 3 seconds. If it does not, mix in 1 tbsp egg white & test again. Repeat if necessary.
  6. Transfer choux dough to a piping bag fitted with a 1-cm round tip & pipe dough into logs about 10cm long & 1 cm high, spacing them 4cm apart. 
  7. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush dough with beaten egg. Using a wet fork, lightly shape dough to smoothen surface. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until dough has risen slightly.
  8. Lower oven temperature to 180deg C & bake for 20-30 minutes until puffs are risen & golden brown.
  9. Remove from oven & leave to cool on a wire rack before filling puffs. (Unfilled choux puffs will keep for up to 1 day in an airtight container.)
CUSTARD CREAM (makes about 260g)
10g cornflour
10g pastry flour (top flour)

200g milk
1/2 pod vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped (I used 1 tsp pure vanilla paste.)
10g sugar
30g unsalted butter
7g salted butter

45g egg yolks, at room temperature
43g sugar
50g milk
  1. Sift together cornflour & pastry flour. Set aside.. In a saucepan, simmer 200g milk, vanilla seeds & pod, 10g sugar & butters over medium heat until butter is melted & sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk egg yolks with 43g sugar until pale. Add sifted flours & whisk until fully incorporated. Add 50g milk & mix well. Add mixture from saucepan & mix until uniform.
  3. Strain into another saucepan & place over high heat, whisking vigorously until mixture is thickened. The mixture will bubble at the centre throughout. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
  4. Prepare a large bowl of iced water & palce mixing bowl over it. Using a rubber spatula, scrape base & sides of bowl until custard cream is cold to the touch & the surface is shiny.
  5. Cover cream with plasticwrap, pressing down onto surface of cream. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before using. Custard cream will keep refrigerated for up to 2 days.
ASSEMBLING THE ECLAIRS:
  1. Slice cooled choux pastry logs into half horizontally.
  2. Dip top layer of logs in ganache & arrange on a baking tray. Refrigerate for 10 minutes until ganache is set.
  3. Pipe a thick layer of chocolate cream onto choux bases, then pipe a layer of Chantilly cream over. Sandwich with top layer & serve. Consume within the day.

I'm submitting this entry to Free & Easy Bake Along event #37 (Chocolate Eclairs),  hosted by  Joyce from Kitchen Flavours, Lena from Frozen Wings and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids.




12 comments:

lena said...

good morning faeez, how are you? am so glad to see that you're baking these chocolate eclairs to participate in our bake along. Very interesting book you have there on japanese cakes, i would also like to chk on the book later. Now i know why you said you need 2 days to make these eclairs..the chocolate custard cream must have tasted heavenly and it has 2 layers of fillings! this must be incredibly good! Thank you so much for joining us for the first time and hope to see your participation again! have a good weekend!

Anzerin said...

i adore your eclairs very much. it look so elegant to me.

Faeez said...

Lena, good morning to you too. I'm good, thank you. I'm glad, finally, I've baked something for BA event. I've been wanting to join it. The custard is indeed heavenly. And the two layers of filling really make these eclairs really good! Yes, you should take a look at this book, it's a good buy. I can assure you this this will not my last time taking part in the BA. :)

Faeez said...

Anzerin, thank you for dropping by. These eclairs really taste heavenly... do try this recipe the next time you want to have home-made eclairs.

Mel said...

hello faeez
ooh, another delicious looking recipe from you! I bet this cookbook you had, most of the recipes must be really very tempting and yummy. If you keep on posting regularly from this cookbook, I can't keep up with you. I will try this eclairs one day...bet it must be delicious as it look. You are very good in your baking Faeez!

kitchen flavours said...

Hi Faeez,
Delicious looking eclairs! The filling sounds really good and I can see that these are indeed worth the time spent on making them. I bet they are all gone in a flash!
Thank you for baking along with us, it is nice to know you thru Bake-Along! Hope you can join us again!
Have a great weekend!

Faeez said...

Mel, you're right. This book has so many temping recipes, I feel like trying all of them. When i first saw it at the bookstore, it didn't take me long to decide buying it. I'm glad I did. I've tried 2 recipes, I'm very satisfied.
I'm just passionate about baking & i've been baking for so many years. I can see you are passionate too. Just keep baking & you'll be very good at it.
Don't worry, soon you'll be able to catch up with me. Come January when I go to work, I can't afford the time & energy to bake so often, hehe..

Faeez said...

Joyce,
Thanks for dropping by.Nice to know you too. Yes, I hope to join bake along as often as I can. The filling is indeed delicious. The combination of custard cream & whipped cream is quite unique.

Jasline (Foodie Baker) said...

Hi Faeez, your eclairs look so amazing and delicious! Glad to know you through Bake Along! :)

Zoe said...

Hi Faeez,

Nice to have you baking along with us!

Your eclairs look superb! This recipe from Joy of Making Japanese-style Cake & Desserts seems so flawless and perfect. I would love to check out more about this book.

Zoe

Faeez said...

Hi Jasline. Thanks for dropping by. The eclairs taste very delicious too. Try baking them! :)

Faeez said...

Hi Zoe, I'm glad I've finally started joining the event. Oooh... wait till you see the book & all the pictures in it.... Yes, go check it out!

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