Wednesday 28 August 2013

Coffee Éclairs

The months of June & July were my busy blogging months this year...  I posted 11 & 10 times in June & July respectively! Wow!! That's amazing by my standards! That's possible only because I wasn't working in June because of the school holidays & I also took a month of leave from work in July. I returned to work early this month & since then, my blogging activity has also returned to the normal slow pace. Sigh....
I've already saved  pictures of some of the Hari Raya goodies in the draft folder... really hope to share the recipes soon. At the same time, I'm also trying my best to participate in a few blogging events. It's a challenge, but I'm going to take a step at a time.... 

Now, about today's recipe... I made this Coffee Éclairs because I wanted to take part in the Aspiring Baker's event - Choux Party. So I looked through my collection of baking books & decided to bake something from The Art of The Dessert, written by Ann Amernick. Apparently, Ann is one of American top ten pastry chefs who was also nominated several times for the James Beard Pastry Chef Award. I bought this hard-cover book for only SG$2 at the NBL book sale, I think it was last year... The price printed on the book jacket is US$40! 

I'm glad I made the éclairs... they're so delicious! This is my first time tasting coffee-flavoured pastry cream. The intense coffee flavour  of the creamy, smooth & rich filling complements the light pastry shells  very well. They are really great taken with tea or coffee!

Coffee Éclairs
Recipe by Ann Amernick  from The Art of The Dessert.

Éclair Shells
4-5 large eggs (200g & 50g, separated, or 1 cup) - I used only 4 eggs in all.
3/4 cup water
85g (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup (105g) all-purpose flour, sifted

  1. Lightly beat 1 of the eggs & set aside. 
  2. Place the water, butter, sugar, & salt in a medium saucepan & bring to a boil over medium-high heat. As soon as the butter has melted & the mixture come to a boil, add the flour all at once, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the paste pulls away from the side of the pan, about 1 minute.
  3. Place the paste in a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment & beat on medium speed. Add the remaining 4 eggs one at a time, making sure each egg is fully incorporated into the paste before adding the next. Add just enough of the beaten egg, 1 tsp at a time, to make the paste shiny, very smooth, & just thick enough to fall from the spoon. Reserve the remaining beaten egg for egg wash. The paste may be kept at room temperature, covered with plastic wrap, for up to several hours until ready to use.
  4. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a 5/8-inch plain tip with the eclair paste & pipe twelve to fourteen 5-inch-long strips, placing them about 2 inches apart on the pans lined with parchment paper. Brush quickly with the egg wash (I forgot to do this.). Immediately bake in a pre-heated oven at 375 deg F (190C) for 20 minutes (do not open the oven door), then reduce the temperature to 350 deg F (180 C) & bake for about 15 more minutes, or until golden, puffed & light in weight (airy).
Pastry Cream
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup (30g) cake flour, sifted
2 cups milk
10 large egg youlks (200g or 7/8 cup)
2 tbsps unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tbsps coffee extract (I used 3 tsps of Nescafe granules.)

  1. Combine the sugar & cake flour in a bowl, whisking to remove any lumps to ensure the pastry cream is smooth.
  2. Bring the milk to a boil in a large saucepan. Meanwhile, place the egg yolks in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment & whip on high speed for about 2 minutes. Add the flour mixture & continue whisking until the egg mixture is thick, heavy & pale. Remove the bowl from the mixer & bring it over to the stove.
  3. When the milk comes to a rolling boil & rises up the side of the pan, reduce the heat to low. Whisk several spoonfuls of the hot milk into the egg mixture to temper it, then return the tempered mixture to the saucepan & cook for about 2 minute, stirring constantly, until the pastry cream begins to bubble or "burp". Continue cooking for 2 minute to ensure that there is not floury after-taste.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat & whisk in the butter & coffee extract. (I added the Nescafe to the milk in step 2.) Pour the pastry cream into a bowl & tightly press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface, leaving only a small area uncovered to allow the heat to escape. This will prevent a skin from forming on the pastry cream. Refrigerate until chilled, then cover completely with plastic wrap. If refrigerated, the pastry cream may be made up to 4 days in advance.

Asssembling the Éclairs

Re crisp the éclair shells by putting them in a 300 deg F (150 C) oven for about 3 minutes. Let cool & then fill with pastry cream, using spoon or a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip. Place the tops back on the filled éclairs & top them up with sifted icing sugar, ganache or fondant.

I'm submitting this post to the:

2. Little Thumbs Up "Egg" event organised by Bake for Happy Kids,  my little favourite DIY and hosted by  Baby Sumo of Eat Your Heart Out, and

3. Cook Your Books No 3 organised by Joyce of Kitchen Flavours.


kitchen flavours said...

Hi Faeez,
Your coffee eclairs looks so good! I love coffee and these sounds wonderful to me!
Thank you for linking!

Mel said...

Hi Faeez
Your eclairs looks so tempting and inviting for me to try out. Sure to be very delicious. But 10 egg yolks in the pastry cream....oh my...

Zoe said...

Hi Faeez,

I have been baking and blogging like crazy these few months too... Wish for a break in Nov...

Your coffee elcairs look great! Nice that this post will link up with 3 cooking events!!!


Gee® said...


Victoria Bakes said...


Baby Sumo said...

Mmmmm your eclairs sure look great! Thanks for linking this to LTU!

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