Friday, February 11, 2011

Chocolate Eclairs and Cream puffs

Eclair au chocolat... a magnificent dessert and a delightful French classic. A concoction of choux pastry with a filling of whipped cream and chocolate glaze topping, every bit delicious. This is my valentines dessert this year. Happy Valentines day everyone.

Valentine Treasures
By Joanna Fuchs
Valentine treasures are people who
have often crossed your mind,
family, friends and others, too,
who in your life have shined
the warmth of love or a spark of light
that makes you remember them;
no matter how long since you’ve actually met,
each one is a luminous gem,
who gleams and glows in your memory,
bringing special pleasures,
and that’s why this Valentine comes to you:
You’re one of those sparkling treasures!

Choux Pastry
Ingredients: makes a dozen

3/4 cup water
6 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup all purpose flour
3 eggs
  1. Preheat oven to 425 F. 
  2. In a saucepan, combine butter, water and salt over medium heat and bring to boil stirring constantly. 
  3. On boil remove from heat and stir in all the flour to make a smooth batter. 
  4. Return to heat and cook stirring constantly until the mixture leaves the side of the pan. 
  5. Remove from heat and cool the mixture completely before adding eggs. 
  6. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Make sure each egg is fully mixed before adding the next. It should make a stiff enough dough to pipe. Fill up the dough into a piping bag with 1/2 inch nozzle. 
  7. On a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, pipe this mixture in the desired shape. Make 4 inch long eclairs or small round cream puffs. 
  8. Bake at 425 F for 10 minutes till they are well risen. 
  9. Lower the oven temperature to 350 F and continue baking for another 15 minutes till completely dry. 
  10. These should be completely firm when taken out of the oven, or they will collapse. 
  11. When they are completely cool, use a sharp knife to slit the horizontally and pipe in whipped cream. 
  12. Spread chocolate glaze on top of each and give a dusting of powdered sugar.

Chocolate glaze

4 oz semisweet chocolate
pinch salt
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp sugar
  1. Melt chocolate and butter together in a double boiler. 
  2. Add salt and sugar and stir for a minute until smooth. 
  3. Use it while its still spreadable. If it starts to set, heat it a bit.

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