Friday, October 17, 2008

Pate Choux Eclairs avec Creme Patissiere et sauce au Chocolate

Bonjour. Aujourd'hui nous faisons cuire un très bon dessert classique français. Translation: Good Day. Today we are cooking a very good classic French dessert. Eclairs filled with pastry cream and topped with a bittersweet chocolate sauce.

I wanted to challenge myself with a multifaceted dessert and this one fit the bill. I went to a number of sources for each component which consist of: 1)eclairs; 2)pastry cream; and 3)chocolate sauce. Each piece of this dessert was fairly easy in it's own right and the pastry cream can be made a couple of days prior to needing it as it can stay in the refrigerator covered with plastic. Those French really know how to cook, don't they?
So here we go.

Note: There is one special equipment requirement and that is a large pastry bag and pastry tip for piping out the eclairs.
Pate Choux Eclairs
1/2 cup water
4 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs at room temperature

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine the water and butter in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the flour all at once, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon. Return to moderate heat and stir constantly until the dough leaves the sides of the pan and forms a ball. Remove from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating hard until the dough is smooth after each egg. Put the dough in a pastry bag and pipe onto an ungreased cookie sheet in strips about 4 1/2 inches long and 1 inch wide. Bake for 30 minutes or until the puffs are golden. Take from oven and put a slit in the side of each eclair to let the steam escape. Put on racks to cool completely. Store in an airtight container if not using within 2 hours.
Above: Flour, water, and butter combined and cooked.
Above: Adding eggs one at a time.
Above: Dough ready to be piped onto ungreased cookie sheet.
Above: Piped eclairs ready for the oven.

Above: Finished eclair shells.
Creme Patissiere (Pastry Cream)
1 cup whole milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp sugar
3 egg yolks
1 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp unsalted butter

Combine the milk and 1/4 cup sugar in a saucepan and heat until the sugar dissolves. In a bowl, beat the egg yolks with the remaining tablespoon of sugar until thick. Sprinkle the flour and cornstarch into the mixture and combine and continue beating until well mixed.
Above: the egg yolks and sugar ready for a good stir until it thickens.
Above: Finished pastry cream ready for it's plastic wrap cover and refrigeration until ready to use.

Remove the milk from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour half the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture and stir. Return this mixture to the remaining milk in the saucepan and bring to a boil very quickly, whisking to prevent scorching. Remove from the heat and pour into a clean bowl. Rub the top of the cream with butter to prevent a skin from forming. Top with a piece of plastic wrap so that it covers the entire surface of the cream and let cool completely then refrigerate.
Sauce Au Chocolate (Chocolate Sauce)
2/3 cup white corn syrup
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 ounces (2 squares) unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped
6 tbsp. butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 big pinch of salt
2 tsp vanilla extract

Boil the corn syrup in a small saucepan for a minute or two, until it forms heavy strands as you drop it off the spoon. Remove from heat and stir in the water. Stir together the sugar and cocoa getting out all of the lumps, then whisk them in the syrup. Simmer, stirring for several seconds until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add the baking chocolate and simmer, stirring until melted. Blend in the butter and cream. Bring to a full boil for 15 seconds. Remove from heat and stir in the salt and vanilla.
Above: Corn syrup at a full boil
Above: Chocolate with addition of cream and butter.

This is a very loose sauce and I was wanting a more thick frosting that I could apply to the tops of the eclairs so I took half the sauce and mixed in confectioners sugar until it came to the consistency of frosting.

Cut eclairs in two and scrape some of the insides. Pipe or spoon in the pastry cream. Put top back on. Apply a layer of chocolate frosting over the top of the eclair. Put a puddle of the chocolate sauce on the plate and set your beautiful filled and frosted eclair in the middle of the sauce. A dollop of whip cream would certainly not hurt if you have some around. Indulge!

1 comment:

whack patti said...

OMG! Perfect! Delicious! Rich, creamy chocolatey goodness!