Saturday, 15 June 2013

Chocolate eclairs - Baking partners challenge

Baking partners is a group for new bakers, they enhance the baking skills by alloting monthly challenges, mailing all suggested recipes, tips etc This month's challenge was Chocolate eclairs.  


Baking Partners




Thanks to Baking partners for suggesting the same as honestly speaking the topic was quite new to me, but after coming across the recipes and few videos, I understood that chocolate eclairs is a french pastry filled with choco-custard cream (and also any fruit custard cream) and topped  with choco glaze.  The very difference of this to other pastry form is that the basic dough is first cooked in stove first, mixed with flour, then added to beaten eggs to obtain a glazy form.   I followed the pastry recipe by www.joyofbaking.com



Ingredients required

For making eclairs

  • 1/2 cup of water (120ml)
  • 4 tbspn of unsalted butter (55gm)
  • 1/2 cup of maida (65gm)
  • 1/2 tsp of granulated white sugar
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 egg beaten (for glaze)

For making choco-custard & glaze

  • 125 gm of dark/milk chocolate bar
  • 2 tbsn of unsalted butter
  • Prepared Custard - 1 cup (click here for recipe)


Method

Sift maida twice and mix with sugar and salt. Keep aside.  For the preparation of pastry dough, combine butter and water in a separate pan.  The butter should be soft so that it must melt before water starts to boil during heating. ( I kept the butter out of refrigerator for two to three hours)  So, heat the pan and when the water boil, at this stage switch off the gas and add maida-sugar-salt combo.  Mix well with spoon so that no lumps are formed.  Again transfer this pan into stove and keep stirring till the dough kind of deposits on sides and bottom of the pan.  Switch off and remove aside.  



Now remove the dough and let it cool.  After it comes to lukewarm temperature, beat it  simultaneously adding the beaten  eggs.  Care should be taken that eggs are added in batches, i took about three batches.  Dough will first seem to break down as given in first below pic, but, don't worry with continous beating and addition of eggs, dough with reform its consistency.  At the end of third batch, I get a nice glossy pastry that falls off from the beater like a thick ribbon.  Using an icing bag, pipe them and brush beaten egg all over it.  Bake them at 200 degree celsius for first 15 minutes and reduce the temperature for 180 degree celsius for next 25 minutes.  Cool over wire rack. 



And yes, now am getting crisp eclairs on outside, and super soft, spongy inside.  Now for filling and glaze, melt chocolate in double-boiler, stirr in butter.  Divide this into two.  Add one half to prepared custard and reserve other half for glaze.  Let the choco-custard set in refrigerator to regain its creamy status, preparing them day before baking is also an wise option.  Now to arrange eclairs, slit them lengthwise, fill with choco-custard, close them and spoon over choco-glaze.  Your chocolate eclairs is now ready!!



You can have it readily , or sometime later.  For more detailed description and video, kindly click on  this link



Happy baking!!  :)   

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