Let’s just while I made these eclairs, I learned how it felt like to be everyone else. As in not me, the baker extraordinaire. Let me explain, baking comes easy to come, I read a recipe, follow directions, and then ta-da! I mean I’m no expert in french baking but hey I want to say I’m a pretty decent baker….but not while making these darn eclairs. For the first time in the longest time I had to try THREE times to finally get the end result. First and second batch I used the Martha Stewart recipe and the first batch did not puff up at all. Second match turned brown and burned. And finally, third time’s a charm using Alton’s Brown recipe I achieved what I wanted. As for the pastry cream, I’ve had experience so this turned out well. Nevertheless these eclairs were delicious and I was so wiped and exhausted when I finished.
Pate a Choux from Food Network
1 cup water
3/4 stick butter (6 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon sugar plus 1/8 teaspoon salt (for sweet)
1 teaspoon salt (for savory)
5 3/4 ounces flour
1 cup eggs, about 4 large eggs and 2 whites
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Boil water, butter, and salt or sugar. Add flour and remove from heat. Work mixture together and return to heat. Continue working the mixture until all flour is incorporated and dough forms a ball. Transfer mixture into bowl of a standing mixer and let cool for 3 or 4 minutes. With mixer on stir or lowest speed add eggs, 1 at a time, making sure the first egg is completely incorporated before continuing. Once all eggs have been added and the mixture is smooth put dough into piping bag fitted with a round tip. Pipe immediately into golfball-size shapes, 2 inches apart onto parchment lined sheet pans. Cook for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350 degrees F and bake for 10 more minutes or until golden brown. Once they are removed from the oven pierce with a paring knife immediately to release steam.
Pastry Cream from Martha Stewart
6 large egg yolks
1 large egg
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1. Prepare an ice bath; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine egg yolks, egg, and 2 tablespoons sugar. Add cornstarch and flour; whisk until smooth and pale yellow. Set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan, combine milk and remaining 3/4 cup sugar. Stir over medium-high heat until milk begins to steam. Whisking constantly, add half the hot milk to the egg-yolk mixture. Stir until smooth; add combined mixture back to remaining hot milk in the pan. Bring mixture to a boil, whisking rapidly to prevent scorching. Remove from heat, and stir in butter and vanilla. Strain through a fine sieve into a medium bowl.
3. Place over ice bath and let stand, stirring frequently, until cool. Remove from ice bath, and press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto surface until ready to use. If not using immediately, refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
So delicious! I bought these to a get together at Chitpole and in minutes they were gone!