Sunday, 6 December 2015

Eclairs

I started writing this post ages ago and never posted it. Sorry. This is my third blog post this weekend. I posted a ton because I hadn't for a while and because I wanted to give you a food one as well as the two non food ones.

For some reason I only took pictures on my iPod, not my camera, so they aren't very good.


There has only been one time in my life where I have remembered eating an eclair. We were living in San Francisco at the time. I was probably about 8 and we had picked some up on the way home from school. I can remember thinking 'oh this is going to be so sweet' but then thinking 'actually, it wont be too bad'. I sat on our orange futon thing with it on a plate and slowly ate the whole thing. I was at the age where I thought that eating too many sweet things in one day was bad. I once went to my friends birthday sleepover. We had ice cream sundaes for pudding and I had two scoops of vanilla ice cream with a bit of chocolate sauce while everyone else had sprinkles and more ice cream. As you can see I was a bit of an odd kid. I am no longer like that and I see it fine to have two slices of the cake I made in one day.


Eclairs always seemed like a challenging food to make. They are made of choux pastry, which is cooked twice. Once on the stove and then in the oven. I decided to take on the challenge on the last day of my summer holidays. My sister was already back at school and my dad was working. Why not make the last day of summer a good one?

They turned out to not be as hard as I thought they would be. The only hard part was when you added the flour. My mum had to do the mixing at that part because my arm power was not up to speed.


We have about 4 recipes in the house, but I ended up using the one from Tartine. Tartine is a bakery in San Francisco that always has an extremely long line that is around the block. We have never actually got to eat there but we know that it is a good place to go. I mean anyone knows, all you have to do is look at the line...


Ingredients:

Choux Pastry:

125 ml of milk
125 ml of water
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
115g unsalted butter
115g of plain flour
5 large eggs

Chocolate Glaze:

115g chocolate, broken into pieces
125ml heavy cream
1 tbsp agave syrup (or any kind of sweetener that you have)

Filling:

Double Cream to whip


Method:

Preheat the oven to 220°C. Butter a baking sheet and then cover with baking paper.

In a saucepan, combine the milk, water, salt, sugar and butter. Place over a medium heat and heat until the butter has melted and the mix begins to fully boil. Add in the flour all at once and stir quickly with a wooden spoon. Keep stirring until the mix is smooth and pulls away from the sides. Some of the moisture should have evaporated. This takes about 3 minutes.

Transfer to a heatproof bowl. Add the eggs one by one, mixing each one in thoroughly before you add the next. The mix should be smooth, thick and shiny.

Transfer to a piping bag and pipe out fingers that are about 5 inches long and 1 inch wide. Make sure you space them out well; 2 inches is ok. Smooth the ends off with a damp fingertip.

Bake until they are showing some colour, and are puffed. Reduce the temperature to 190°C and bake until the eclair shells feel light and are hollow. This should take about 12 minutes.

Remove from the oven and poke holes in each end to let the steam escape. Leave them to cool on a wire rack. These keep frozen for up to 3 weeks. Recrisp them directly from the freezer in a 230°C for 10 minutes, then cool.

To make the glaze, combine the chocolate and agave syrup in a heatproof bowl. Bring the cream to a boil in a sauce, and then pour it over the chocolate and agave. Leave the mixture for 2 minutes without stirring. Mix gently with a spatula until smooth and shiny. Leave to cool until warm.

Whip your cream, and then pipe it into the eclairs. Top with the chocolate glaze mixture. They should be eaten the day they are filled.






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