Life by Chocolate

Chocolate, white, milk, dark, in all its forms forms life. Chocolate truffles, caramels, and other confections are at the core of enjoyment. This is life by chocolate because death by chocolate is the wrong attitude.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Putting it all together, éclair recipe.

Now for the final touch, putting the two ingredients together. First, you made the shells and then you made the pastry cream. Remember, do not put the cream into a hot shell. If you do, eat it right away. Do not refrigerate the éclairs when you are done, the shells will get soft. Best thing is to make the shells and the pastry cream in advance and put them together just before serving.

This is both easier and harder than it looks. If you have a pastry cream injector, it's a piece of cake. If you don't and have to use a pastry bag, it's harder. I use a pastry bag because that's what I have.

First I hole the éclair.

Like so.

Then I take a small tip and fill the éclair until it is all the way full. You can also just cut the éclair in half and pipe the pastry cream into it like a sandwich.

The next step is either to dip the top of the éclair into untempered chocolate or you can make and pipe a ganache. I make a simple one. I just pour heavy cream into hot untempered chocolate until it looks right. I like a dark ganache but don't make it too dark because it will clog the piping back. Here is a ganache recipe. Though that ganache may be too thin. Anyway, just pour in enough cream into some chocolate to give you a very nice, soft ganache.

Like so.

And then you can pipe the ganache onto the éclair. I'm using a closed star tip. Actually, this is a drop flower tip. I would not recommend using that tip unless you are doing flowers though I got a very interesting look with it. Just use a normal open or closed star tip. I like the closed star tip the best.

For how to use a pastry or decorating bag, here's an article. I don't have a coupler. I just drop my tip into a disposable bag. I use one tip until the bag is gone. I'm not decorating cakes. I'm making a lot of éclairs. I also use big pastry tips not decorating tips.

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Pastry Cream Recipe

The secret to making Pastry Cream is to just barely boil the cream after the corn starch has been added. For the corn starch to be effective, you have to boil it or else it will not thicken. The second secret is to whip the cream with butter. The best way to do this is to put your mixer etc. into a very cold place, like your fridge. This is probably not possible. So, what I do is use a mixer and whip it till done and then put it in the fridge after cooling it in an ice bath.

1.5 oz of Cornstarch
2 cups of Milk or Cream, Milk is cheaper.
4 oz of Sugar
3 Eggs
2 oz of Butter
1 tsp Vanilla Extract

First combine cornstarch and a little of the milk to dissolve the cornstarch. If you are using a mixer, this isn't that necessary but it helps. Then add the sugar and eggs and blend. I do this step all by hand. It's just easier.

Next combine the remaining sugar and milk and bring to a boil. Temper the eggs mixture and return the mixture to the pot. Stir and don't stop stirring. Bring to a boil and cook for about 1 minute or until it starts to thicken.

Remove from the heat. This is where I like to put the Pastry Cream into a mixer and add the butter and any flavoring such as the vanilla extract. Add lemon (zest) and it's an Italian pastry cream. I've seen Italian pastry cream recipes with orange flavoring.

Cover the surface of the pastry cream and put it in the fridge after it has cooled enough. You can use an ice bath to do this. Use once it has cooled.

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