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My first ever.  First DB Challenge.  First Pâte à Choux.  First Pastry Cream.  I was so excited!  I took my eldest to school, went shopping for all my ingredients (I heard fresh is best for Choux dough), and put the toddler down for her afternoon nap— 3 whole hours to myself and my Eclairs.  Heaven!

Making the Choux dough was much easier than I thought it would be.  I think I was a little short on flour because I sifted first.  I have since learned it is best for this dough to sift after measuring.

The dough itself resembles goopy hair gel from the 90’s when dropped from your wooden spoon.  Loading it into the pastry bag and piping it onto the cookie sheet was also very easy.  HINT:  Do not copy my step of piping onto the cookie sheet directly, use parchment or a silpat.  I watched 2 You-Tubers do this and it worked fine for them.  Nonetheless, mine stuck to the pan.  When you remove them from the oven to poke a hole in them, it is critical that you get them right back in the oven. If they stick to the pan, like mine, they will fall before you get them back in.

I was very happy with the way my dough puffed up.  About 80% of my Eclairs were hollow in the middle and took the cream filling very well.  I will cook them an additional 3 minutes next time to ensure the exterior of the “bun” stays crisp.  The recipe for the Choux dough did not yield enough for me to make large Eclairs like I had hoped, in fact it only made enough for 18.  When finished, two Eclairs side by side were no bigger than a business card.  I love to share what I bake with family and friends. This was hardly enough to go around.  For all the effort and dishes, I will double it next time.

I decided to alter the filling.  We were allowed to alter either the filling or the glaze in this challenge.  Even though I changed the cream, I followed the amounts and instructions exactly.  The only substitute I used was white for dark chocolate and once my cream was cool, I added 1 tablespoon of Hazelnut Liquor.  I found that once I filled my Eclairs, I was only left with about 1/2 cup of cream.  That being said, I believe the recipe for the Choux and the cream are spot on.  However, I was left with more than 1/2 of the chocolate glaze.  Therefore, I will need to scale that down before my next attempt.

I sliced my Eclairs lengthwise, per the directions, and used a star tip to pipe the cream into the open Eclairs.  The cream was not quiet stiff enough to hold its shape once the top was put on.   I dipped the tops in the chocolate glaze instead of spooning it on.  This gave my Eclairs a much more finished look.

They tasted wonderful!  We ate them all in less than 24 hours and I am salivating right now wishing I had just one more to eat!   I think Pierre was right on with this recipe, and I personally can’t wait to make them again.

In conclusion, the Daring Bakers are a wonderful network of knowledgeable, sportive people who make this experience wonderful.  I am proud to now be one!  Thanks Daring Bakers for the beginning of a journey I can’t wait to travel!

Follow the MORE TAG for Pierre Hermé’s Chocolate Éclairs Recipe.

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Hello reader, this Blog is a real time biography for Bonobo Cakes. BC will become an official bakery sooner than later. For now however, we are closed. With the addition of a 3rd child, life is to important to stop and spend 24 hours strait on a cake. Although we love cake, it will be a while before we get back into baking on a large scale. Enjoy the stories and photos, but please ask prior to using any of our original information on another site. Thank you and Enjoy the blog as it was!