Sunday, August 31, 2008

My Second Challenge...Eclairs!

It's always so awesome to see how everyone turns the same suggested recipe into so many different, beautiful finished products. I finally got around to making my eclairs in one evening...from start to finish! It was tiring...although I think that might be more from all the dishes I had to wash afterward. I was surprised at how easy the choux was...really, all the components...but I felt that they just didn't come out as nice as I had hoped sad


I made half chocolate and half banana (split the mixture in half after before adding the chocolate...added chocolate to one half and vanilla extract and 1 mashed banana to the other). I think my pastry cream would have been better off if I had strained it one more time - it seemed a bit lumpy. I agree with a lot of other Baker's on the glaze being a little tedious for what it wound up being...but it was very shiny and it does taste good. My chocolate cream was a great consistency and I probably could've piped it and made them a little prettier, but my banana cream was very runny, so I spooned my cream in and sort of spatula'd the glaze on the tops (I assume this is from the chocolate setting up as the cream cooled). I also made some banana chips, which, after following a quick set of instructions I found online, they still came out a little too brown and tasted a little too much like the lemon juice I dipped them in to prevent them from becoming too brown :)

My husband and I tried them together and we both had the same opinion - DELICIOUS! The chocolate was right up my alley - nice and cocoa-y, not too sweet. The banana tasted so fresh. I also brought a bunch into work, as did he, and they were all gone within one day - even though both of our offices were short-staffed. I think the flavor of the chocolate cream was a little too much for some people, but in my mind, there is no such thing. Considering the co-workers didn't get to try them until day 2, I think the shells held up really well. I wound up with 24 eclairs, because I piped them smaller than I realized, but I think people honestly appreciated them over a huge eclair. I think I would make them again, experimenting more with the flavors - I remember my mother making cream puffs often when I was younger and filling them with fresh whipped cream, which I prefer to pastry cream. As for the chocolate glaze, I would definitely go with a simpler recipe in the future. I won't say it isn't nice having extra chocolate sauce left over for ice cream, though :)

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