Well, we survived the move.
We don't have internet yet, so I've hijacked my parents-in-law's internet connection for a quick second to get this little gem up here on the blog for you fine folks.
When I made these cream puffs a while back, I knew right away I wanted to make half the batch into eclairs, and let me tell you right now, my friends:
THESE ARE AMAZING.
I know those three words are practically white noise in the food blog world these days, but I'm dead serious. There is something positively divine about these little bites of heaven. It's incredible, and we've decided they are our absolute favorite dessert these days. The fluffy outside shell is buttery, flaky, and soft. The inside is stuffed with fresh strawberries folded in beautifully white whipped cream. All of it in it's glory, is smothered in the most wonderfully thick and rich sauce you've ever had in your life.
Sounds like a hard dessert to pull together, eh?
Not on your life, my friends. It's a cinch, and you will absolutely fall in love.
this makes about 10-15 medium/large depending on the size you make them
1 C water
1 stick unsalted butter
1 C all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
pinch of salt
1 t sugar
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a heavy-bottomed sauce pan over medium heat, melt the butter then add the water.
2. make your pate a choux: Sift in the all-purpose flour, add the salt and sugar, and stir all ingredients together. Pull off the heat. Let cool for a minute or so - we don't want the upcoming eggs to cook in the dough/pan.
3. Add in the eggs one at a time until incorporated and whisk together until thoroughly combined (requires a bit of arm action).
4. Fill a large piping bag (you don't even have to put a tip into it, the hole is the perfect size) with the warm dough. Pipe the dough onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet in about 3 inch logs about 1 inch away from each other. They usually puff up, not out.
5. Bake for about 15 minutes in the oven - check them to see if they're cooked through. Add more time accordingly. When they're golden brown, and the center is cooked through, remove from oven and let cool.
recipe adapted from Devin Patrick, eclaire additions are my own.
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Strawberry Whipped Cream
makes enough, trust me.
1 lb strawberries, stems removed and sliced
1 pint of heavy whipping cream
1 t vanilla
1/2 C powdered sugar
1. Throw your metal mixing bowl and whisk attachment into the freezer.
2. Add strawberries to a mini-food processor and chop into pieces are very small (about 1/8 inch pieces), but not jam/liquid.
3. Remove mixer bowl and whisk from freezer, and place onto your stand mixer. Add heavy whipping cream and whip until stiff peaks form (starting on low for about a minute, then low-medium for a minute, and medium for a minute... on and on until you hit high). When stiff peaks form, add vanilla and powdered sugar.
4. Blend. Taste. Adjust sweetness to your liking.
recipe adapted from Devin Patrick
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Chocolate Cream Cheese Sauce
makes about 3 C of drizzle
8oz cream cheese
1 stick of unsalted butter
1/4 C crisco butter
1 t vanilla
small can of carnation evaporated milk
about 2 C powdered sugar
1 bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Melt cream cheese in the microwave in a glass bowl, about 15 seconds at a time until it's reached a melted-chocolate consistency. Set aside.
2. In a heavy bottomed medium pan over medium heat, melt butters together. Add melted cream cheese and vanilla. Stir until thoroughly combined.
3. Add in chocolate chips, stir until melted. Add in powdered sugar very slowly. It will become pretty stiff, but keep stirring. Now, thicken up the mixture with the evaporated milk - add slowly until you reach a good consistency for what you're using it for. This is not like a ganache, and won't harden unless it's far below room temperature.
4. Spoon mixture into a piping bag, and drizzle to your desire.
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Assembling the eclairs:
1. Prepare all the recipes above. Flip over the eclair pastries, and slice 3 X's about a half inch apart on the bottom of the eclairs.
2. With about a 1/4 inch tip on a piping bag filled with the strawberry whipped cream, place tip inside the X and squeeze about a tablespoon of cream inside the eclair. Set aside, and pipe the rest.
3. When the cream cheese chocolate sauce is warm, dunk the un-X'ed side of the eclair in to the sauce and flip over to dry. It won't harden unless it's below room temperature, but that's half the fun :)