Mmmmm this Daring Baker's challenge was one of the most delicious and awesome ones I have had the pleasure of experiencing! This month was hosted by Meeta and Tony Tahan, and they had us all make Pierre Hermé's incredible Chocolate Éclairs.
I was so excited to make these because I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE éclairs but I had never made any before. I had never even tried my hand at choux pastry. I'm almost ashamed to say it, considering just how much I enjoy éclairs and cream puffs and anything else in that variety of sweets. I had always meant to try to make choux pastries... but something else to bake always seemed to come up. And these situations are exactly what Daring Baker's challenges are for, right? Right! So this challenge was so right for me! Thanks, hosts!
The challenge recipe was for an eclair filled with chocolate pastry cream and topped with a chocolate glaze, and we had the option of using both or either the filling or glaze recipes given.
I mentioned that I LOVE éclairs, and what I love most about éclairs is the burst of cold, refreshing, lightly sweetened vanilla custard you get when you bite into them. To me, éclairs are allll about that perfect custard cream filling. So I was a bit apprehensive of a chocolate filling.
But I decided to try it anyways, just because it was something I had never done, and I made little chocolate cream puffs that I sprinkled with powdered sugar. They were pretty ridiculously delicious, but they weren't the refreshing perfection that I craved. So I made some more choux, and whipped up these traditionally flavored éclairs!
They were absolutely incredible, and so fun to make! All the piping, and dipping, and finger-licking... oh my... I filled some with vanilla pastry cream, and I guess I was getting a little heavy handed with that because I ran out of pastry cream. So I filled the remaining few with whipped cream and those were incredible as well! I think I'm just obsessed with all kinds of cream...
I will absolutely make these again, and I'm excited now to perfect my éclair making skills and make myself ridiculously fat. =)
Don't forget to check out the blogs of all the other Daring Bakers, because they all made some beautiful and mouth watering pastries this month!