October 5, 2008

Dare to Eclair!

I was out of commission for the past month—and subsequently out of the kitchen—because I tore some ligaments in my foot at the very beginning of September. It's a very stupid story, so let's just pretend I fell while skiing in Vail or something exciting like that.

With time and some physical therapy under my belt, I'm on the mend now. That's all fine and good, but I've barely been in the kitchen this month and really only out of necessity to keep my family fed. (Shhhh, don't tell, but we ordered more than our share of take-out pizza this past month.) Not only have I not been in the kitchen, my poor little blog has bore the brunt of my injuries and has been postless for too long.

So, I am playing a little catch-up with the Daring Bakers, who baked some gorgeous eclairs back at the end of August. I actually baked mine back then too, but wasn't able to post on time and then had my spill, and well ... you know. So, better late than never, here are the fruits of my eclair labor.

First, a big thank you (albeit very belated) to Meeta K of What's for Lunch, Honey? and Tony from Olive Juice for hosting the August challenge. The very premise of Daring Bakers is to challenge yourself to try something new and out of your comfort zone. I definitely would not have tried to make eclairs had it not been for their selection, so I was pleased to try something new.
Eclairs consist of three elements:

  • Pâte à choux, also known as choux pastry or cream puff dough
  • Pastry cream
  • Chocolate glaze
Unlike many past challenges, Meeta and Tony gave us quite a bit of culinary freedom. The guidelines simply stated that we were required to use the pâte à choux recipe provided for the eclair dough and we had to keep at least one chocolate element provided: chocolate glaze or chocolate pastry cream. Umm, yes please. I'll take both. And because I wanted to make the project my own, I piped some peanut butter down the center as well. It didn't pipe as well as I would have liked and was a little flat compared to the full-bodied pastry cream, but it tasted just like a peanut butter cup.For the complete recipe, visit Meeta's blog.


Anonymous said...

Welcome back! I just tore some ligaments in my ankle last week, so new new stuff from me either. Luckily I have some old posts to catch up on. Your eclairs look great, I can't wait to see what else you make!

Julius said...

Looks delicious!

Happy Holidays :)

~ Julius
from Occasional Baker