Monday, March 1, 2010

Chocolate Eclairs/Cream Puffs

An old favorite. :) For Cream Puffs, make the recipe below and fill puffs with sweetened whipped cream flavored with a little vanilla; dust with powdered sugar. For Chocolate Eclairs, fill with Rich Custard Filling (recipe below) and top with melted chocolate, thinned with a little cream.

Pastry Ingredients:
1 C water
1/2 C butter
1 C flour
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 400°. Heat water and butter to a rolling boil in saucepan. Stir in flour all at once; stir vigorously over low heat until mixture leaves the pan and forms a ball (about 1 minute). Remove from heat. Beat in eggs one at a time. Beat mixture until smooth and velvety. Drop onto ungreased cookie sheet (in balls for puffs, or form into logs for longer eclairs). Bake until dry; 45-50 minutes. Allow to cool slowly. Once cool, slice open and scoop out soft centers if needed. Fill with Rich Custard Filling. Top with melted chocolate.

I like a generous amount of chocolate; but you can drizzle more judiciously if you like.

Rich Custard Filling* Ingredients:
1/2 C sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 C flour
2 C milk
4 egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla

Place egg yolks in a bowl and set aside. Mix sugar, salt and flour in a saucepan. Stir in milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring until it boils. Boil 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir 1/2 this mixture into egg yolks and stir until well blended. Add yolk mixture into hot mixture in saucepan. Bring just to boiling point. Cover with Saran wrap gently pressed directly on surface of custard (so custard won't form a skin). Cool. Blend in vanilla.

* As the lower picture shows, the custard is delicious as a dessert pudding on its own, or topped with a bright, mixed berry puree or even fresh fruit...

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