FFwD + Eclairs and Cream Puffs

April 15, 2011

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I have made both eclairs and cream puffs in the past.  Some successful, some not so successful.  I like making Pate a Choux.  I like the diversity of it.  I like that you can make this, freeze the dough, freeze the finished product and always have something yummy in the freezer to whip up at a moments notice.

When I read that this weeks challenge was Vanilla Eclairs, I jumped on the chance to make a batch of these.  I enlisted Eli to mix the dough and pipe the pastries.  We had fun together in the kitchen.  We made a batch of mini eclair shells and made some smaller cream puffs for future profiteroles(his favorite). Pair these with some homemade ice cream and a glaze of your choice and put a smile on every-one’s face.

Cream Puff Dough
adapted from around my french table
yield: 8 eclairs + 18 cream puffs

pate a choux
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup water
8 Tbsp.(4 oz.) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup all purpose flour
4 large eggs, room temperature

vanilla pastry cream
2 cups whole milk
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup arrowroot, sifted
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 1/2 tsp. unsalted butter, room temp

chocolate sauce

pate a choux
• preheat oven to 425*. line two baking sheets with a silpat mat.
• bring the milk, water, butter, sugar, and salt toa rapid boil over high heat. add the flour, lower the heat to medium low and stir with a wooden spoon.  the dough will come together, keep stirring, using all of your elbow grease – the dough should be smooth.
• put the dough into the bowl of your standing mixer.  let it sit for a minute, then add the eggs one at a time, beat until the dough is thick and shiny.
to bake immediately:
• either drop 1 tablespoonful onto prepared mat or pipe onto mat.
• slide baking sheet into oven and turn heat down to 375*. bake for 12 minutes then rotate pan front to back, top to bottom for 12-15 minutes. cool completely on the baking sheet.
to freeze for the future:
• flash freeze puffs on sheet. when frozen store in an airtight container for 2 months.  when ready to bake, no need to defrost-bake directly from the freezer.
vanilla custard
• bring milk to a boil.
• in another saucepan, whisk the yolks together with the sugar and arrowroot until thick.
• whisk without stopping, drizzle in about 1/4 cup of the hot milk, keep whisking and then add the remainder of the milk in a steady stream.
• put the pan over medium heat and whisk vigorously – bring the mixture to a boil, whisking vigorously. take the pan off the heat.
• whisk in the vanilla. let sit for 5 minutes. whisk in the butter until fully incorporated and the pastry cream is smooth and silky.
• put the pastry cream into a glass bowl and press a piece of plastic wrap against the cream and refrigerate.
• pastry cream will store for 3 days.

More Pate a Choux ideas:
FFwD and Eclairs – In Pursuit of  Hobby
FFwD Mocha Eclairs – Flavor Sings
Chocolate Eclair – Oh Pierre! – Tartelette
Vanilla Bean Eclairs – Sweet Cake Bakeshop
Matcha Tea Eclairs – La Tartine Gourmande
Chocolicious – Indulgence after Work-Out



{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lucy Lean April 15, 2011 at 11:00 am

Love eclairs – and the kids love making them too.


2 Susan April 15, 2011 at 3:59 pm

it’s a fun kids project! I love sharing the kitchen with my kids.


3 marla April 15, 2011 at 11:01 am

Lovely eclairs and cream puffs today :) Sounds like a great time with Eli in the kitchen!


4 Maria April 15, 2011 at 11:27 am

They look perfect. Wish I could have a taste!


5 Susan April 15, 2011 at 4:00 pm

Maria, I wish you were close by so I could bring you some!


6 yummychunklet April 15, 2011 at 12:05 pm

These look fabulous! Your mini ones are so cute! Thanks for commenting on my blog. I’ve added yours to my Google Reader and look forward to reading your future posts!


7 Mary April 15, 2011 at 1:37 pm

These look great. Isn’t it nice to have help in the kitchen!


8 Susan April 15, 2011 at 4:01 pm

There is nothing better than help in the kitchen, Mary!


9 Liz April 15, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Oh, my! Yours look like they’re fresh out of the bakery! Just perfect!


10 Cher April 15, 2011 at 4:29 pm

Ah – kitchen help is always the best.

Susan – these look lovely.


11 Kim April 15, 2011 at 4:48 pm

These eclairs looks really good. I like baking with pate a choux, it is so good, and you can fill it with lots of stuff!


12 Patty April 15, 2011 at 4:56 pm

I agree with Liz, your eclairs do look like they came out of a bakery;-)
Congratulations on a wonderful job and thanks for your sweet comment on my blog;-)


13 Kathy April 15, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Enjoy your baking help…Before you know it they grow up! Your eclairs look fabulous!


14 Allison [Haute Box] April 15, 2011 at 6:44 pm

Whoa! These look amaaaazing!


15 Elaine April 15, 2011 at 7:27 pm

I think yours look perfect! Your ganache looks wonderful!


16 kitchenarian April 15, 2011 at 7:39 pm

Your eclairs look wonderful. I had such fun making these.


17 Adriana April 15, 2011 at 8:49 pm

I’m so happy I found your blog through FFwD! Your eclairs look amazing, to the point I want to make some more this weekend.


18 Susan April 16, 2011 at 6:35 am

Adriana = so glad to meet you! They are somewhat addicting. I am regretting having preshaped cream puffs in the freezer. Fill it with ice cream, trhow some glaze over the top and I am doomed!


19 Amanda April 16, 2011 at 7:02 pm

You make the BEST food!!! I just adore everything you do. :)


20 Susan April 16, 2011 at 7:04 pm

I adore everything you do! You and I will bake together one day – I know it! x


21 Nancy@acommunaltable April 17, 2011 at 9:10 am

Pate a choux is one of my favorite doughs to make – it can be sweet, savory and best of all,, no rolling is required!! Such a great project to do with your son!!!


22 Susan April 17, 2011 at 11:16 am

You are so right, Nancy. NO rolling! One has to love that! x


23 anh@anhsfoodblog April 17, 2011 at 5:27 pm

oh eclairs! How I love these! You have made one of the most beautiful ones I have seen!


24 Susan April 17, 2011 at 7:09 pm

thanks so much, they are so fun to make!


25 KarenP April 18, 2011 at 10:40 am

Those look beautiful and delicious!


26 Erika June 10, 2011 at 6:24 pm

Oh these look so good.


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