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



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