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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Mon Petit Choux Pastry

Taaa daa!

The Daring Bakers are up to it again. This time with Chocolate Eclairs from the fantabulous book Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Herme written by Dorie Greenspan. Our enthusiastic hosts this month were Tony Tahhan and Meeta of What's For Lunch Honey. You can check out their blogs for the recipe.

The Daring Bakers have been abuzz with rave reviews about Pierre Hermes' work... and I have to admit I'm pretty impressed with this recipe. There seemed to be a lot of fussing with chocolate BUT each chocolate component was an absolute eleven on the scale of one to ten. The chocolate pastry was silky smooth and the glaze had a lovely pronounced cocoa flavour.

The chocolate needed to be well whisked to be smooth for the sauce and pastry cream. It was well worth the effort.

The pastry was another story. It presented many problems and generated a lot of discussion on the Daring Baker forum. Many bakers stated the eclairs were very eggy. With those comments in mind, I followed the recipe faithfully. Most of mine collapsed, were too moist in the centre, and smelled very eggy. I'm not sure if the recipe originally uses smaller eggs or the number of eggs stated were really too many. As my son stated, the pastry tasted of scrambled eggs. It was a little less eggy the next day but not enough to be acceptable.

Changes I Would Make
1) Use fewer eggs and use some egg whites to give the pastry strength or switch back to a more reliable choux pastry recipe.
2) Flavour the pastry cream with vanilla if using straight chocolate.
3) Flavour the choux pastry.
4) Don't let the cream puff get frisky with the eclair.

Ahh, mon cherie. What an elegant figure you have. So slim, so petite. I am intrigued....
Oh la la, you play coquette and turn your back. Never mind, a little taste of your lovely shiny chocolate. No one will notice...
Yes, mon petit chou, I am almost there...
Mon dieu, you 'ave egged me on most 'eartlessly. You 'ave seduced with the most amazing chocolate but you 'ave a heart of scrambled eggs!

Absolutely a make again for all the amazing chocolate components. Definitely not a make again recipe for choux pastry!


Passionate About Baking said...

And an elevne outta 10 for your little sweethearts too. Love the game they're playing!! Do let me know if you ever attempt with fewer eggs...this was a deliciously divine challenge!

Lis said...



And I totally agree with your son.. scrambled eggs it was. :D


Natalie... said...

Hahaha lmao hilarious post! I love the pictures of the puff and the ├ęclair! Made me laugh hehe.
Looks yummy too.

breadchick said...

ROTFL!! Yup, eggy is the word. In total agreement keep the chocolate sauce and filling toss the choux recipe and find another!

HoneyB said...

LOL, loving your little story with the cream puff and eclair!

Beth said...

The eyeballs are hilarious!

Annemarie said...

LOVE your eclairs. :) I can't spot any deflating though (if you're like me) that might be because you selected out the puffier versions to stick in front of the camera. I agree with your ideas of what you would change if you were to do it again.

Rebecca said...

Yes, thank you, IT'S EGGY! I would have dumped them immediately, but my husband's using them as "dunking sticks" for the chocolate. ;)

jasmine said...

Why is "bom chicka wah wah" running through my head when I look at these piccies?

Love the tiger striping--must be what caught the cream puff's eye.


Mary said...

I agree that the chocolate pastry cream was an 11 on a scale of 1-10. And your choux "characters" are pretty cute!

Angela said...

Ahh... the romance of it!

Love your eclair and cream puff :) An excellent post!

(But I didn't find the choux pastry to be at all eggy. I did bake it for slightly longer than Pierre specified, though as they were very underdone when the timer went. That probably made the difference.)

Libby said...

very cute. I wonder if the eclairs were so eggy because eggs are totally enormous nowadays... like, would smaller eggs be better?

Anne said...

Haha, love the photos!! :) I wonder too if maybe the eggs were on the large side? I used smallish eggs (indeed thinking that it probably wouldn't be enough) and mine puffed up just right and never deflated. Lucky!

Robyn said...

hehehe, I love your little characters. Great job!

Jude said...

Hilarious stuff. Thanks for the laugh :)

Baking Soda said...

Ah mon coeur... not in public!
Great post and I do agree!

Jenny said...

Lol, that's good!
Hey, when did you get a nice, dry sunny day to take pictures? :-)

Claire said...

Ha! Funny desserts. ;-) I tasted the dough before cooking and didn't notice an eggy taste but after cooking (apparently NOT for long enough) it definitely tasted eggy. Oh well. Look like y'all enjoyed them...great job!

Lauren said...

Mmm, your eclairs look wonderful! Cute characters!

Megan said...

Love the post! Your eclair looks delicious, but I love the cream puff! Cute little character!

Megan said...

Love the post! Your eclair looks delicious, but I love the cream puff! Cute little character!

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

LOL! I love the post! :) It made me smile so much!

Mine tasted maybe a little eggy, but I don't think as bad as yours....what a bummer as yours look beautiful!