Monday, September 1, 2008

Eclaires with Claire!

Aaaaand I'm back! This was a very special Daring Bakers challenge because I got to do with with my best friend who I enjoy cooking with so much - Claire. She actually brought me to the Daring Bakers so it was very fitting - not to mention her name is Claire and this month's challenge was...yup you guessed it...Eclairs!

I was a bit daunted having never made pastries of this kind, but since I was cooking with a Frenchwoman I felt confident.

We decided off the bat we wanted to make an espresso pastry cream, so we dumped instant espresso powder in the eggs and started heating our cream. I was using another pastry cream recipe that calls for half and half rather than cream, milk or a combination thereof. It's always come out perfect for me, so if it's not broke, right? Once the cream was done, I wanted to stop baking because I really could have eaten the entire thing...

So fellow bakers, don't you hate it when recipes call for all these egg yolks? I've always said to myself, I need to make a book that has a recipe that calls for egg yolks on one end and another recipe that calls for the same amount of egg whites on the other end. Anyway, We had all these egg whites left over from the cream - so what do you do with egg whites? We'll get to that later...

The eclairs were wonderfully airy in the oven but deflated once we got them out. I'm going to have to figure that one out. The chocolate cream was a bit more runny than I had hoped for, but it worked eventually.

At the end of the night, they tasted great! The mocha combo did really nicely. They actually tasted a lot better the next morning after sitting in the refrigerator overnight. I was very happy.

And what did we do with those egg whites? Made a pavolva of course. I made this for my mom for Mother's Day, it's an Ina recipe - Mixed Berry Pavolva with a Raspberry Coulis. And Claire brought over her favorite British summer pasttime - Pimms. It was a very nice evening - although we probably could have gone with less sweets. But such is the life of a Daring Baker - especially when you put two together :)


Rebecca of "Ezra Pound Cake" said...

I would have stopped with the espresso pastry cream, too. Mmmmmm, the smell must have been incredible! Great idea.

The Prince of Pretense said...

that first picture is downright phallic.