From this month's Daring Baker challenge, I learned that my photography needs work as the photos I took did not do justice to these rich chocolate-lemon eclairs. This month's challenge came from Tony Tahhan and Meeta K. If looking for this Pierre Hermé recipe, just take the link over to Meeta K for the recipe including chocolate pastry cream and chocolate glaze. The chocolate glaze was especially successful and I will use the recipe the next time I need a mirror-smooth glaze on a dessert.
I actually doubled the choux recipe and had to make it twice. The first batch did not rise much, and sank a bit upon cooling. They ended up looking like mini eclairs. As I had promised my husband's office regular eclairs, I made a second batch of the choux, piped it out in long lines on a baking tray and then froze them. After they were frozen solid, I cut them into longer lengths the second time to produce a longer, more traditional eclair. (***Thanks to Tartelette for this bit of advice!) The other trick I learned the second time around was to let the choux cook until crisp. I kept worrying about the pastry being crunchy, but the longer baking time meant the eclairs kept their shape and didn't fall.
The challenge required the use of chocolate either as the pastry cream or as the glaze. I made a batch that followed the recipe exactly and used just a bit of lemon glaze as decoration. The lemon glaze consisted of powdered sugar and fresh squeezed lemon juice, with a drop of food coloring. I then switched up the recipe and made both a raspberry pastry cream and a lemon pastry cream. As these were a pastry cream recipe, they were more gelatinous. The recipe for the raspberry cream was from Joy of Baking.com. Just click on the link for the recipe. To make the lemon cream, I just substituted fresh squeezed lemon juice in place of the raspberry puree. Despite the consistency, Hubby, a true chocoholic, like the raspberry filling the best. Those were actually all consumed before pictures were taken.
Overall, these were a big success. Husband's office loved them, with one attorney consuming four eclairs before lunch. I fed the "minis" to the crew who was putting on the new roof. The roofers returned an empty container within a couple of hours and the roof was completed in two and half days. Everyone was happy!
See, photography skills need help!
No, that's not scrambled egg in the middle - it's the lemon pastry cream!
My personal observation was the chocolate/chocolate combination was a bit much. The tart of the lemon was a perfect contradiction. Also, I used a dark semi sweet worked especially well in the glaze. Bring on Challenge 3!