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30 August 2008

Daring Baker Takes On Eclairs!


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!



Chocolate pastry cream and glaze with just a bit of lemon icing


See, photography skills need help!

Here is lemon pastry cream and the chocolate glaze. I did have some with the lemon icing but those were eaten before pictures could be taken.


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!

19 comments:

Sunshine said...

I think those look awesome! Yummy!

I need to find a source for food photography tips too, my pictures look so dorky. There HAS to be somebody out there who has some pointers for us non-pros.

If I find it, I'll email it to ya!

Zita said...

Aww..lovely setting for the beautiful eclairs :)

Natalie... said...

Mmmm lemon pastry cream!
What an excellent idea.
Yum yum!

Tartelette said...

I am a big fan of chocolate and lemon....never thought I would but surrounded with pate a choux...oh yes!! Glad the tip worked! They are gorgeous, well done!!

Cristine said...

YUM! Great job!

Laurie said...

mmmm yumm, they look beautiful!

Angela said...

I think they look great! I love the squiggle of lemon icing.

BTW, Kitchen Wench did a great series on digital photography a while ago. Link here.

RennyBA said...

Wonderful pictures - you've captured the sweetness soooo well - my mouth is watering!

Could you bring some to my office too, please ;-)

Wishing you a great week ahead!

Dragon said...

My first batch of pastry went flat as well. Good thing I had enough ingredients to do a second batch. :)

Your eclairs are lovely. Great job!

Audax Artifex said...

What a lovely story and I like the eclairs

pipinthecity said...

Definitely, lemon and chocolate is a match made in heaven. And it sounds as if you made many people happy with them :)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Very pretty and delicious looking! You did a great job!

Cheers,

Rosa

Meeta said...

lemon pastry cream sounds delicious. nice job!

Tenina said...

So cute...and lemon pastry creme, can't think of anything better!

Kirstynn Evans said...

I am also looking for help to up my photog skills. Thank you for your post, and I will keep watching your blog, to see how you are doing, and where your sources are coming from. These eclairs look great though! And honestly, I haven't seen a single picture that shows how yummy they really were.

Rosie said...

those do look good, dodgy photo or not...you had me going there for a moment with the scrambled eggs...I thought you had another egg consuming recipe!

Claire said...

Dude! I have not been by for a few weeks and then I saw your lovely new template and those wonderful eclairs. Someone has been busy. Good job!

Expat Traveler said...

MY first thought was hotdogs, but then upon closer examination I became very hungry.. How incredible!!!

marye said...

your eclairs look great!