Sunday, August 31, 2008

To the Daring Bakers it doens't matter if you're Black or White!

It doesn't matter to the Daring Bakers, it doesn't matter to Michael Jackson and it certainly doesn't matter to me!!!

Chocolate Éclairs by Pierre Hermé was the great challenge Meeta and Tony chose for us. Thank you both! The recipe came from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé written by Dorie Greenspan. As soon as I read the 2 words: Hermé and chocolate, I knew it was going to be good!

I love choux pastry, I specially like doing it by hand and felling the dough texture changing. This recipe called for éclairs (thin long pieces of choux) filled with dark chocolate pastry cream and glazed with a dark chocolate glaze. We could add other flavours as long as we kept one of the elements chocolatey!

Why add other flavours if we have chocolate, the greatest of all flavours? I've used only chocolate (dark & white) and created 4 different types of éclairs, in honor of my 4th month as a Daring Baker!
  • White on white
  • Black on Black
  • White on black
  • Black on white

CHOUX PASTRY

  • ½ cup (125g) whole milk
  • ½ cup (125g) water
  • 1 stick (4 ounces; 115g) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (140g) all-purpose flour
  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature

In a heavy bottomed medium saucepan, bring the milk, water, butter, sugar and salt to the boil. Once the mixture is at a rolling boil, add all of the flour at once, reduce the heat to medium and start to stir the mixture vigorously with a wooden spoon. The dough comes together very quickly. Do not worry if a slight crust forms at the bottom of the pan, it’s supposed to. You need to carry on stirring for a further 2-3 minutes to dry the dough. After this time the doughwill be very soft and smooth. Transfer the dough into a bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, beating with a wooden spoon after each egg has been added to incorporate it into the dough.You will notice that after you have added the first egg, the dough will separate, once again do not worry. As you keep working the dough, it will come back all together again by the time you have added the third egg. In the end the dough should be thick and shiny and when lifted it should fall back into the bowl in a ribbon. Once the dough is made you need to shape it immediately. Simply pipe the dough onto parchment-lined bakingsheets using a pastry bag with a wide round tip.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Divide the oven into thirds by positioning the racks in the upper and lower half of the oven. Line two baking sheets with waxed or parchment paper. Fill a large pastry bag fitted with a 2/3 (2cm) plain tip nozzle with the warm cream puff dough.Pipe the dough onto the baking sheets in long, 4 to 41/2 inches (about 11 cm) chubby fingers. Leave about 2 inches (5 cm) space in between each dough strip to allow them room to puff. The dough should give you enough to pipe 20-24 éclairs. Slide both the baking sheets into the oven and bake for 7 minutes. The original recipe says to put a wooden spoon on the door to keep it from closing, but I didn't do that, at this point I just lowered the temperature to 350ºF (180ºC). The total baking time should be approximately 20 minutes.

CHOCOLATE PASTRY CREAM (DARK & WHITE)

  • 2 cups (500g) whole milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 6 tbsp (75g) sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch, sifted
  • 7 oz (200g) chocolate melted (3.5 oz/100 gr Dark + 3.5 oz/100 gr White)
  • 2½ tbsp (1¼ oz, 40g) unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided in 2

In a small saucepan, bring the milk to a boil. In the meantime, combine the yolks, sugar and cornstarch together and whisk in a heavy‐bottomed saucepan. Once the milk has reached a boil, temper the yolks by whisking a couple spoonfuls of the hot milk into the yolk mixture. Continue whisking and slowly pour the rest of the milk into the tempered yolk mixture. Strain the mixture back into the saucepan to remove any egg that may have scrambled. Place the pan over medium heat and whisk vigorously (without stop) until the mixture returns to a boil. Keep whisking vigorously for 1 to 2 more minutes (still over medium heat). Divide mixture in 2 bowls and stir in the melted chocolates to each half. Set the bowls in an ice‐water bath to stop the cooking process. Make sure to continue stirring the mixtures at this point so that it remains smooth. Once the creams have reached a temperature of 140 F remove from the ice‐water bath and stir in the butter in three or four installments to each part. Return the creams to the ice‐water bath to continue cooling, stirring occasionally, until it has completely cooled. In order to avoid a skin forming on the pastry creams, cover with plastic wrap pressed onto the surface if not using imediatly.

CHOCOLATE GLAZE (DARK & WHITE)

  • 1/3 cup (80g) heavy cream, divided in
  • 3½ oz (100g) chocolate, finely chopped (1.8 oz/50 gr each of dark and white
  • 4 tsp (20 g) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces, at room temperature, divided in
  • 7 tbsp (110 g) Chocolate Sauce (recipe below), warm or at room temperature, divided in 2

Do each glaze separately. In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a boil. Remove from the heat and slowly begin to add the chocolate, stirring with a wooden spoon or spatula. Stirring gently, stir in the butter, piece by piece followed by the chocolate sauce. It is best to glaze the eclairs after the glaze is made.

CHOCOLATE SAUCE (DARK & WHITE)

  • 4½ oz (130 g) chocolate, finely chopped (2.3 oz/65 gr of each dark and white)
  • 1 cup (250 g) water, divided in 2
  • ½ cup (125 g) heavy cream, divided in 2
  • 2 tbsp sugar (35 g) sugar (just for the dark chocolate one)

Do each one separated. Place all the ingredients (no sugar on the white chocolate one) into a heavy‐bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil, making sure to stir constantly. Then reduce the heat to low and continue stirring with a wooden spoon until the sauce thickens. It may take 10‐15 minutes for the sauce to thicken, but you will know when it is done when it coats the back of your spoon.

ASSEMBLING

Original recipe sayed to slice the éclairs horizontally, using a serrated knife, but I used a pastry bag with a long tip to fill the éclairs. I filled half of them with the dark chocolate pastry cream and the other half with the white chocolate pastry cream. If you have chilled your chocolate glaze, reheat by placing it in a bowl over simmering water, stirring it gently with a wooden spoon. I then glazed half of each type of éclairs with the 2 different glazes, creating the 4 types. The éclairs should be served as soon as they have been filled.

They were delicious! All of them! I though the all white would be too sweet and the all dark too heavy, but no! They were both really good! My favourite was the Dark on white, the one filled with white pastry cream and glazed in dark. Sorry Pierre, but that was the best!

Check the all the other éclairs here! See you in September!

112 comments:

Cristine said...

Goodness gracious! I am coming over for eclairs NOW! What a fantastic job you did. I am in awe! :)

Zita said...

MMmmmmmH... gimme...gimme...black or white... both please :)

Adam said...

Beautiful job, fellow DB :) I like how you used 4 variations, and that michael jackson video is great, it makes me think back to like 3rd grade :)

Katrina said...

My husbandmay not care for my peanut butter cheesecakes, but he LOVES eclairs! They look as good as it gets!

Dhanggit said...

OMG your eclair look so perfect!! Great job for this month!!

Passionate About Baking said...

Fabulous & yummilicious CC...it really don't matter!! Great job, & ever so pretty!! Love the marbling too.

Leslie said...

Stunnning! You were a busy and creative little bee!! Love them!

ARLENE said...

I am in awe of your blog. Your DB challenge was fantastic! I think I'd like the B&W combo best, too.

Sherry Trifle - Lovely Cats said...

Oh they look gorgeous! So pretty with the black/white combinations and beautifully shaped too.

Sherry Trifle - Lovely Cats said...

Oh they look gorgeous! So pretty with the black/white combinations and beautifully shaped too.

Sherry Trifle - Lovely Cats said...

Oh they look gorgeous! So pretty with the black/white combinations and beautifully shaped too.

Aran said...

rita, maravillosos!

VeggieGirl said...

Haha, the title of your post/the Michael Jackson reference made me laugh out loud - love it!! :0D

Your éclairs look like works of art!!

lachandra said...

¡¡¡¡¡ Qué bonitoooooooooooos !!!!! Y qué perfectamente huecos por dentro. Maravillosos. Y además con todas las combinaciones entre blanco y negro (me ha sonado a binario, no lo he podido evitar). Este reto ha sido divertidísimo. ¡A ver qué deberes nos ponen para el mes que viene!

morgana said...

Anda! Que conste que lachandra soy yo, Morgana, que se me ha olvidado identificarme con name/URL y ha salido mi identidad de google. :S Qué lío!

Si es que con tanto chocolate se me nubla el conocimiento y ya no sé ni identificarme en condiciones...

Beth said...

I thought about squeezing in the pastry cream, like you did. It would have been much easier than halving the eclair shells, and would have looked neater. Great job!

Rachel said...

Gosh just look at those beauties!!!

I did similar versions too :)

Mcwhisky said...

Black and white, that's cute! Yums! :)

kellypea said...

What beautiful eclairs! The hollow inside shot certainly tells it all. Love the black on white/reverse theme and the decorations. Very, very nice work!

Cakebrain said...

Boy were you busy making all those variations! The results are super-fantastic! I want to inhale them all! I have Herme's book but haven't made anything yet because I'm kind of scared...

noble pig said...

I love the marbeling! Beautiful!

Madeleine said...

Wow! que buen trabajo!!!

Me encantó tu concepto de jugar con los colores del chocolate!

Tus éclairs salieron perfectos!!!

Saludos!!!

Rebecca said...

So cute! Love the four variations. Great job!

Lina said...

your eclairs look so professional! You got them to be so perfectly hollow! Im jealous!

Courtney said...

your eclairs looks great and i use to love that song.

cookemila said...

dios mio, mira que hay fotos bonitas por ahi...pero las tuyas son de decir comeme comeme...me saltaba la pantalla ahorita mismo y aunque soy chocoadicta total me quedo con los blanquitos y tanto relleno...que hambre por dios que preciosidad

Isa said...

OMG those look good! What a creative Daring Baker you are!
My favorite ones are the mixed chocolate ones :D *drool*

HoneyB said...

Rita! Your eclairs look awesome. I love how you show the hollow eclair!

The Stressed Baker said...

OMG those look delicious!!!! I love how you filled them...now I have eclair envy!

tanya said...

Beautiful! Each variation looks delicious. Great job!

Gloria (Canela) said...

Yummy,Yummy,Yummy!!!! Nice work how ever dear Clumbsy!!! xGloria

Jaime said...

love all your variations! beautiful!

bakinginoregon said...

Those look wonderful, nicely done!

Prudy said...

Those are unspeakably gorgeous. I love the swirl in the top, and the piping picture reminds me of feeding a baby a bottle. You are just amazing.

Emily said...

Your elcairs look amazing! Um I'll take a dozen to go!

Dragon said...

I can always count on you to be a creative genius. Absolutely gorgeous!

Marija said...

They're awesome! Great job!

chou said...

Yum. I prefer the pastry bag technique, too. Just didn't have one!

Kristen said...

Look at all of the variations! I'm impressed. They look fantastic!

Reeni said...

Those are so gorgeous!! I'll take one of each, please!!

Leonor said...

Your éclairs looks amazing... and delicious!!

:)

Maggie said...

Yum! A dark on white for me please. They all look delicious.

Cakelaw said...

Wonderful job - all with the very classic colour scheme of black and white.

breadchick said...

Well my goodness! Those are absolutely perfect!!

Sarah said...

these came out beautiful! And I love your pics!

Lisa magicsprinkles said...

These look fabulous! I love how you jazzed everything up and took this in fun directions. Well done!

Lisa said...

Did you really have to post pictures of these beautiful eclairs? Eclairs are my favorite and I can't stand looking at these when I can't have one :)

Half Baked said...

Wow great job 4 variations, very impressive! they all look delicious!

alexandra's kitchen said...

these look unbelievably delectable. great job with the challenge!

Vera said...

Rita, all your pastries are fantastic! I love the marbling on the chocolate glaze. And step-by-step photos are very informative!

linda said...

They look so delicious! You have me wishing that I made some with white chocolate too!

Abeer said...

Oh the pictures are so good! my eclairs where lousy! :(

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Your Eclairs look fantastic! You did a great job with the piping and the glazing! Very well done!

Cheers,

Rosa

Meeta said...

oh yes - black or white - just make sure it's in an eclair lol! well done!

Dee said...

Wow, your choux turned out perfect. Love the hollowed out photo, actually all of them.

Got another song for you, remember Ebony & Ivory?

ingegerd said...

great job for this month!Its look really nice!

Indigo said...

Four types of eclairs?! You're either insane or a genius. Ohhhh I want these so much.

Aparna said...

Your black and/ or white combinations look fantastic. It is tempting even me (eclairs are not my favourite).

maybelle's mom said...

gorgeous contrasts and decorations.

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Thanks everyone who stopped by and left great comments!

sunita said...

Your eclairs look really scrummy :-)

mesa para 4 said...

Não sabia que falavas Português tão bem...adoro o teu blog...estes éclairs estão absolutamente espantosos...abraço

shellyfish said...

These look so beautiful! And so many choices! Excellent!

Patrícia said...

Espectaculares, e que bons que deviam estar! Sobrou algum?

Mandy said...

wow! your eclairs look great! I love the ones with marbled top. :)

Candace said...

Wonderful eclairs! Nice step by step photos too.

Alexa said...

I love the patterns on top of your Eclairs. It looks like you had fun with this challenge. They look delicious.

culinarytravelsofakitchengoddess said...

The eclairs look gorgeous.

Natashya said...

Way to rock the black and white eclairs! I love the combos, I can hear ebony and ivory in the background.
I especially like the fancy swirlies, great job!

Jude said...

Wow. Your baked choux dough looks so impressive.. I wish I could tunnel mine like that. perfect for piping pastry cream into!

Mobula said...

Que ricos!!! son de mis pasteles favoritos, rica y suave crema de vainilla con un toque de chocolate o caramelo...

Exquisitos!!

Ana

Kevin said...

Your eclairs look great! I like that you did different toppings and fillings!

genkitummy said...

great job! congrats on your 4th month of being a DB! i love your 4 different combinations!

Claire said...

These are SO BEAUTIFUL!!!!! You did a great job. And I am LOVING your title...made me laugh out loud!

The Blonde Duck said...

I love them. They look fabulous.

Dawn said...

whoa, you really went way out on this one chicklet.
I love the chocolate on chocolate one. You certainly must have been busy. They came out perfectly.

A_and_N said...

Are these for real? They look AMAZING

Anna said...

Those look good, but really, I was checking in for a cookie report ;)

Lisa Michelle said...

Rita,

If it weren't for you, I probably wouldn't have even known about the DBC, at least not for a while..so thanks for that :)

BTW, your eclairs and photos are phenomenal, but nothing new there! :)

Jenny said...

Those are so incredible you pastry girl! Talk about being in your element. You could sell these in a fancy bakery and make a killing! Great job girl!

Emiline said...

I can't take it anymore! I have to make eclairs! Yours look perfect.

Y said...

Four different kinds! Good for you; you certainly got into the spirit of things! And they all look fabulous too :)

Maria said...

I will take one of each..and then seconds! Your eclairs look amazing!

Flourchild said...

Very very sweet wonderful fantastic looking eclairs. Do you own a bakery?

Poonam said...

That is incredible!

Liz said...

Hubba hubba! Those look fantastic. I especially love the marble design on the top. Gorgeous!

Anita said...

I love the contrast between black and white - such a beautiful variety!

Hannah said...

You sure went all-out on those different variations! They all look so good, I don't know which sounds better. :)

Ruth said...

As usual your a baking super star. Your black and white eclairs made my mouth water

Tartelette said...

You did a fantastic job dear! I did not expect anything less and this is beyond gorgeous!

Sophie said...

Wowzers, what pretty little eclairs! Great job, completely flawless! If I had made 'em, the filling would've been oozing out everywhere :D.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Gorgeous. Choux pastry is pretty easy to make and I haven't done it in forever. I love how you made all of that effort to get different combinations in there like that.

I *heart* the Daring Bakers!

Jodie said...

Ooh, white chocolate sounds SO good! They look great!

Mari Rezende said...

Beeeeautiful Éclairs!!! I'm really interested in the "black & black" one...

Kisses! ;D

Carla said...

Geez, I'm coming over for dessert! Any way you can mail them to PA? ;)

Sharon said...

I absolutely love the side by side pictures. Gorgeous photos and I'm sure, even tastier eclairs!

~Amber~ said...

Your eclairs are beauitful! Great job.

Katie said...

I love how much filling you were able to get into the eclairs and the design on top. They look great!

Jessy and her dog Winnie said...

Those look amazing! I love how you decorated them!

Ann said...

OH.MY.

I can't believe you made it out ALIVE with these. I mean - doughs, fillings, frostings, sauces. It's almost carnal. I love it.

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

WOW! These look absolutely perfect! WOW. I like all 4 variations, but I like to mix it up and have a little black and a little white together!

Bridgett said...

I love that you did different toppings. Plus the fact that they look absolutely delicious is always a bonus. Beautiful job!

hot garlic said...

GORGEOUS! I love what you did with the challenge! They are just breathtaking!

Suzana said...

Eu um dia ainda consigo fazer estas coisas perfeitinhas como tu!! Mas até lá só mesmo em fotografias. :P

Lindos eclairs, adoro as decorações.

Para quando o nosso bolo de chocolate?

Bj grande

prettytastycakes said...

Your eclairs look scrumptious! Nice contrast of colors...

The Bahens said...

Your eclairs look amazing!!! I don't know what else to say. I am in awe!

Kate / Kajal said...

wow what a treat for my eyes. Great job ..love the photographs ...you've got me drooling all over !

bren@flanaboyanteats.com said...

a freakin' mazing! how lovely! i would totally have an all to myself day making these! would i share? not so sure! :)

avesta said...

These look so yummy! Nice photos!

Jeanine said...

Oh wow, your eclairs look FANTASTIC! Love the 4 varieties. Yum! I'll take one of each please. :)

Noor said...

wow this look amazing as usual, great job. I was so sad that I was not able to do my first daring baker event. I can not wait to get back in my kitchen "sigh".

Zen Chef said...

Oh i'm in heaven! Choco-eclair heaven! Pack a dozen of each in your luggage when you come to America.. :-)