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Thursday, April 14, 2011

éclairs - FFwD

My husband walked into the kitchen and glanced at my opened copy of Dorie Greenspan's around my french table and then he said "you're not an éclair maker are you?"

Does the man know me or what.
When I saw this Friday's selection for French Fridays with Dorie, I almost skipped it.   I know the people in this house and they aren't eating éclairs.  But then I thought, I can take them to work.  They eat anything at work.  Someone is always hungry.

This week's recipe calls for vanilla éclairs, cream puff dough filled with vanilla pastry cream and topped with white glaze.  To get the people in this house to try them, I knew that I needed to add some chocolate, so I decided to top them with a ganache.

I made the pastry cream early in the morning and put it in the refrigerator to cool.

I like making puff dough.  We eat gougeres on Christmas Eve.  However, they don't involve a pastry bag.  They can easily be spooned onto a cookie sheet.

Eclairs need a pastry bag,  I have previously been identified as not an éclair maker and I am comfortable with that label.  I am not comfortable with pastry bags.  How do you get the sticky puff dough into the bag without making a mess?  Perhaps it is a skill thing, one that I may not develop at this stage in my life.  I think a third hand would come in handy.  I got the dough into the bag, made the four inch strips and baked them.

I went out to work on the yard and let the elairs cool.  We had such a long, hard freeze, we have lost some plants.  By my front door, I have two bicolored iris plants.  They are perhaps my favorite plant.  They bloom and bloom.  Unfortunately, a lot of the plant had to be cut back after the freeze.  But today, there is one flower.

When I had finished with mulch, I returned to the eclairs.  The cooled eclairs were cut and filled with pastry cream and then topped with chocolate ganache.  They were tasty, it was a fun experience.


  1. Oh it looks so good!! I love eclairs! I'm not making these until the end of the month but I can't wait. Glad to hear that even from a non-eclair maker they didn't seem too hard. I know from putting frosting in piping bags it really helps to open the bag over a glass with the tip in the glass. Fold the sides over the top of the glass. Then fill and roll the sides up. It helps with the mess, but pastry bags are a bit inherently messy in my opinion.

  2. Renee, thanks for the tip, the dough is a bit like glue... I don't feel that I will ever bond with the pastry bag!

  3. Smart move making the pastry cream first! Wish I'd waited a bit before starting straight into dough and glaze immediately after.

  4. They look great. I don't even own a pastry bag (hang my head in shame) - so I used the ZipLoc bag with a corner cut off trick (that way I didn't have to clean up my mess - I just tossed it).
    The iris is lovely!

  5. I could use a third hand..and two extra hours in each day.

  6. All I can say is, you've proved your husband wrong at the end of this challenge! Your eclair looks like you've made them many times before and I bet your colleagues loved that they got to devour these. That iris is beautiful, my husband, an artist, paints a lot of irises!

  7. Well you are an éclair maker to me! It looks perfect :)

  8. I didn't know it, but I'm definitely NOT an eclair maker either. Your eclairs look awesome, and that iris is something special.

  9. One trick I learned about filling pastry bags without making a total mess is to fold the top of the bag out by about half and nestle it in a tall glass. Make sure it is open enough and then fill it up with the dough/cream/etc. From there, unfold the edge and twist it and you should be ready to pipe the dough. I hope I was able to explain it well.