There are three parts to making Eclairs: 1) Choux Pastry 2) Pastry Cream Filling 3) Vanilla Glaze.
I was somewhat familiar with the Choux Pastry because I made Gougeres last week for lunch. It is the most fun dough to make, and quite versatile as I am learning.
When I got to the Pastry Cream, I dove right in and was pleasantly surprised when after stirring and stirring, the texture of the cream changed. It thickened up, became smooth and cohesive. It was beautiful.
Part three was very easy, but I realized that I wanted to make a chocolate ganache, instead of the glaze, but didn’t plan ahead. I was more concerned about getting the dough right and piped properly.
I loved the process of learning how to make this new dessert, and think I will attempt again very soon (Mother’s Day maybe). Here are some things I learned and will change next time.
When I was adding the eggs to the Choux Pastry, I got a phone call and I think 2 eggs may have slipped into the mixer at the same time in my haste to answer it, the dough didn’t come back together and I panicked. I wasn’t sure if I should keep mixing or stop, so I stopped and started piping. Consequently, I believe the dough didn’t cook quite right, and went flat…uggh. It was also dense in the middle, instead of light and airy. I panicked again and wasn’t sure if I should cook them longer or not.
Also, I used a non-reusable pastry bag without a tip, and therefore I wasn’t confident in how to actually pipe the dough out.
Next time I will: 1) Make sure I only put one egg in at a time as Dorie states 2) Get a professional Pastry Bag with all of the tips.
Mostly, I shouldn’t answer the phone with eggy hands, and not lose focus!
As for the finished product, here are a couple of things I will do differently:
The Vanilla Glaze was a little too sweet for me. I added 1 more TB of Whole Milk and another squeeze of fresh Lemon Juice. But I will probably go for the Chocolate Ganache every time I make these.
Dorie doesn’t call for a sprinkling of Powdered Sugar on top, but I thought they needed something a little extra, since my Eclairs were flat with two different hues of brown. I think it helped.
I can’t wait to see what everyone else did, and what challenges they came across. What about you? Are you a member of French Fridays with Dorie? Join us, it’s fun!