Sweet, salty and nutty, oh my! Week 15: Pistachio Chocolate Eclairs.
I absolutely LOVE eclairs and cream puffs. Honestly, anything with a custard or pastry cream filling. So clearly, I needed to learn how to make them. They break down into three simple sections: choux pastry (pronounced “shoe”), flavored pastry cream, and a chocolate glaze. Yum, yum, and yum.
I didn’t use one particular recipe for this bake, but read through 5 or 6 recipes to get a feel for the proportions to use. Next time I’ll make sure to have pick a good choux pastry recipe, as mine didn’t rise the way I wanted them to. I’ve tried it before successfully when I made savory profiteroles, but this time they decided to flatten themselves. And while they would win at limbo, they completely fail at being fill-able. But this led me to the discovery of how nicely they stack into little cream sandwiches!
Here are the basic ingredients. They were too colorful to not take a picture of! Fun fact: the color of chicken eggs depends on the genetics of the chicken who lays them. There’s even a chicken breed called Ameraucana that lays blue eggs! I just assumed the color had something to do with their diet. Learn something new every day!
Before flour and after flour. So cool, right?
Here’s my lovely new flour sifter! It made it’s debut in my kitchen last night and it gets rave reviews from the baker. The crank-handle ones are so much easier than the squeeze-handle ones. No hand cramps.
Post-egg-addition, filling my trusty pastry piping bag. I balanced it in a beer stein to keep it upright. I seem to use my beer stein more for baking than drinking, it’s such a useful shape!
Same as with the macarons, I could’ve used a stencil to get them even and perfect. But I like to live life on the edge.
Sigh. So flat. But so yummy! They have a lovely eggy pancake smell that makes the kitchen smell like Sunday morning brunch. Now I want a mimosa.
Action shot! Whipping up the beginning of the pastry cream.
This is the pastry cream that was supposed to sit in the fridge for 4+ hours. Instead, it hung out in the freezer for 1.5 hours and then in the fridge for a half hour. Boom! Same result. Baking after an 8-hour work day requires some instruction tweaking.
Normal people would use a food processor or a clean coffee grinder to mash up the pistachios. Normal is overrated though, and mortar and pestles are super cool! End of story.
Yet another before and after transformation. The after bowl is heavy whipping cream (whipped to stiff peaks), crushed pistachios, and the pastry cream previously made. Ready to be piped into/onto some pastry!
I use these plastic frosting piping bags whenever I’m piping anything besides dough. A ziplock with the corner cut off works magically as well.
For the chocolate glaze on top, it couldn’t have been easier. Equal parts butter and bittersweet chocolate. With a dash of crushed pistachios to finish it off. If only I had edible glitter.. Wish list item #1!
Making lemonade out of non-rising-choux-pastry-lemons. I waved my magic piping bag and turned them into sandwich eclairs. It is now a thing. Enjoy!