Tuesday, 24 July 2007

check out my penguins... :)

OK, now for the eclairs. I find eclairs the easiest to bake and therefore the most rewarding! This is a very simple, easy to follow recipe from another one of my mother's books. And thats what I love about it, its so very simple. I hate recipes which call for 'half a cup and 2 tsp' of something, or 'two and a quarter tsp' of something else. You catch my drift? Baking's supposed to be fun, right?

Chocolate Eclairs with Mocha Cream
How to Decorate: Cakes, Desserts & Savouries

Serves 4-6
75gm plain all-purpose flour
A pinch of salt
60gm butter
2 standard eggs, well beaten

Filling and Decoration
250g milk chocolate
250ml double cream
1tbsp sugar
1tbsp strong instant coffee

Sift the flour and salt. Put 155ml water and butter in a saucepan and bring to the boil. When boiling fast remove from the heat and pour in the flour. Using a wooden spoon, beat well until the mixture forms a soft ball, reheating if necessary. Allow to cool a little before beating in the eggs. Put into a piping bag with a plain nozzle and pipe small buns on to a greased baking sheet. Bake at 200C for the first 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 180C for a further 20 minutes.

To decorate, melt the chocolate in a bowl over boiling water. Dip each eclair into the chocolate and allow to cool. Beat the cream, sugar and coffee together and fill a piping bag with a small plain nozzle, push the end through the side of the eclair and fill the centre with mocha cream.

My notes: I didn't add the coffee to the cream, though it tastes good either way. Also if you want balls you will need to flatten the tops with a wet finger. And I used semi-sweet chocolate and added some sugar and water to it. This way you can control the consistency and the sweetness. And also using a small plain nozzle to fill the centres seemingly tastes ages so you migh want to give it a slit in the side and drop a spoonfull of cream in it.

And ya, my penguins! While piping them onto the baking tray, I just pulled the tip away and baked them just like that, without flattening the tops. I found the result very cute indeed! When dipped in chocolate their beaks got enhanced.

Also the texture of the chocolate in the two cases is very different, though the only difference is that for the penguins I used powdered sugar while for the balls, confectioner's. The melted chocolate for the latter was smoother and had a sheen to it. Lesson: You just can't substitute confectioner's sugar for powdered one!

I just hope Maneka Gandhi doesn't find out I have been pushing nozzles into the penguins tender skins and literally stuffing them!

1 comment:

aisha said...

The penguins are so cute, and I could probably eat a dozen of those eclairs. I wish I could make choux pastry. And don't tell me how easy it is!