January 29th, 2021; I challenge myself to make Chocolate Éclairs and to those who are familiar with the recipe, the trickiest part about it is the rising part of the dough… A part of my monologue in my kitchen while baking was dedicated to Rudy, who had been in the ICU since January 1st (Covid-19), always in my prayers and thoughts, and that was going through very critical 48 hours… I did associate in the back of my mind the éclairs rising to Rudy getting better and was praying for this to happen while waiting in front of my oven… The éclairs rose but once out of the oven they turned as flat as a pancake.. I went to bed upset but kept my hopes high and prayed… January 30th// In the afternoon I learnt the bad news … It broke my heart as much as it broke his families hearts // He was 41 Years Old, an unforgettable life lover, a beautiful and generous soul, had an exceptional family and two lovely kids// On that day I realized how unfair life could be and how cruel this virus is//I can’t stop thinking about this tragedy and praying for his wife and family to be strong…
You may be wondering now why did I mix a food post with a personal story, well because that’s the ugly truth of our lives nowadays…Baking is my therapy to release all the stress and Re-energize but as sweet as desserts turn out and taste there’s always a bitter taste in the back of my throat…
Time has stopped for almost a year now, life has taken a new dimension in the space.. This pandemic like a surreal horror, sci-fi film has plunged the whole world into an unprecedented Health crisis…
I hope we will soon look back and say, that was the worst memory… Prayers to the ones we’ve lost and all those that are suffering now and to all the medical staff in my country, thank You 🙏🏻
To prepare those éclairs I used a pâte à choux recipe I learnt at Alain Ducasse School
You will need the following ingredients for the dough:
Method of Preparation:
1-Pre-heat the oven, I did pre-heat it to 200 C for at least an hour before baking although in most of the French recipes they mention 180C or 160C. I believe they don’t know much about the powerful electricity du liban 🇱🇧
2-You need to dice the butter and put it in a saucepan with milk and water, sugar and salt and let it melt over small heat before boiling the mixture.
3-Once the mixture boils, you remove the saucepan and add the flour once at a time mixing with a wooden spatula then put back the mixture over medium heat stirring for 3 to 4 minutes until you have a dried layer in the bottom of your saucepan
4-Transfer the mixture to a cake mixer using the flat beater over medium speed to cool down the mixture
5-When the temperature reaches 45 to 50 degrees incorporate the eggs 🥚 one by one
6-Keep on mixing until the dough forms a ruban
7-Transfer to a piping bag using a 15 mm nozzle // I used an 11 mm and 15 mm
8-Spread a knob of butter on a baking tray a bit of flour then start shaping your eclairs (13 cm length)
Don’t shape more than 7 to 8 éclairs max on one baking tray and don’t ever bake two trays at the same time
9-Once you are done shaping them spray oil and put some icing sugar on top of each to avoid them from cracking
10-Bake for around 50 to 60 minutes or until their color turns brown
Don’t open the oven while baking them!
11-Once you take the tray out of the oven remove the éclairs and place them on a cooling rack or tray
12-For the chocolate crème Pâtissière you need to heat 500ml of milk. In a mixing bowl whisk 3 egg yolks with 100g sugar and 40g corn flour.
13-Once the milk boils, transfer 1/3 to the egg yolks mixture and whisk then transfer to the sauce pan and keep on whisking until the mixture thickens.
14-Incorporate 150g Valrhona Caraïbe.
15-Transfer to a Pyrex, cling film and refrigerate.
16.Use a piping bag to fill in the eclairs with chocolate crème pâtissière the next day. And a chocolate ganache to cover the éclairs.
Enjoy baking those éclairs, share and tag @eatlikenicole !
P.S: Don’t give up easily you may not make it from the first time