I don't love chocolate.
If you haven't clicked away from my blog after that admission, let me explain. I don't hate chocolate either. I eat chocolate but it isn't my first choice for dessert. So, I felt fairly neutral when I learned that our challenge this month was chocolate eclairs. The hook for me was the originator of this specific recipe--Pierre Hermes. I frankly have never even considered attempting any of his recipes. After all, he is Pierre Hermes and I am a woman with Cherrios in her purse (Belle's, not mine.)
But, if we are going to play French pastry chef, choux pastry is the way to go. I have made cream puffs in the past. They are so incredibly easy (given it isn't a crazy humid day.) Frankly, I am always amazed at the miraculous way 1 cup of flour can become an almost endless number of puffy balls.
There was a lot of talk about the eggy nature of this dough. I made very strongly flavored fillings, so I didn't mind the tone of the puffs. As it is me, I made mini-eclairs (baked for 7 minutes). I then filled the 3 inch eclairs with: cardamom pastry cream and red currants, vanilla-lemon zest cream and blackberry, cinnamon pastry cream with pumpkin seeds, and of course, the Hermes chocolate cream. The fruit ones were the delicious, the pumpkin seed brilliant and as you might expect, I didn't taste the chocolate. But Maybelle's Dad says that Hermes' recipe was right on.
Thank you to Tony and Meeta who picked this month’s challenge--it was a nice change from the marathons of the past month. Check out their blogs for the recipe and don’t forget to look at what other fellow Daring Bakers came up with!