Sunday, August 31, 2008

Daring Bakers: Eclairs

eclairs2

cardamomredcurrant2

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! eclairs3chocolateeclair

63 comments:

Dhanggit said...

your eclairs came out beautiful...love the creativity on your work!!

Barbara Bakes said...

Your eclairs are gorgeous! I haven't had an eclair with fruit. I'll have to give it a try!

mary said...

Your flavor combinations sounds so creative and delicious! (And the presentation is wonderful, too.)

Courtney said...

your eclairs look very pretty. i too am the same way about chocolate. glad i am not the only one!

Oh my! Apple pie! said...

Your eclairs look so tasty,I love your flavour combinations too.

Rachel said...

love the varied fillings....

_ts of [eatingclub] vancouver said...

Oh! I liked the pastry creams you made: cardamom vanilla-lemon zest cream and cinnamon pastry cream with pumpkin seeds.

Sara said...

very pretty!

OhioMom said...

I really love the different touches all the DB's put on their desserts, I love the addition of fruit to yours. I have never made eclairs/cream puffs, you have me wanting to bake them.

Maggie said...

They all look lovely!

Bellini Valli said...

These look so good with the fresh fruit..there would be enough chocolate to cure any chocoholic cravings I might have:D

Natalie... said...

I think your éclairs look gorgeous.
I love how youve decorated them too :D

Nidhi said...

Ooh! I would love these with fruits! I would have tried but I got lazy! Yours look great!!

glamah16 said...

I'm in awe. These look like miniature works of art.

Anne said...

Oh, the berries look wonderful! I really wish I had gotten my hands on some, but all I had was frozen raspberries...

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Girl with Cherrios in your pocket, you rocked this one! Beautiful.

chou said...

Great write-up, I especially love the comment about cheerios in your purse--but isn't that the indicator that you can do it all? :) Your eclairs look lovely, and I'm glad to hear another cardamom addict is out there.

Elle said...

Your beautiful eclairs look like they could be in a food magazine...so beautifully decorated and photographed. You'd never know that chocolate isn't your fave.

Hannah said...

Lovely eclairs, and all of those different variations sound wonderful! Now I'm kicking myself for leaving fresh berries out of the picture.

Marija said...

Beautiful eclairs! Redcurrant one is my favorite!

HoneyB said...

Your pastry creams sound awesome and the eclairs are gorgeous!

dobetter said...

Your eclairs are simply beautiful! I love your addition of the fruits. Well done.

jillian said...

So pretty! I love the decoration. Chocolate desserts are actually not my favorite either.;)

Passionate About Baking said...

Berry berry delicious & utterly pretty. I love fruit in desserts & yours are mouth-watering! YUM!!

katskitchen said...

Nice job! Great variety!

Swati said...

Love the twist with berries.. Not only they look prettier but would taste lovelier too.. Great job!!

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

Your eclairs a just lovely! The fruits look like little jewels. I love all of your interesting flavor combinations too. Excellent job!

Amy said...

They're beautiful! I love all the decorations.

Dee said...

I love chocolate, but the cardamom pastry cream and the vanilla-lemon zest cream would definitely give it a run for its money.

Good idea to make minis; it's so easy to pretend you only had five.

The handpies look pretty good, too!

Dianne said...

Your éclairs are gorgeous!

L*Joy said...

fantastic work of making the most of something even when you are not ecstatic about it. great job!

Ann said...

Picture perfect!

Leslie said...

Stunning photos!
Thats ok that your not the biggest Chocolate fan..I will take your portion!! :)
Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Bunny said...

Your eclairs look to me to be just the right size, my kids would have wasted 1/2 an eclair if I would have made them regular size! Your picutures are so pretty!!

Aparna said...

Very beautiful eclairs and the most interesting flavour combinations.

Aude said...

Bravo pour ce challenge réussi :)
a bientôt pour celui de septembre !!
aude

Clumbsy Cookie said...

So you don't like chocolate eh? Oh well I guess I can forgive you sisnce you don't hate it either! You did a great job with these, I loved the way you incorporated fruit in them! Well done!

Meeta said...

yum! those fruity decorations are a true charm. so glad you gave the recipe a go even if chocolate is not your favorite!

shellyfish said...

"I'm a woman with Cheerios in my purse..."

Ha! I had a flash back to being a kid and my mom's purse...if we needed it, it was there;

Great éclairs, by the way!

Elra said...

Maybell's mom,
You are so creative with the pastry creme. They're all sounded very good. Red currant decoration on one of your eclair looks so pretty.

Simone said...

Lovely Eclairs! I love them, but I have never attempted to make them. Now, I think I may have to! Thanks!

jasmine said...

What great flavour combinations you came up with. The pastries look lovely, btw.

j

genkitummy said...

your flavor combinations sound delicious! you're so ambitious to have made 4 different creams!

Jude said...

way to get around the eggy flavored dough -- strong fillings and fresh fruits. Wish I could try out one of each!

Lori said...

Those are amazing looking ecalirs. Very pretty and just asking to be eaten!

Candace said...

They look fantastic! Love the photos too... very nice!

Kevin said...

Your eclairs look great! I like all of the different toppings.

Helene said...

Wow, they are the cutest!

Dragon said...

These are simply gorgeous eclairs. I had a blast making them but boy what a messy kitchen I was left with. :)

Alexa said...

Your Eclairs are pretty and creative. I love the flavors of the filling you chose: especially, the cardamom and currants. Wow! Off to explore more of your blog... :-)

pixie said...

i love the way you did the eclairs in so many ways! I didn't have the time but yours are very pretty!

Vera said...

The fillings sound delicious! And the pastries look lovely!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Your Eclairs are very pretty and look gorgeously delicious! Very well done!

Cheers,

Rosa

Y said...

Heh. I think the conversion from flour to puffy balls is pretty miraculous too. I love your different fillings. The pumpkin seed one in particular.

Dharm said...

Love how your eclairs turned out! You are so creative too!

Megan said...

I would have taken one of each. They sound amazing!

Liz said...

Wow, beautiful. I especially love the redcurrant ones--the berries look so pretty and vibrant!

farida said...

You did a great job with eclairs! They look do beautiful!

Andreia Sousa said...

It's very creative to do éclairs with fruit. Congrats!

Steph said...

Beautiful eclairs! Love them! So cute!

Sophie said...

Your eclairs are too cute! They look like they're ready to hit the beach, all glammed up! :) Very nice job!

Jenny said...

How very pretty! Such a nice variety too.

Susan/Wild Yeast said...

I feel the same way as you about chocolate but I wasn't creative enough to come up with the brilliant alternative fillings. Cinnamon and pumpkin seed -- this is why I love your blog!