Sunday, August 31, 2008

C'est Bon: Chocolate Eclairs

Daring Bakers Challenge August 2008

Choc Eclairs (01) by MeetaK

None other than your's truly was hosting this month's Daring Bakers challenge! So you can imagine my nervousness and my excitement all rolled up in one. I had two very handsome and talented helping hands though. Those hands belonged to the exceptional Tony of Olive Juice.

I pretty much was sure I was going to get the over a million Daring Bakers (slight exaggeration there) to make a recipe from the sugar daddy himself - Pierre Hermé. I was just stuck between macarons or éclairs.

In the end it was the éclairs that won, simply because these sinfully good French pastries brought back several wonderful memories of growing up in hotels. I remember sneaking into the side of the pastry kitchen and then stealing the freshly made éclairs from the pastry chef - who always seemed to place a tray full of these just in the right corner for me to grab a few. And there was always a glass of milk next to the tray. Funny don't you think?

When I told Tony about my decision he seemed really excited too so we both made a test batch of these in early July and knew straight away this was to be the August challenge. We decided on the modifications for the challenge. Under the motto - Culinary Liberty For All, Tony and I thought we should give enough leeway for creativity. After all my favorite challenges were always those which allowed me to use my own ideas.

What’s the point in cooking if not to cook what YOU want to eat?

The possibilities for éclairs are endless. So we attached just a couple of general guidelines for eclair month at the Daring Bakers.

  1. The dough used for the eclairs must be a pâte à choux from the recipe given below.
  2. Keep one chocolate element in the challenge. The recipe below is for a chocolate glaze and a chocolate pastry cream. You choose which chocolate element you want to keep. Then feel free to mix and match flavors to the base recipe.
  3. Everything else is fair game. Enjoy!

With that in mind the challenge for August was opened.

Choc Eclairs (02) by MeetaK

I knew there were many advanced bakers in the group who had made éclairs before, but with the allowed modifications I was hoping to allow them more creativity and leeway to try new flavor combinations. For the others who had never made éclairs before I knew this was going to be a challenge they might enjoy.

Éclairs consist of 3 elements:

Although I have made all the elements of the éclairs individually in previous challenges, I had never actually made éclairs. So it was going to be challenging and fun for me too.

For my first batch of éclairs I used mint flavored chocolate with 70% cacao. I love this pastry cream and have often made it to fill several pastries and cakes, like the chocolate crepe cake and the Danish braid. This time I experimented with a Brazilian mint chocolate bar. The results were sensational and I really loved the flavor it gave the entire éclairs.

My second batch were made 100% to the recipe given here. Pure, perfect and pleasurable. Nothing like purely chocolate éclairs!

 

Pierre Hermé’s Chocolate Éclairs

Recipe from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé
Printable version of recipe here.

(makes 20-24 Éclairs)
  • Cream Puff Dough (see below for recipe), fresh and still warm
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Divide the oven into thirds by positioning the racks in the upper and lower half of the oven. Line two baking sheets with waxed or parchment paper.

  2. Fill a large pastry bag fitted with a 2/3 (2cm) plain tip nozzle with the warm cream puff dough.

    Pipe the dough onto the baking sheets in long, 4 to 41/2 inches (about 11 cm) chubby fingers.

    Leave about 2 inches (5 cm) space in between each dough strip to allow them room to puff.

    The dough should give you enough to pipe 20-24 éclairs.

  3. Slide both the baking sheets into the oven and bake for 7 minutes. After the 7 minutes, slip the handle of a wooden spoon into the door to keep in ajar. When the éclairs have been in the oven for a total of 12 minutes, rotate the sheets top to bottom and front to back. Continue baking for a further 8 minutes or until the éclairs are puffed, golden and firm. The total baking time should be approximately 20 minutes.

Notes:

  1. The éclairs can be kept in a cool, dry place for several hours before filling.

Assembling the éclairs:

  • Chocolate glaze (see below for recipe)
  • Chocolate pastry cream (see below for recipe)
  1. Slice the éclairs horizontally, using a serrated knife and a gently sawing motion. Set aside the bottoms and place the tops on a rack over a piece of parchment paper.

  2. The glaze should be barely warm to the touch (between 95 – 104 degrees F or 35 – 40 degrees C, as measured on an instant read thermometer). Spread the glaze over the tops of the éclairs using a metal icing spatula. Allow the tops to set and in the meantime fill the bottoms with the pastry cream. 

  3. Pipe or spoon the pastry cream into the bottoms of the éclairs. Make sure you fill the bottoms with enough cream to mound above the pastry. Place the glazed tops onto the pastry cream and wriggle gently to settle them.

Notes:

  1. If you have chilled your chocolate glaze, reheat by placing it in a bowl over simmering water, stirring it gently with a wooden spoon. Do not stir too vigorously as you do not want to create bubbles.
  2. The éclairs should be served as soon as they have been filled.

Cream Puff Dough
(makes 20-24 Éclairs)

  • ½ cup (125g) whole milk
  • ½ cup (125g) water
  • 1 stick (4 ounces; 115g) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (140g) all-purpose flour
  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature
  1. In a heavy bottomed medium saucepan, bring the milk, water, butter, sugar and salt to the boil. 

  2. Once the mixture is at a rolling boil, add all of the flour at once, reduce the heat to medium and start to stir the mixture vigorously with a wooden spoon. The dough comes together very quickly. Do not worry if a slight crust forms at the bottom of the pan, it’s supposed to. You need to carry on stirring for a further 2-3 minutes to dry the dough. After this time the dough will be very soft and smooth. 

  3. Transfer the dough into a bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using your handmixer or if you still have the energy, continue by hand. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each egg has been added to incorporate it into the dough.

    You will notice that after you have added the first egg, the dough will separate, once again do not worry. As you keep working the dough, it will come back all together again by the time you have added the third egg. In the end the dough should be thick and shiny and when lifted it should fall back into the bowl in a ribbon.

  4. The dough should be still warm. It is now ready to be used for the éclairs as directed above.

Notes:

  1. Once the dough is made you need to shape it immediately.
  2. You can pipe the dough and the freeze it. Simply pipe the dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets and slide the sheets into the freezer. Once the dough is completely frozen, transfer the piped shapes into freezer bags. They can be kept in the freezer for up to a month.

Chocolate Pastry Cream

  • 2 cups (500g) whole milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 6 tbsp (75g) sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch, sifted
  • 7 oz (200g) bittersweet chocolate, preferably Valrhona Guanaja, melted
  • 2½ tbsp (1¼ oz: 40g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  1. In a small saucepan, bring the milk to a boil.  In the meantime, combine the yolks, sugar and cornstarch together and whisk in a heavy‐bottomed saucepan.

  2. Once the milk has reached a boil, temper the yolks by whisking a couple spoonfuls of the hot milk into the yolk mixture.Continue whisking and slowly pour the rest of the milk into the tempered yolk mixture.

  3. Strain the mixture back into the saucepan to remove any egg that may have scrambled.  Place the pan over medium heat and whisk vigorously (without stop) until the mixture returns to a boil. Keep whisking vigorously for 1 to 2 more minutes (still over medium heat).Stir in the melted chocolate and then remove the pan from the heat.

  4. Scrape the pastry cream into a small bowl and set it in an ice‐water bath to stop the cooking process. Make sure to continue stirring the mixture at this point so that it remains smooth.

  5. Once the cream has reached a temperature of 140 F remove from the ice‐water bath and stir in the butter in three or four installments. Return the cream to the ice‐water bath to continue cooling, stirring occasionally, until it has completely cooled. The cream is now ready to use or store in the fridge.

Notes:

  1. The pastry cream can be made 2‐3 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator.
  2. In order to avoid a skin forming on the pastry cream, cover with plastic wrap pressed onto the cream.
  3. Tempering the eggs raises the temperature of the eggs slowly so that they do not scramble.

Chocolate Glaze
(makes 1 cup or 300g)

  • 1/3 cup (80g) heavy cream
  • 3½ oz (100g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 4 tsp (20 g) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces, at room temperature
  • 7 tbsp (110 g) Chocolate Sauce (recipe below), warm or at room temperature
  1. In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a boil. Remove from the heat and slowly begin to add the chocolate, stirring with a wooden spoon or spatula. 

  2. Stirring gently, stir in the butter, piece by piece followed by the chocolate sauce.

Notes:

  1. If the chocolate glaze is too cool (i.e. not liquid enough) you may heat it briefly in the microwave or over a double boiler. A double boiler is basically a bowl sitting over (not touching) simmering water.
  2. It is best to glaze the eclairs after the glaze is made, but if you are pressed for time, you can make the glaze a couple days ahead of time, store it in the fridge and bring it up to the proper temperature (95 to 104  F) when ready to glaze.

Chocolate Sauce
(makes 1½ cups or 525 g)

  • 4½ oz (130 g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 cup (250 g) water
  • ½ cup (125 g) crème fraîche, or heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup (70 g) sugar
  1. Place all the ingredients into a heavy‐bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil, making sure to stir constantly.  Then reduce the heat  to low and continue stirring with a wooden spoon until the sauce thickens.
  2. It may take 10‐15 minutes for the sauce to thicken, but you will know when it is done when it coats the back of your spoon.

Notes:

  1. You can make this sauce ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for two weeks. Reheat the sauce in a microwave oven or  a double boiler before using.
  2. This sauce is also great for cakes, ice-cream and tarts.

 

One of the huge plus points about being in such a group is that there are so many experienced bakers out there, who are kind enough to give us a tip or two. The Daring Bakers Forum was full of extremely useful tips and tricks for this challenge. So I thought I would share them with you too. I thank everyone for sharing all your ideas, tips and tricks for this challenge.

Éclairs 101: Tips & Tricks: (Scroll up for recipe)

  • Instead of piping individual éclairs, pipe one long line of dough on your baking tray line with parchment. Then freeze until almost firm, cut the éclairs, using a sharp knife, in the desired size. Place them in the oven and bake.
  • It is important to let the choux pastry dough cool down a bit before you add the eggs. If eggs are added to a warm dough it causes the eggs to coagulate and the dough will not rise as required. If you are making the dough by hand, place a piece of plastic wrap and cover the surface so that the plastic wrap is touching the surface of the dough. Poke a few holes in it to allow the steam to escape.
    If using an kitchen machine, place the paddle attachment and turn on to medium speed. Allow the dough to turn for a minute or so, cooling it down faster. Add the first egg, turn up the speed to high. This will bring down the temperature so that you can add the remaining eggs.
  • Your éclairs deflate after you take them out of the oven
    You are not baking them long enough. The instructions for the recipe indicates a total baking time for the éclairs to be 20 minutes, however, the first time I made these they deflated after I took them out of the oven. The second time I made the éclairs I baked them for 15 minutes longer and they were fine.
  • Freezing éclairs - the éclair shells can be frozen unfilled and unglazed. Take them out and place them in a preheated oven at about 150 degrees C for a minute or two.
  • How well do they hold up? Although the éclairs taste and look best when they are served fresh, you can place them in an airtight container and keep them in the refrigerator overnight. My tip here would be not to glaze them. Glaze them on the day you plan to serve them. This is due to the fact the glaze will loose its shine and the condensation trapped in the glaze will cause it to look speckled.
  • If you do not have a pastry bag or the right sized tips - simply use a freezer bag and cut a corner the appropriate size and pipe the dough!
  • Once the éclairs have baked, turn the oven of and allow the éclairs to cool in the cooling oven. This will help the éclairs hold up their shapes and give a crispier texture.
  • Once you take the shells out of the oven, make small slits in the sides to release steam. Steam once cooled turns to water, which is the main reason why éclairs might turn soggy.

Verdict

When I first made these in July, I had the same problems as many of my fellow DBs. In the oven they puffed up beautifully and looked like a million dollars. However as soon as I took them out of the oven, they flattened on me miserably. But thanks to the tips I shared with you above, my second batch were a real success. These were a decadent treat. Not only did they bring back memories, I also spent a great afternoon with Soeren who was my eager helper and spoon licker for this challenge. Tom is a chocolate kind of guy and has a bad sweet tooth. As my challenge taster, these pastries were his favorite to date. I served these at a little cocktail party and really had a tough time convincing my guests that these were homemade.

Would I make this again?

Yes! I am proud that I managed these. Because of the fact I love éclairs I now do not have to wait to visit my parents in Dubai to enjoy hotel style éclairs. I can make them in my own kitchen.

What did I learn from this challenge?

Many things - like all those wonderful tips mentioned above. What it takes to make the perfect éclair shells and do's and dont's of this delicate pastry.

At this stage I really have to thank two lovely ladies, Natalie of Gluten A Go Go and Helen of Tartelette, who went out of the way to help Tony and myself answer tricky questions and give their expertise advice on how to make the best éclairs.

Phew! I cannot believe I just hosted my own Daring Baker challenge! If anyone had told me this before my first challenge I would have given them a very funny look indeed! I hope that everyone who completed the challenge enjoyed it as much as I did. I also wish everyone who makes these delectable chocolate pastries good luck and enjoy a piece of heaven!

You might find these pastry and cake "How Tos" helpful too:

If you are looking for more helpful tips and tricks, you will find several other "how tos" in the sidebar category The Know Hows of Food under the section How To...


All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2008 Meeta Khurana unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First

126 comments :

  1. ooh meeta, i'd love to have tried the mint version you made - they sound very special!

    abby, eat the right stuff

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  2. Love the addition of mint! sounds yummy. Great challenge! I loved it!!!

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  3. Meeta, I loved this challenge and especially the filling and chocolate glaze. Thanks for a wonderful recipe for August.

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  4. This challenge was more of a learning experience than a success for me... but it was ALL user error! Thank you for picking a recipe that forces me to push my boundaries! I will conquer the eclair... someday. ;)

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  5. I love your idea of flavouring the cream with mint chocolate, a more sofisticated after dinner eclair.
    Thanks for choosing such a great challange, this one was very much enjoyed.

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  6. Fabulous choice! I loved making these, and thanks for the idea of culinary liberty for all!

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  7. Fabulous eclairs!! Thank you also for the compilation of the useful tips and tricks contributed by various bloggers from the DB forum. It makes it so much easier to read. And mint flavoured creme patissiere sounds divine!!

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  8. Mint chocolate eclairs? Brilliant!! Thanks for a great challenge!

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  9. thanks for this challenge!!!!

    www.madeleinecocina.com

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  10. I love your mint chocolate idea - and I love that you added an extra flavor without having to make a separate recipe! Thanks for a great challenge!

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  11. Thanks for hosting this month Meeta! I had a lot of fun with the challenge and yours looks beautiful - as always! :)

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  12. Thank you for a most excellent DB challenge. Your éclairs look marvelous!

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  13. I really enjoyed this month's challege. I've only been a Daring Baker for four months, but this was my favorite recipe. Thanks!

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  14. Meeta, thank you so much for a wonderful challenge! You are such great host! The éclairs were absolutely delicious and appreciated by everyone!
    I'm sure mint flavored pastry cream tasted fantastic!

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  15. Thanks for the challenge Meeta, it was fun!

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  16. It was a great challenge, Meeta! Thanks to both you and Tony for being such a great hostess & host!

    xoxo

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  17. Your eclairs are wonderful! I turned my minis into a birthday cake for my brother and a lot of kids tried them. They all asked for more! Thank you (and Tony) for the best DB challenge so far!

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  18. Eclairs look yummy and your tips and trick section is great:-)
    XX M

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  19. Your eclairs are great!! Thanking Tony & yourself for a wonderful challenge ;-)

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  20. Beautiful eclairs! Thanks for an awesome challenge!

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  21. Meeta, Thank you so much for this choice. I LOVED it and i am a fan forever! This is something I will never forget!

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  22. I was afraid of attempting these, but thanks to you guys for pushing a lot of us out of our comfort zone. The results were delicious!

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  23. I love your eclairs! Thanks for a great recipe this month!

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  24. thanks Meeta for this month's pick.
    it was above perfect.

    xx fanny

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  25. So glad you didn't go for the macarons. I would've been so lost. Thanks for hosting and it was fun participating in my first DB challenge.

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  26. Great choice this month! Even though I'm not a daring baker, I love to read about everyone's experiments with the recipes.

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  27. You picked the right one Meeta!
    Now we're eclaired all over! These were lovely!

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  28. As this is only my second DB challenge, I am still learning. Thanks for a recipe that challenged me and was fun!

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  29. thanks for hosting this month's challenge meeta. it was delicious and your creations so refreshing!

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  30. Thanks for choosing this challenge this month Meeta. We knocked them out in true Daring Baker style:D

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  31. Thanks for picking this recipe Meeta. I loved it and I had a great time with it.

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  32. Thank You Meeta for a fun and wonderful challenge.

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  33. Thanks for a wonderful challenge! I absolutely loved it and it was a snap to veganize!

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  34. Meeta, you and Tony picked a great recipe for a wonderful challenge! The tipe are good ones, too. Thank you for hosting this month!! Haven't finished yet, but hope to psot soon.

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  35. thanks for picking a great recipe! i really enjoyed it :) i wish i had had more time to play around w/the recipe but ran out of time and just made it as is. still, i loved it and so did my co-workers ;)

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  36. Thanks Meeta for a very enjoyable, nice and easy challenge (I loved baking European this time!).

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  37. Thanks for a great challenge - yum yum.

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  38. All of these tempting eclair posts are giving me a powerful craving! Beautifully done Meeta!

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  39. LOVE the freedom allowed in this recipe which deserves better attention from me. Mine looked gorgeous until they came out of the oven, too. But I've gotten so many great tips from those who said it was a breeze. Thanks, Meeta for this challenge.

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  40. Loved the challenge, Meeta! I will be redoing it again soon - to its completion. :)

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  41. What a challenge to "rise" up to and you did so perfectly! This was an amazing tasty challenge that gave everyone the feeling of success :)

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  42. Meeta you did a good job both hosting and making your eclairs. Well done and thank you!

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  43. Thank you for hosting this DB month! I loved the eclairs! :)
    Your fillings and photo's look scrumptious!

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  44. Thanks for choosing such a great challenge this month! I didn't do the chocolate pastry cream but it looks absolutely yummy, so I may have to to make this challenge again!

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  45. Hi Meeta- thanks for hosting this fun challenge! Your eclairs are scrummy!
    xox

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  46. Thanks for this great challenge- although mine didn't quite turn out, it was still a worthwhile learning experience. :)

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  47. Meeta! This was so much fun!! Your èclairs look beautiful and I'm glad they worked out the second time around.
    I thought of you when I added pistachios on mine :)

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  48. Wonderful challenge Meeta. I love anything with pate a choux and use to enjoy eclairs as a girl growing up in France. Seeing everyone's entries brings back wonderful memories. Yours look beautiful!

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  49. Thanks for a great challenge this month- I don't know if I would've made eclairs if it wasn't for DB! Yours turned out lovely!

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  50. I loved this challenge. Thanks so much for a great recipe that I will use again and again.

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  51. Meeta,
    I loved this month's pick. So yummy!
    Thanks again!

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  52. Loved this month's challenge! Yours look yummy!

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  53. Thanks for hosting this month! Although mine were deflated, and I didn't have a chance to try them again with the tips, we did enjoy them!

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  54. Your eclairs look beautiful! And thanks for picking this challenge. I lost my mind this month, but I'll probably finish making mine sometime this week.

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  55. Thanks to you and Tony for choosing these lovely eclairs as this month's challenge. The chocolate pastry cream was to die for, and I am an eclair fan from way back.

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  56. Thanks for posting a great challenge Meeta. You pushed me into trying it... it was delicious!!

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  57. Great challenge! It was delicious and fun. Your eclairs look and sounds delicious!

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  58. Thank you for hosting this recipe, it was something I obviously needed to learn!!

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  59. lovely~ great choice for
    a challenge.
    my girls loved it!

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  60. my least fave part of eclairs is pastry cream. but urs look really yummy :)

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  61. I like the idea of a mint-chocolate combo, and thanks for condensing all of the tips shared in the forum here. This was certainly a great challenge and it was fun to be able to come up with different fillings or icings.

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  62. Meeta, this was my first Daring Bakers Challenge and I loved it! Thank you so much for choosing it - I had such a wonderful success with these, I'll definitely be making them again!

    Yours look delicious!! I love how you included the tips in your post. :)

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  63. Meeta, this was a wonderful, utterly delicious challenge and I had a great time. Thanks to you, Tony, Helen, and Sheltie Girl for being fabulous hosts and answering all our questions. My neighbors also thank you for choosing the eclairs as they enjoyed quite a few of them, too. ;-)

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  64. They were v good Meeta! Made them and loved them. Thankfully ( and surprisingly) I had absolute NO PROBLEMS in making these. They did everything "on their own" - I give them all the credit and came together beautifully. Hats of to you and Tony for selecting this wonderful challenge :)

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  65. Incredible! I know this recipe had it's flaws for some. But I hope in the end we all enjoyed it. It was great to get so many great tips and I really learned a lot. I am going to give these another go maybe with a different recipe but now I feel bold and daring enough to make eclairs!

    Thanks everyone for all your comments!

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  66. Thank you for hosting the challenge! I enjoyed it very much and definitely pushed me to work on bettering my results with each batch.

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  67. Thank you, Meeta, for hosting and providing such a great challenge! I really enjoyed it this month.

    www.takethecannoli.us

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  68. Thanks for hosting this month! It was a fantastic challenge and soooo very delicious!

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  69. Wow! Beautiful and yummy éclairs... I just wanted to say THANK YOU for this amazing challenge it has been so funny to participate...

    http://morgana.blogolosas.com

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  70. Hi Meeta!
    Thanks for hosting & coming up wif such a yummy recipe/challenge for Aug!

    it's the 1st time i'm baking this & it turns out to be soooo great!!

    simple love ur mint flavour idea.... gonna try tat next time!

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  71. Thanks for being a great host :)
    I did mint too :)
    Your eclairs look fantastic :)

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  72. Your eclairs look wonderful and great that you don't have to go all the way to Dubai to get/steal them ;)
    Thanks for the challenge!

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  73. Thanks Meeta for the lovely challenge and thanks for the useful tips. They will come in handy

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  74. Meeta, thank-you for choosing such a fantastic challenge this month! Your éclairs look wonderful and I love that you used mint chocolate in some of them.

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  75. Congratulations and thanks for hosting this month's DB challenge.
    Even though eclairs are not something I like, I can now say that I made choux pastry. I wouldn't ever have if it wasn't for the Daring Bakers.

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  76. absolutely beautiful!!! thanks for hosting sweetie :-)

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  77. Fabulous challenge this month Meeta!!! I loved taking part.

    Your eclairs (and that photo) are beautiful.

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  78. It was a good choice Meeta, and your eclairs look great.

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  79. Thanks for a WONDERFUL challnege, Meeta! Your eclairs look scrumptious!
    Ann at Redacted Recipes

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  80. Meeta,I am not part the DB challenge group but still it was fascinating to see eclairs poping out of the blogosphere.Fabulous recipe!
    Ur presentation is mind blowing

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  81. Thanks meeta for this wonderful challenge, I managed to ppost a day late :-(...but we really enjoyed it.

    Yours look yummy.

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  82. WONDERFUL CHALLENGE MEETA! CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR ECLAIRS!

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  83. I'm glad you chose this challenge because I got to try Ph's chocolate pastry cream. Thanks, meeta!

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  84. Yours look so pretty! Mine were a complete disaster but they were tasty! Thanks a lot for the challenge my friend :)

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  85. This is a great post and thank you for puting so much thought, time and effort into hosting this month it really shows. And that you for giving my family on of the best DBer months since I started a year ago.

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  86. I just stumbled onto your blog and really love it - keep up the cooking of all these sinfully delicious looking desserts (I'm really going to have to try the Chocolate Crepe Cake...). (-: Cheers!

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  87. Thank you for the great challenge. It was wonderful!

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  88. thanks everyone. I am so glad that most of you gave this a go and even more happy that many of you liked it. i was nervous but - but now am relieved!

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  89. Thanks so much for choosing this recipe! I've wanted to learn how to make choux for a while.

    xo

    j

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  90. Your eclairs look good! I really like the sound of the mint chocolate!

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  91. I can't remember the last time I ate an eclair. I may have still been in pigtails! But after seeing these pics, I'm craving one in a big way!

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  92. Oh God, this Daring Baker challenges leave me ravenous and I have this craving so deep down that I turn wild in frustration that I cannot make a single one of these :D

    Great job, Meeta

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  93. Culinary Freedom for all. Thank you for hosting this month's DB challenge and what a great choice. I really love mint and with the chocolate glaze ooooo in 7th heaven. Great eclairs. Thank you for all the work that was necessary for this challenge.

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  94. You certainly did master this challenge. Your eclairs look wonderful. Thanks for the really great tips. I will consult them when I try these again, as I didn't get it right the first time.

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  95. You grew up in hotels...how cool is that? I grew up in 50 different places, interesting but not cool. Thank you for all your work on this challenge, I ate the extra chocolate pastry cream with rasberries on the train for dinner when I got called out of town suddenly. Yum, you taught me well.

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  96. You grew up in hotels...how cool is that? I grew up in 50 different places, interesting but not cool. Thank you for all your work on this challenge, I ate the extra chocolate pastry cream with rasberries on the train for dinner when I got called out of town suddenly. Yum, you taught me well.

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  97. Thank you thank you! I am relieved that this challenge came down so well with all of you. Now onwards to the next DB challenge!

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  98. I have yet to post mine! Thanks for choosing this challenge! I love it cuz it's something new for me again :)

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  99. I love eclairs and this is just what i have been waiting for.:D
    I have to make these lovely eclairs. Thank you so much for such detailed instructions. It surely helps remove my fears of making eclairs

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  100. Very pretty! Your Eclairs look fantastic! Thanks for the great challenge!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  101. Thanks again for picking a great recipe for everyone to have a go at :)

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  102. Thanks for the great challenge Meeta! Sorry I 'thumbed my nose at you' in my arrogance. This certainly brought me down to size!! LOL. So it appears that the choux needed to be baked longer for most people.. I'm glad I baked mine twice too so now I know how eclairs are supposed to turn out - regardless of the timing of any recipe! Hugs!

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  103. Loved this challenge, thank you so much.

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  104. What a great choice for your hosting challenge! Always great to bake with the Sugar Daddy's recipes. I love your eclairs and the cool green tones in your photos!

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  105. I've never visited your blog before is lovely! My éclairs didn't come out like I wanted but were delicious. Thanks for the challenge.

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  106. that looks brilliant, as usual Meeta! Eclairs are my favorite way to enjoy chocolate, and pastry cream as well! thanks for a very well-detailed post, and also for being a fabulous DB host!:)

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  107. thank you so much for hosting this month's challenge. your eclairs came out so wonderful, i love the mint version !

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  108. Thank you all once again! Glad you all enjoyed the challenge and thank you for the feedback on the minty flavored eclairs!

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  109. I'm still so bummed I missed this one, because it's the one I've been the most excited about! I am going to make these soon though!

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  110. Thanks for the great challenge, Meeta! Your eclairs look delicious. Wendy

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  111. I've been looking at other blogs that made this recipe and I have to say that you did a wonderful job with the pictures.

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  112. Thanks for hosting a wonderful challenge! Your eclairs look delightful.

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  113. oh, these look so chocolatey! thanks for a good recipe pick--i love any chance to make choux!

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  114. They look absolutely divine, Meeta. I just want to bite into them! When is the deadline for this? I've always wanted to make chocolate eclairs but always been afraid... ;)

    Oh, another disappointment, i don't own a Pierre Herme book! Yet...!

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  115. Meeta,

    A big thank to you and Tony! You chose an exceptional challenge and you hosted it so professionally. I really like the idea of your mint pastry cream ... must keep that in mind!

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  116. Meeta-
    I have been so busy, but I am just now getting a chance to look at your beautiful eclairs and tell you thank you..this was a great challenge!
    blessings,
    marye
    http://www.bakingdelights.com

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  117. HI! i have some questions and i hope you'd help me with them since i'm planning to attempt this during the weekend, so excited :)

    So i was wondering if the pastry cream is in excess? Cos i wanna reduce it but i don't know by how much i could reduce it! same goes for the chocolate glaze!

    Also, for the choux pastry, if i pre make them and freeze them, when i'm ready to use them, do i bake according to the original (20min at 190 degree C) or the one under tips and tricks (few min at 150 degree C)? Or does the latter refer to frozen pastry already baked!

    Sorry for bombarding you with questions, i just wanna ensure minimal error else i'd end up with nothing haha ):

    Thanks :)

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  118. I have a question for you. I have tried your recipe and the eclairs came out light and puffed up. Only thing I found off putting was an eggy taste to the dough, like scrambled eggs even. I wonder where I could have gone wrong in the recipe and I sure would like to hear from you soon.

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Thank you for visiting What's For Lunch, Honey? and taking time to browse through my recipes, listen to my ramblings and enjoy my photographs. I appreciate all your comments, feedback and input. I will answer your questions to my best knowledge and respond to your comments as soon as possible.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy your stay here and that I was able to make this an experience for your senses.

Hugs
Meeta