Monday, 20 February 2012

Chocolate Eclairs and Valentine Cupcakes

I have had a long weekend this week with an extra day off from work, although I have been very busy dealing with buttercream of another nature. I decided to paint my dining room and part of my living room and the colour I chose was called buttercream, proving that definitely almost every part of my thinking is ruled by baking.

but today after all that painting I have been making chocolate eclairs, I first made these a few days ago and they tasted fine however were a little smaller than I wanted and I didn't wait for the chocolate icing to set a little before topping (well I was hungry) so they didn't look as neat as todays lot, they also didn't last long enough for me to take a picture (oops) so today I used that as a good excuse to make some more, of course it just wasn't that I wanted to eat more it was definitely all the name of getting a picture (hehe).

Any way, they are really yummy and the pastry cream is very moorish, i usually always bake cake rather than pastry but i will definitely be making these more for friends and family (or maybe just me!) here they are:

And filled with yummy pastry cream,

and here's how they are made:

Chocolate Eclairs

For the choux pastry:

150ml Water
70g Butter, diced
100g Plain Flour, sifted
2 eggs

For the pastry cream:

2 Eggs
4tbsp Caster Sugar
2tbsp Cornflour
300ml Milk
1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract

For the icing:

2tbsp Butter
1tbsp Milk
1tbsp Cocoa
55g Icing Sugar

Pre heat oven to 200degC and lightly grease a couple of baking trays.
Place the water in a saucepan with the butter and heat gently until the butter melts, bring to a rolling boil. remove the saucepan from the heat and add the flour all at once beating well until the mixture leave the sides of the saucepan and forms a ball. Leave to cool slightly, then gradually beat in the eggs until you have a smooth, glossy mixture. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a large round nozzle, I found a disposable piping bag with the end cut off worked fine.

Sprinkle the baking trays with a little water and pipe the eclairs well spaced apart with room to rise. Bake in the oven for around 30 minutes or until crisp and golden in colour. Make a small slit in the side of each eclair then cool on a wire rack.

For the pastry cream. Whisk the eggs and caster sugar until thick and creamy then whisk in the cornflour. Heat the milk until almost boiling and pour onto the egg mixture whilst beating. Transfer these to a saucepan and cook over a low heat stirring until thick. (This part is really important as the first time i stopped stirring and turned my back for a second and the mixture had thickened, so for a smooth mixture, stick with stirring) Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Leave to cool.

To make the icing, melt the butter with the milk, remove from the heat and then stir in the sugar and cocoa. Leave to chill and set slightly.

Split the eclairs lengthways and pipe in the cooled cream. Spread the icing over the top of the eclairs. This time I made the icing in advance and waited until it had almost set and piped on top in ribbons.

The eclairs can then be decorated with a mix of icing sugar and water piped on (as I have here) or some melted white chocolate drizzled over.

and that's it!

Also as last week was valentines I also had some orders for valentines cupcakes, some were decorated with rolos (last rolos) and sprayed with edible silver and the others with cream cheese frosting and sugar hearts, and they were very well received. here they are:

Well that's all for today, now to plan what to bake next... after I eat this last eclair. 


Baking Addict said...

The eclairs and cupcakes look amazing!! love the rolos :)

Jo said...

Those eclairs look so delicious, especially the third photo with the cream oozing out. No wonder they didn't last long the first time round!

m1ndy9876 said...

choclate creme patissite (sp) is THE best

Lauralovescakes said...

All of these look lovely...I particularly like the heart cupcakes! :-)