Daring Bakers Challenge: All because we love.. Chocolate Eclairs

I am experiencing an Oprah moment. No, not one of those moments when she makes you realise you can solve all of life’s problems by reducing the number of wire hangers in your closet. Rather, I’ve bitten into a chocolate eclair and silence overwhelms me for a split second, before I moan, Oh, honey, hush! The audience roars in approval and in an instant, women are up from their seats, crying in joy when told they’re all getting free eclairs as well.

I recall at Tafe, when we were told that eclairs and profiteroles were good items to have on any menu because they were cheap to produce. Unfortunately a surfeit of cheap ingredients does not necessarily a good dessert make, which is what put me off eclairs to begin with. I’d tasted too many eclairs filled with imitation cream and compound chocolate, to ever consider the fact that they were worth making at home.

It wasn’t until a chance encounter with a slim finger of an eclair at Sadaharu Aoki’s patisserie in Tokyo, that I discovered how good these pastries can be, and how Oprah might approve of them too. Toothsome, silky, creamy and flavoursome; one bite alone reminded me of those TV ads featuring ladies who seem to do nothing all day but walk around langurously in expensive evening gowns, bathe in milk and eat Magnum ice-creams. Or Cadbury’s Milk Tray (“All because the lady loves…”)

So I was incredibly happy to have managed to find some time to complete this month’s DB Challenge (and all because I now love….) : Pierre Herme’s Chocolate Eclairs! Usually I like to put my own spin on a recipe but this time I decided to stick to what was given. Partly, because I don’t recall ever having made chocolate pastry cream before and was keen to give it a go. Otherwise it would have been too tempting to have a range of different fillings, such as green tea, raspberry or banana caramel!

These eclairs are indeed Oprah-worthy. It is the sum of their parts that makes the whole, well worth the effort. Choux pastry if eaten plain is a bit boring; chocolate pastry cream, licked from the spoon is a bit meh, although the chocolate glaze is lovely and bittersweet. Combine all three components together, and you have fireworks.. or a standing ovation.

Thank you to Tony and Meeta who picked this month’s challenge. Check out their blogs for the recipe and don’t forget to look at what other fellow Daring Bakers came up with!

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61 Comments »

  1. Indigo said,

    September 4, 2008 @ 6:49 am

    You’re so right; I never consider myself a big fan of eclairs cause so often you come across the nasty ones with fake cream and cheap chocolate. Whereas these look so sophisticated and classy! Count me in the audience, cheering XD.

  2. Mae said,

    September 4, 2008 @ 9:48 am

    They look divine! Choux pastry is kind of next to my list of ‘must try’ however i could only hope that they would look as good as these beauties…

  3. leslie said,

    September 4, 2008 @ 10:19 pm

    These are probably the most beautiful Eclairs I have seen yet!!! I love the contrast with the different textures of Chocolate on top!! BRAVO

  4. Mari said,

    September 5, 2008 @ 3:23 am

    I wish I could just reach into my monitor and pull out one of your gorgeous eclairs!!! You did a beautiful job!

  5. prettytastycakes said,

    September 5, 2008 @ 10:05 am

    these look sooo decadent and delicious. really lovely…

  6. Amber said,

    September 5, 2008 @ 10:31 am

    I love the simplicity and beauty of the 3 toppings. You have a great eye for style.

  7. lauren said,

    September 7, 2008 @ 1:55 am

    your eclairs look great! i like the dusted cocoa powder on top.

  8. Adam said,

    September 7, 2008 @ 3:32 am

    Hey, thanks for stopping by my site, Y. I really like what you’ve done here, and it’s always nice to meet another cool baker :)

  9. Miri said,

    September 9, 2008 @ 10:03 pm

    Wonderful looking eclairs, Y, they are so tempting!

  10. matt wright said,

    September 10, 2008 @ 2:51 am

    Bloody, bloody hell. These look awesome. I haven’t had one in years, and now you might actually have convinced me to put down my hatred of baking, and make them. Darn you!

  11. Shari said,

    September 10, 2008 @ 12:21 pm

    I agree…it is an Oprah moment biting into a homemade eclair, and yours (with the cocoa sprinkles and glaze) looks amazing!

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