Monday, April 17, 2006

Another foodlog sees its day light

Why not? Another foodlog on the internet. Reading already a lot of foodlogs all over the world, I feel the urge to add mine to. I will add a lot of recipes, using this blog as my personal archive but also, hopefully food adventures which I come across during my work as a home chef and food lover during my travels through Europe in search of wonderful food. So, let's start with one of my favorite recipes.

Recipe éclair au chocolat

Photo of Jean-Paul Hévin's éclairs, you will see the difference lies in the pastry chef and the photographer!

This is the divine chocolate éclair. There are many recipes leading to the same éclair. I've tried many for them but for me the best is the recipe of Jean-Paul Hévin in his recently published Délices de chocolat, a true must-have.

  • Listen to my podcast on choux pastry

  • Ingredients choux pastry

    12 cl of full fat milk
    12 cl of water
    110 grams of butter
    pinch of salt
    5 grams of sugar
    140 grams of sifted flour (which I tend not to sift, not a big need)
    5 eggs

    Preheat the oven at 180 C. In a pan, bring to a boil the milk, water, butter, salt and sugar. Off the fire, add the flour in once, and keep stirring with a wooden spoon. Once, well mixed, put the mixure back on the fire, and stir during one minute so that the pastry loosens some humidity. Transfer this mixture over in a bowl, let it cool down for one minut or so, add then the eggs, one by one, or if you prefer, two by two. Add the next eggs only after the mixture is smooth again.
    Now, the choux pastry is ready. Put this in a piping bag, equipped with a piping mould of 9 or 10 mm diameter. Pipe the éclairs: lines of approx. 13 cm on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for approx. 25 minutes.

    Jean-Paul's recipe goes with chocolate pastry cream, while I prefer the vanilla crème patissière. I give you my recipe.

    Crème patissière

    400 grams of full fat milk
    1 good vanilla pod
    4 egg yolks (80 grams)
    100 grams of sugar
    50 grams of flour

    Open the vanilla pod lengthwise and scrape all the seeds out of the pod, put these in the milk, together with the vanilla pod (lots of flavour). Bring this to a boil. Meanwhile, put the egg yolks (make nice meringes from your egg whites, no need for the éclairs) in a bowl, whisk in the sugar. Mix these well with a wisk, not more than one minute. Add the flour, mix this in.
    When the infused vanilla milk boils, add this to the yolk-mixture, stirr well and put the cream-mixture back on the fire, stir well with a whisk, let it boil for one or two minutes. Yes, this is possible with the egg yolks; the flour makes the milk and yolks not to fall into tragedy.
    When it is ready, put your crème patissière in another bowl, cover with plastic foil, directly on the crème surface, so that no crust will come. Let it cool down.
    My éclairs, slightly different than above, but delicious

    Meanwhile, make three small holes on the back of your éclairs, this can be done with a smaller size of a piping mould. Then, when your crème has cooled down, you can pipe the crème into the éclairs, again with a piping bag, no other options. Well, yes, there are other options, but they do not look so fantastic: just slice open the éclairs lengthwise and fill with the crème.

    Then, the finishing touch, the glacage, the glaze. Also here, there are options. Mostly you will find éclairs with a glaze of fondant. This is noting more than sugar and more sugar, and a bit of cocoa powder, if you make it look like chocolate. I would prefer, like Jean-Paul Hévin does, the real chocolate, mixed with a bit of vegetable oil, for the shiny effect.

    150 grams of chocolat, 70% of cocoa
    40 grams of vegetable oil (for example sunflower oil)

    Chop the chocolate in smaller pieces, melt the chocolate in a au-bain-marie and add, of the fire, the vegetable oil. Stir in well, leave to cool down. Use the glaze at 28 C. If you use it warmer, it will drip of your éclair. Good luck with the recipe.


    Blogger Hi...I'm Debbie said...

    That looks soooo yummy!

    5:25 pm  
    Blogger Grizia said...

    Yes, it is also yummy! I have even eaten them!.

    1:57 pm  
    Blogger deborah said...

    hello... these eclairs look really nice. the glossy chocolate looks so tempting.

    5:15 am  
    Blogger Grizia said...

    Yes, it is the sunflower oil which makes it really glossy, shiny and attractive.

    11:35 am  
    Blogger Cindy said...

    Yours look good !

    5:14 pm  

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