Thursday, August 19, 2010

Desserts Collection: Mocha eclairs

Since the end of Australia Masterchef season 2, it has been a task trying to occupy my time each night after work.  The 3.5 months when masterchef was on, I would come home from work and quickly organize dinner, have a shower and plop on the sofa by 7:30pm ready for masterchef.  Has been almost a month since the finale and I am slowly getting back to my normal routine which is spending time in my favourite spot at home which is my kitchen:)  If I am not at work, I believe I could spent the whole day at the kitchen trying out different recipes and not feel tired at all by it.  Cooking to me is a stress reliever, once I start out in the kitchen, I feel that I am in a totally different world, all other thoughts on my mind just floats away and my mind is fully focus on churning out a kitchen "masterpiece"!  Saw the picture of the mocha eclairs on July 2010 Gourmet Traveller magazine and can't wait to try the recipe.  The recipe seem long (personally, I don't fancy long recipes) but once I got into it, just seem to flow by itself.  One of very few recipes that I tried that one don't need to be entirely organize yet able to achieve the desired results:)  I rarely order eclairs when eating out but this seem so appealing and it was hard to resist:)  Below is the recipe, have fun with them.
(Recipe from Australian Gourmet Traveller July 2010 Magazine)
Prep time 20 minutes, cook 30 minutes (plus cooling, setting)
Makes about 18
100 gm butter, coasely chopped
150 gm (1 cup) plain flour, sieve
4 eggs, at room temperature

Mocha creme patissiere
260 ml milk
50 ml espresso coffee
3 egg yolks
100 gm caster sugar
20 gm plain flour, sieved
70 gm milk chocolate, finely chopped
160 ml thickened cream, whisked to soft peaks

Dark chocolate glaze
110 gm (1/2 cup) caster sugar
125 gm dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), finely chopped

Optional (my own add ons): Almond flakes

1)For mocha creme patissiere, bring milk and coffee to the boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat.  Meanwhile, whisk yolks and sugar in a bowl to combine, then whisk in flour.  Add milk mixture, whisking continuosly until smooth, then return to pan.  Whisk over medium heat until thick and smooth (3-4 minutes), add chocolate, remove from heat and whisk to combine.  Transfer to a bowl, cover closely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, then fold through whipped cream and transfer to piping bag (no nozzle).  Refrigerate until required.

2)Preheat oven to 220C.  Combine butter and 250ml water in a saucepan, bring to the simmer over high heat and cook until butter is melted.  Add flour, beating vigorously with a wooden spoon until mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan.  Remove from heat, cool for 5 minutes, then add eggs one at a time, beating well to combine after each addition.  Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a 1.5 cm plain nozzle and pipe 8cm lengths on trays lined with baking paper.  Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce oven to 180C.  Prick base of pastries with tip of a small knife and bake until dry and light golden (5-10 minutes).  Transfer to a wire rack, ccool completely then halve horizontally with a bread knife.

3) For dark chocolate glaze, combine sugar and 60ml water in a small saucepan, stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, then cook until light caramel (8-10 minutes).  Remove from heat, add chocolate and 50ml water (be careful, hot caramel may spit), return to heat and stir until smooth.  Add another 50 ml water, stir to combine, then strain through a fine metal sieve into a heatproof bowl.  Keeping glaze warm over a saucepan of hot water, carefully dip eclair tops into glaze, shaking off excess, (optional: dip them into a bowl of almond flakes) and set aside on wire rack until set (10-15 minutes).

4) Pipe mocha creme patissiere over eclair bases, sandwich with tops and serve.

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