Blackberries Dark Chocolate Eclair


Blackberries Dark Chocolate Eclair


What's it in our color that makes us different?
What's it in our belief that oblige us to carry grudge on the others?
Why sacrifice the life of many innocent for political ambition?
Why give so darn importance on economic power?
How many more blood will be shed in quest for freedom?
When will all these differences about our differences end?
Why create this world such a violent place?

Alas, so many questions I don't have the answer.

Well we are all different and so what!
I like my color, my hair, my religion and my heritage. These are part of who I am. And so are you. Why fight over this when we can be enjoying our differences.

Again, innocent lives were sacrificed in the recent war between Georgia and Russia. Young French soldiers were massacred fighting against terrorism in Afghanistan. Civilian catholics in Mindanao were slaughtered by fleeing Muslim insurgents in Philippines.

(Sigh) When will these senseless killings end? I know it is as lame as any beauty pageant candidate's answer but I am desperately hoping for peace on earth. This month's Daring Baker challenge in my kitchen is dedicated for this cause. A big thanks to Meeta of What's for Lunch Honey and to Tony Tahhan of Olive Juice for hosting this month's Chocolate Eclair challenge.

Pierre Hermé’s Chocolate Éclairs
Recipe from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé (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.


Pierre Hermé’s Cream Puff Dough

Recipe from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé
(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
Recipe from Chocolate Desserts by PierreHermé

• 2 cups (500g) whole milk
• 4 large egg yolks
• 6 tbsp (75g) sugar
• 3 tablespoons cornstarch, sifted

• 7 oz (200g) bittersweet chocolate, preferably Velrhona 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.


[bNotes:[/b]
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 Recipe from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé
(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 Recipe from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé
(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.


My other Daring Baker's Challenges:
Filbert Cake with Praline buttercream
Mango Blueberry Opera Cake

63 comments:

Leslie said...

Oh my I am always sooo jealous of your photos..stunning, just stunning! And I love your dedication! WOrld Peace??Oh how I wish...cant we start by Blog Peace??LOL

ARLENE said...

Such different fillings. What an ingenious group!

Manggy said...

No Dhanggit, it's not lame at all. I think it's still a good dream to have. Lord knows if it's possible but we have to try. I think one of your beautiful eclairs should bring peace to the minds of everyone :)

jillian said...

I love your eclairs and I couldnt agree more with your beautiful sentiment.

maybelle's mom said...

Absolute perfection. I thought the blackberry was great in these.

Kitchen Flavours said...

Appetizing ones. Can i have a bite? Congratulations on dual citizenship dear.

breadchick said...

Maybe if everyone spent more time admiring our differences instead of trying to change them, we'd have that peace. Or eat your eclairs? Maybe if we all made eclairs like yours we'd have peace...

Hannah said...

You're far too kind, my eclairs are nothing to write home about. Yours, on the other hand, are simply stunning!

pixie said...

as always, your creations are beautiful and i'm sure they taste even more divine! I am always eager to see your photos. So well composed! As is your plea for peace. I too am a fellow Filipina. It saddens me what is happening over here.

Bunny said...

They are beautiful!! Absolutely beautiful as are everything you make!

Zita said...

Peace for all, all for peace!!! and your eclair look smashingly peaceful :)
Just please don't belive everything in they said on the news :)

Marija said...

Absolutely beautiful! And those tiny blackberries are adorable!

Dawn said...

way too pretty to eat. love the dark chocolate--good thinking chicklet.

sleepingbearinthekitchen said...

Can't say much on the Eclairs as it has already been said...beautiful!!!!
As for your post...to think that these thoughts are so constant that even food can bring them to mind!! I pray (yea, even grumpy old me does that on occasion!!) that people begin to understand your words!!!

Natalie... said...

I have to agree your photos look excellent! The blackberries look mouth watering :D. Yummy! Can't wait until tomorrow to find out what next months is :D

Mcwhisky said...

Gorgeous shots you have! The eclairs are prettily done up. Love the small details and the decors! ;)

kellypea said...

I definitely say let us all eat eclairs. People would be much happier! Gorgeous photos of those beauties...I love blackberries. Mmmm...

Cristine said...

Gorgeous eclairs!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Your Eclairs look so beautiful and pretty! Delicious too! Very well done!

cheers,

Rosa

Francijn said...

That's a coincidence! I just viewed your blogpost, then went to my own to read comments - and who's comment was there... yours! Thanks :-)
You are a special person - who would care for world peace while blogging about eclairs? But you do.
I always like your pictures, by the way. One can see you thought before clicking.
Francijn

Lina said...

how beautiful! Love the blackberry combo. I also love that you used fresh blackberries. yummy!

Rachel said...

Wow is all I can say!

Ivy said...

Wow, all eclairs I've seen today make me want to go and make some. Yours look so delicious and original.

Clumbsy Cookie said...

We do all hope for some world peace my dear... It must start individually with each one, making piece with themselves. I would defenetly be in peace after eating on of your gorgeous éclairs, they are stunning!

Kate / Kajal said...

Babe ... you have taken eclairs to a whole new level ! This is the Queen of all eclairs , so decadent , so royal. And you worked pretty hard on these. Well done you ... i'm extremely impressed by your creation.

Candice said...

I love the presentation and the idea of using blackberries. Yum!

hexe said...

Your eclairs look too pretty to eat! Count me in for some world peace.

HoneyB said...

I am with you totally on world peace. Why can't we all just live together and enjoy each other?

Your eclairs look awesome. I love the blackberries in the eclairs!

pipinthecity said...

I´m definitely with you in all those questions without answers, and in hoping against all odds for at least a little peace in this crazy world of ours.
Now with eclairs and photos as wonderful as yours, maybe we can move a little closer (by the way, have you tried Dorie Greenspan´s so called World Peace Cookies? If you haven´t, you definitely should).

Cakelaw said...

Beautiful eclairs with a message - lovely work Dhanggit.

Amy J. said...

Oh, wow! Your eclairs look great - and blackberries, I am sure, sent it over the top!!

Gloria (Canela) said...

Dear Dhanggit yours eclair dear are fantastic!!! really!!! and you are as me, I love to put berries in all!!!! Lovelies! xxGloria

Lori Lynn said...

Adorable! They look like slippers.

Gloria (Canela) said...

Dhanggit I forget to say you I love blackberries a lot!!! xxxBesitos to my nephew! (sobrina)
Gloria

Sylvia said...

Well, I really don´t know , but I still believe that is possible. Unfortunately there are many thing that we try to change. The éclairs looks great and decadent. Amazing combination

Half Baked said...

Wow your eclairs are gorgeous! I love the blackberries, and your photos are truly amazing!

marye said...

Your eclairs look amazing. Great job!

Passionate About Baking said...

SCREAMING STUNNING Dhhangit...each one of 'em pictures!! So many questions that the heart breaks over & over again. Blood spilt for naught!! When will we learn that theres much more in this here world...like for instance baking!! I am TOO ENVIOUS of those eclairs & LOVE the blackberries...FANTASTIQUE!!

chriesi said...

Beautiful!

daphne said...

Oh my goodness! That looks divine. What a great idea with the blackberries.

Ps. I love how the photos contrast so well with the new design of this blog!

Aparna said...

Your eclairs and the pictures are just beautiful.
I echo your sentiments and don't know all the answers. To your first question, I'd say that the clour of our skin doesn't make us different at all, just adds variety to the human species.
And maybe if some of us realised how alike we really are, things would be better.:)

MaryAthenes said...

Bravo, c'est trop joli !
Bises

Rosie said...

Stunning - stunning - stunning eclairs and the photo is awesome!!

Rosie x

Sherry Trifle - Lovely Cats said...

Just gorgeous! Beautiful! I love your presentation of the blackberry sitting on the end of the eclair.

Ann said...

Stunning, as always!

glamah16 said...

Gorgeous! You are a master of confection.

Dragon said...

I think world peace can be acheived through food. It's one thing we all have in common; love of food. Your eclairs are darling!

Lori said...

I so understand what you are saying.

Beautiful pics, just gorgeous. I love all the blackberries. They look so edible and yummy!

Jan said...

Wow, Dhanggit, they look absolutely sensational. Chocolate eclairs are my favourite cakes.

And I totally agree with you about war, and killing. It is senseless. Let's hope we all come to our senses soon.

[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

All that senseless violence just makes me mad and sad. Good thing there are still beautiful things in this world. . .just the simple things, like these eclairs. If only we could just appreciate these small things fully. . .

Bridgett said...

As always your photos are perfect! I love the addition of the blackberries. What a delicious looking eclair.

haze said...

They are unsung heroes of our time...courageous men! Let's just always remember and say a prayer for them.

This is another unique creation, eclair with blackberries sounds wonderful !

Gabi said...

Hello Lovely One- you promote peace because you create- those who can't create destroy- not you! You make lovely eclairs that are beautiful and that's a way of staking a claim for goodness in the world! Pretty heady stuff huh? ;)
I love the blackberry addition mmmm
xo

Sophie said...

Your eclairs came out so pretty~they look like they're laced, and the berries definitely add character and elegance :).

We'd like to invite you to participate in our September apple and peach recipe contest. All competitors will be eligible to win one of three prizes :)! Please email me, sophiekiblogger@gmail.com, if you're interested. Feel free to check out our blog for more details: http://blog.keyingredient.com/2008/08/29/september-kick-contest/
Thanks :),

Sophie
KI Chief Blogger

farida said...

Your eclairs look lovely! Love the drizzle on top!

Deborah said...

Your eclairs are some of the best looking I've seen yet!

tigerfish said...

Looks like your blueberries on and in the éclairs have gone through some serious "manicure". So pretty!

Alexa said...

I couldn't agree more. I don't understand it either... History is such a circle. Just when you think we are evolving as human beings something happens to remind you of how limited we really are. I don't mean to sound pessimistic. I'm really a positive person. I believe it's our duty to keep aiming for world peace and understanding.

On a lighter note: your Eclairs sont excellents. Superbes! Magnifiques. J'en veux un ou deux!!! :-)

hot garlic said...

They're beautiful! The blackberries are such a chic, yet homey addition. Genius.

noobcook said...

awesome culinary art!! I really salute you! :D

bee said...

mirror mirror in the blogosphere
whose eclair is the prettiest of them all??

dhanggi's.

Liliana said...

Amazing looking eclairs! You are truly talented! Great photos!

MS said...

Those have to be the best looking chocolate eclairs I've ever seen. Great job!