Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Vanilla Cream Eclairs with Chocolate Icing

This is quite the sweet treat! My boys enjoyed all the phases of their creation, especially licking the cream bowl and icing beaters. I suggest making the vanilla cream first, just don't eat it all before you get the eclairs baked!

Vanilla Cream
1 1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
4 large egg yolks

In a medium saucepan, bring milk to a simmer.
Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl combine sugar, flour, cornstarch, and egg yolks; beat on high until thick and pale yellow.
Slowly add about 1/3 of the milk to the egg mixture, blending the entire time. Do this slowly so as not to scramble the eggs. Scrape the egg mixture into the the saucepan with the remaining milk and whisk continuously over low to medium heat until the thickens and begins to bubble, stir in vanilla extract; then, using a clean spatula, scrape into a clean bowl. Cover the custard with wax or parchment paper; then, cool in the refrigerator.

1 cup of water
1/2 cup of butter (one stick)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease cookie sheet.
Bring water, salt, and butter to a boil in a medium saucepan. Lower heat and add flour all at once, stir constantly until the mixture leaves the sides of the pan and forms a ball. Remove from heat and beat in each egg one at a time, making sure each egg is well blended before adding the next.

Place pastry dough into a large pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch tip. Pipe dough onto prepared cookie sheet about 1 inch apart. I piped between 2 and 3 inches per eclair. Dough can be gently smoothed with moistened finger tips.

Bake until golden, about 25 minutes. Leave in the oven an additional 10 minutes with the oven turned off. Remove, cool, and pipe pastry cream into eclairs.

Chocolate Icing
(note: these are approximations)
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 to 2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
1 to 2 cups confectioner sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a medium mixing bowl, add cocoa to butter, vanilla, and about 1/2 cup powdered sugar; beat on medium. Continue to beat in milk and confectioner sugar until you reach the desired consistency.

Slather icing on cream filled eclairs. Enjoy!

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