Doing a bit of catch up on my posting. I just finished up the Pate a Choux chapter in the Bouchon Bakery cookbook. The choux dough for Eclairs is also used for the Swans and Paris-Brest so I made one batch and went to town piping different shapes.
Recipe: The difference between the eclair dough and the cream puff dough is that the former has a bit more flour in proportion to water. According to the book, this is because the pastries are piped rather than put in molds as directed for the cream puffs. However, I free-hand piped the cream puffs with no problem and felt the slightly less stiff dough created a more airy puff that I preferred. I want to try using it to pipe eclairs and see how they turn out.
Piping: I like using a round tip for piping because the smooth top makes for more even baking. When I used the requested star tip, the pronounced ridges baked more quickly. Even with the reduction in temperature, I think I over-baked the puffs a little bit. My oven is old though so it doesn’t adjust to the temperature changes as quickly.
There are three different eclair recipes in the book and I selected the Coconut Lime Eclairs. The eclair is filled with a lime curd, then dipped in icing and coated in toasted coconut.
The lime curd, much like the lemon is pretty tart so it contrasts well with the sweet icing top. I didn’t buy pouring fondant, which is essentially a powdered sugar glaze that has a bit of invert sugar in it so it sets up better on the pastry. I just made a basic powdered sugar and water glaze that was rather thick so it wouldn’t drip down the sides. I got the unsweetened toasted coconut at Whole Foods. They only had flaked so the pieces were a bit too big. Shredded, as stated in the book, would have been perfect. Other than that, the flavors were great. I’d love to try using the cream puff dough to see if I can make the eclair pastries a little lighter in texture.
Read the Project recap on Eclairs
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