Well, my move to WordPress and my very own .com has finally happened! Welcome to the new, improved PheMOMenon.com! None of this would have been possible without the masterful help and hard work from Barbara (Vino Luci Style via her ‘day job’ web business). I hope you’ll bear with me a bit as I figure out the rest of the changes and updates I need to format as things progress but I just couldn’t resist going ahead and moving on over. I hope you’ll update your bookmarks to the new site and continue along for the fun. I’ve had a lot of exciting projects in the works that I’ll be rolling out over here and I can’t wait to share them with you!
I find it very fitting that my first official post on the new site is for eclairs. They are probably one of the very first desserts I ever made or committed to memory. Granted, at the time, the filling consisted of cool whip and pudding and melted chocolate chips, but the pate a choux was from scratch. My mom is well known for making lots and lots of cream puffs and filling them with any number of things, sweet or savory. She even often has them languishing, unfilled in the freezer just waiting for an occasion to use them.
Fast forward a number of years (and with another birthday coming up next week, at this point I’m not sure I want to tell you how many!) and I now only fill my cream puffs or eclairs with the good stuff. Once you’ve tasted the difference, it’s hard to go back!
The recipe for these eclairs can be found in Around My French Table and comes to you this week courtesy of French Fridays with Dorie. I’m especially happy with Dorie’s easy and quick vanilla pastry cream recipe. I often don’t love making pastry cream because it seems like it can take forever to thicken, but with the addition of the cornstarch in Dorie’s version and voila! It only took about 7 minutes, start to finish (not including cooling time of course). I had time in between when I needed to make the pastry cream and when I would be making the eclairs, so I just let my pastry cream chill, tightly covered, in the fridge. I decided to go a little different than the original recipe for the eclairs in the book and opted for my favorite flavor combination of vanilla with chocolate instead of the glaze. No shocker there, I’m sure!
The only other changes I made to the recipe was that I like to fold in some whipped cream to the pastry cream once it is cooled. I also boost the ‘firmness’ of my whipped cream with a little gelatin. The texture ends up being thicker, but lighter and creamier than the pastry cream alone, which in turn means that the enhanced pastry cream tends to not gush out of the eclair when bitten into as much. Personally, I just prefer the texture. I also have to limit myself with the amount of these little babies I can have in the house because, quite frankly, I don’t like to share them and can eat them all myself! To limit the damage, I made a half recipe of everything and ended up with 16 mini eclairs.
For more versions of the eclairs, visit the French Fridays with Dorie blog.