Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Eclairs - Properly!

I'm back!

And if not for good, at least for about a month!

Classes ended on Thursday so now all I have left to do is finish 2 assignments and write one exam! Then done! And this will happen on Friday! Few more days and I get a month to get myself back to health and happiness!

In my precious few spare moments I've tried to do some baking. It really is a huge stress reliever for me and helps me to clear and calm my mind.

November was a month for birthday baking: Two of John's cousin's celebrated 19 and 16 and my amazing cake-decorating friend Danielle celebrated 24.

I obviously used all 3 birthdays as an excuse to do some baking.

For John's cousins I made sandwich cookies - mainly because I bought these fantastic edible markers from Michael's and wanted to use them!

Sugar cookies with lemon curd filling

My friend Danielle is a huge cake decorating buff - she's phenomenal! There's a link to her website on my essential readings list, make sure you check it out. She loves (and showed it to me so I am also now in love with) this blog called Cake Wrecks. It's hilarious and I highly recommend you give it a look over if you haven't already. One thing they feature every so often are these darling (sarcasm) little things called 'Naked-Mohawk Baby Carrot Jockeys'. What are baby carrot jockeys, you ask?

Little babies who ride atop carrots.

I searched for these bad boys on ebay and finally found some! I bought 20 of them for Danielle's decorating pleasure and made her 4 chocolate cupcakes and put the babies on marzipan carrots.

I also made her eclairs - complete with puff pastry cream!

Follow the recipe here for the choux pastry.
To make the puff pastry cream:

(From marthastewart.com)

  • Prepare an ice bath; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine 6 egg yolks, 1 egg, and 2 tbsp sugar. Add 3 tbsp cornstarch and 3 tbsp flour; whisk until smooth and pale yellow. Set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine 3 cups milk and 3/4 cup sugar. Stir over medium-high heat until milk begins to steam. Whisking constantly, add half the hot milk to the egg-yolk mixture. Stir until smooth; add combined mixture back to remaining hot milk in the pan. Bring mixture to a boil, whisking rapidly to prevent scorching. Remove from heat, and stir in butter and vanilla. Strain through a fine sieve into a medium bowl.
  • Place over ice bath and let stand, stirring frequently, until cool. Remove from ice bath, and press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto surface until ready to use. If not using immediately, refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

    *It's best if you have a 'filler' attachment for either a cookie press or a pastry bag - cause otherwise the cream will be diffiult to get into the eclair! If you don't have a filler attachment, make profiteroles instead of eclairs.

1 comment:

  1. yay you're back! and yay an excuse to show mike the cake wrecks blog!