When I get bored, or stressed, or upset or even lonely … I bake.
I have no super talent at baking, it’s just something I like to do and it often relaxes me the same way a glass of wine does for some folks. And when I have no idea how to bake what I want to bake, I turn to my “baking bible“. From the most basic to the most fancy baked goods you can imagine, there’s a recipe for it in Baking Illustrated. I’ve never had a recipe from this book fail me so I continue to use it as a resource for anything completely new to me … like French Eclairs.
I can’t tell you if these are any good by a pastry Chef’s standards, but I can tell you they weren’t that difficult to make. And considering how rich and tasty they are (to me), I’m thinking I didn’t mes up too badly even without a video or photo to guide me through the process. The one thing I can say without a doubt that turn out perfect was the pastry cream. I’ve made this enough times to know when it has gone horribly wrong or deliciously right. This time … it was oh-so-right!
The idea to bake these came from the Love & Olive Oil April Kitchen Challenge. Each month, Lindsey challenges bakers and bloggers to step out of their comfort zone and bake something that actually presents a bit of a challenge. For me, that’s pretty much guaranteed every single month! But the truth is, these weren’t all that challenging. The Pâte à Choux (don’t ask me how to pronounce that) was fairly straight forward and easy, almost reminded me of making homemade playdough.
I think perhaps my piping skills were off because my eclairs puffed up into lumpy little logs. The exterior was crusty while the inside was light and airy.
Whether they’re right or wrong doesn’t bother me much because they tasted absolutely amazing! In fact, I can’t wait to try these again and experiment with some flavors. I was thinking along the lines of Nutella or Biscoff! I’d love to give you the recipe for these but since they’re part of a cookbook (and I didn’t make any significant alterations), I’m quite sure there would be some sort of copyright violation there. So all I can tell you is to pick up a copy of Baking Illustrated, it’s the one cookbook that’s worth every penny!
Have you ever made Eclairs?