Eclairs, pastry cream, and crepes OH MY!

Chocolate eclairs, profiteroles, crepes! This week we dove into a little bit of a challenge with pastry cream. It’s tricky since if you don’t temper your eggs correctly you’ll basically have scrambled eggs or a pastry cream thats grittier than 80 grit sandpaper.

For the pate a choux (patay-ah-shoe), or eclair paste, was a different kind of dough since its cooked in a pan before putting it in the mixer. Pretty straight forward, however if you pull it from the oven and they deflate/collapse within 10 minutes, you baked them too short.

As for the pastry cream. A creamy, rich delicious filling for eclairs and other pastries that is a little tricky. Once you bring your liquid ingridients to a boil you have to add it just a smidge at a time to the eggs other wise the eggs “cook” and turn into scrambled eggs. After you temper the eggs finish adding the liquid and whisk vigorously for 2 minutes on the dot. It thickens quickly, like almost instant. At two minutes, transfer the cream to a ice bath and keep mixing to cool it as fast as possible. Once the pastry cream was done on to crepes!

Crepes are like the pancakes fancier little brother. Made very similiar as far as ingridients, but made thinner and are rich, not sweet, and very very thin.  Once the crepe is browned and complete, you can fill it with savory or sweet fillings of your choice.

Our choice this week was blueberry cream cheese filling topped with the chantilly cream we made earlier for the cream puffs. Chantilly cream is basically whipped cream with sugar and vanilla whipped until soft trails are left in the cream mixture.

As for the chocolate glaze you basically want to melt the chocolate on a double broiler staying below about 90 degrees not to take the chocolate out of temper, add butter and stir untill its a melted glossy sauce. Fill the eclairs from both ends with pastry cream, dip in chocolate glaze and bam, chocolate eclairs.

Pastry and confections are not so much about ingridients, but technique and timing. Practice practice practice!


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