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Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Daring Bakers Do Eclairs!


I was SO excited when our August recipe was unveiled. I love eclairs. My mom used to work in a bakery and I remember her bringing these home once in a while. We loved them!

Little did I know how tough these were to make. I've seen them made before and they look like they're a snap to make. Riiiiight. Maybe after making them 100 times, I'd be better at it, too. I made them twice. The first time, they deflated and were way too flat. So I went to the DB'ers forum and checked out what others had to say.

I tried doing them a different way the second time, with a bit higher oven temp, and slightly different cooking times. Also adding water in the bottom of the oven to release steam to help them puff up and rise.

They rose higher and got puffier, but as they cooled, the bottoms kind of receded back up inside the tops. Weird, right?
I still don't think I could have cut them in half, so filling them with a pastry bag and tip was the way to go. This worked well on most of them--a couple of them were still just to thin. Oh, and poking a knife in to kind of open them up helped, too.

Eclairs, my loves...I'm gonna eat you. I don't care if you're fugly!

And before I forget--this month's recipe was chosen and hosted by MeetaK at What's For Lunch Honey? and Tony Tahhan at TonyTahhan.com. GORGEOUS blogs, so get on over there and check them out! You can also find the eclair recipe at their sites.

We had to use the pate a choux part of the recipe, and either the chocolate glaze or the chocolate filling--at least one of the chocolate elements, but the rest was up to us. So I put my thinking cap on and came up with two variations.

#1--Peanut Butter Pastry Cream with Chocolate Glaze and Chopped Peanut Garnish

#2--Maple Pastry Cream with Chocolate Glaze and Crumbled Bacon Garnish.

Yes, that's right! BACON! And it's incredibly delicious with the chocolate glaze and the maple cream. The peanut butter ones are delicious, too, but the maple-bacon is definitely my favorite.

The recipe for the Maple Pastry Cream can be found here, and click here for the Peanut Butter Pastry Cream.


Peanut Butter Eclair Time...Peanut Butter Eclair Time...



Is there anything that bacon can't make better? I don't think so.

Would I make these again? I'm not sure. They taste amazing, but after two attempts and flat...ish results, I was discouraged. My husband reminded me that some people have to do these many times before they get them perfect, and I know he's right. He also told me these are the best eclairs he's ever had, so I guess that makes the trouble all worthwhile, right?

Individually, every single step was a cinch. It was getting the little suckers to puff and stay that way that was tricky. I think I need a French chef for a neighbor. Now that would be helpful! At any rate, I'm so glad to have tried pate a choux! The dough is so simple to make, and I'd like to try making cheese puffs one of these days.

Be sure to check out the Daring Bakers Blogroll to see how other DB'ers did the eclairs!

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56 comments:

April in CT said...

When I saw the first picture I thought oh crap..is that BACON!?! Then when you said it was I fainted. Landed right on the dog!

Seriously those look amazing and I'm coming over right now.

Should I be upset the peanut butter jelly song is now stuck in my head?

noble pig said...

Wow, I never imagined attempting these! How cool! They look amazing and glad it only took a few tries!

breadchick said...

mmmmm.....bacon! Excellent topping idea for these eclairs!!

HoneyB said...

Oh Elle, you just made my day....it could only get better by having one of your eclairs this morning! BACON!

Adam said...

I think your eclairs look awesome. Your variations (even the one with bacon) are very unique and inspired :)

I think the rising and falling is a little bit of luck too... I kinda had the same problem. Eclairs have minds all their own, maybe :)

Judy@nofearentertaining said...

Oh Elle, these look incredible. What creative fillings you chose!

VeggieGirl said...

"Eclairs, my loves...I'm gonna eat you. I don't care if you're fugly!" HAHA!!! Oh Elle, you make me smile :0)

Oooh, that peanut butter version is calling out my name! Yum!

Bunny said...

I really like eclairs that are filled without cutting them, youd id a great job with your toppings too!

kellypea said...

I peered at that suspicious crumbly topping and thought..."No...it can't be...." But it is! And maple to boot. You are certainly one brave baker lady! Yes, I, too had a bit of trouble, but at least you went looking for advice. Not me. But reading the posts this morning has bolstered my ego and I'll give them another go with alterations. Nice hubster you've got there, too.

Mcwhisky said...

I would love to have the one with PB! Lovely eclairs you have there! :)

Angela said...

OMG! Bacon!!!

You, my dear, are a genius. I really wish I could taste one, but I just know they're fabulous!

Amy said...

OH. MY. GOSH. Those fillings/toppings sound incredibly decadent and totally delicious.

I had the puffiness problem too - but they still tasted pretty good!

Rebecca said...

Peanut butter AND bacon! OMG, do NOT tell my husband. ;)

kat said...

OMG Bacon! I bet those were just incredibly good! I don't think they are fugly at all. Seems like a lot of people had problems with the baking part & getting them puffy.

Grace said...

i thought i spied bacon on your pastry. what a clever and unique combination of flavors! here's what i would do: one (or two or three) maple-bacon eclair for breakfast, and one (or two or four) chocolate-peanut butter eclair for a midday snack. :)

Courtney said...

love your combos here that is just too creative. i dont think they look flat at all, the look delish!

Natty said...

Bacon! Bacon!! BACON!!!

I am excited about your use of bacon.

maybelle's mom said...

Bacon is so awesome. I had been fantisizing about bacon, sesame and chocolate truffles but haven't gotten around to doing them. I wished I could have a bite

farida said...

You did a great job with éclairs! To me they seem puffy enough. I think after you fill them up with cream, they get the right shape:) Yours look yummy!

Maggie said...

Bacon and maple sounds SO awesome! Mine fell too but I was to grumpy to give it another shot. Bravo for your second attempt!

Robyn said...

I thought I saw a bacon eclair! Great job!

CookiePie said...

WOW - your flavors sound amazing. Bacon?!?! Genius!!!

Katie B. said...

"What can't be improved with whipped cream can be improved by adding bacon" is my father-in-law's favorite sayings - and here you've proven it! You are a culinary rock star!!!

Marysol said...

Chocolate and Bacon! What an outstanding idea. Great job on those sinful morsels.

Mochachocolata Rita said...

i love how you put different stuff on top, elle! i am sure they are yummmmmmy!

Anne said...

Bacon eclair!!! Haha, how wonderful! :)

Passionate About Baking said...

Love 'em eclairs Elle...fabulous! Love the way they are patiently sitting in neat rows (like my kids never did)!!! Very very pretty!!! Cheers Deeba

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Beautiful! I bet they taste great! What interesting flavors!

Cheers,

Rosa

diva said...

i heart eclairs!! these are such perfect sweets to have around in the fridge when i just need a bit of a sugar pick me up. great pictures!

Ann said...

Sheer genius!

jo said...

Your eclairs look absolutely fantastic and such amazing flavours.

Lisa said...

Eclairs with a peanut butter twist sounds delicious!

culinarytravelsofakitchengoddess said...

Eclairs with bacon? Oh Elle what a combination, I bet it was divine.

Esi said...

Seriously?! Bacon?! It sounds and looks FANTASTIC!

Dawn said...

Elle - that was such a great twist to add bacon. How did they taste? No! don't tell me, I might cry. lol

SouthPacificBody said...

Oh my goodness, L!!! You're killing me!!!

Annie said...

Chocolate, peanut butter, bacon? I think I died and went to food blog heaven!

Mrs Ergül said...

I love the chopped nuts!! I wanted to do something similar but it completely slipped off my mind hehe

Elle said...

Hi everyone! Thank you all so much for your wonderful comments--I've said it before, but you guys are the greatest!

canarygirl said...

Oh. My. GAWD. Will you marry me, Elle? I will totally be your bitch if you feed me those eclairs.

MrOrph said...

ZOMG!!!!!!!!!!!

I LOVE eclairs! But BACON!!!!! OMG!!!!

Sophie said...

Awesome Eclairs, Elle! They really look amazing, you did a great job on this DB challenge! Ooh, and that bacon one is extra special; my husband would love it :D!

We'd like to invite you to participate in our September apple and peach recipe contest. All competitors will be eligible to win one of three prizes :)! Please email me, sophiekiblogger@gmail.com, if you're interested. Feel free to check out our blog for more details: http://blog.keyingredient.com/2008/08/29/september-kick-contest/

Thanks :),
Sophie
KI Chief Blogger

Lauren said...

Ooo, your eclairs look amazing! Great filling & topping ideas. I never would have thought of bacon!!

Renae du jour said...

Those look terrific. I was very excited to do the DB challenge and then my oven broke and.. we had a fair to go to... but I think I'll do it this weekend and post late.

Deborah said...

I'll take a bacon eclair! I think they look wonderful, even if you did have a hard time getting them to raise.

LyB said...

Yep, I did the same double take when I first saw the pics! You certainly are a Daring Baker! lol! They look delicious Elle, perfect!

hareandtortoise said...

What a cool combination! Not sure I would like it, but I guess I should try it first!

I also had troubles with falling eclairs. But, while thin, they were tasty! And I have a very cute photo of a very cute boy eating my thin, tasty eclairs!!

Laura @ Hungry and Frozen said...

Bacon? NO WAY! Well, I guess if salted caramel works...

I think your eclairs look gorgeous btw, well done on disguising the fug with chocolate!

Pam said...

You daring baker you! Your flavor combinations are fantastic! I wish I was at your house for dessert.

Michelle said...

You know what? These look a heck of a lot better than the crap ones you can get at the supermarket bakery section! Besides the fact that I haven't had dinner but can hear my steak sizzling and so am insanely hungry right now, these look SOOO GOOOD! Peanut Butter is one of my all time favorite flavors, ever, and why not bacon on a maple bun? People put sausage and egg on a pancake and drizzle it with syrup! This is like having a gourmet pancake and sticking whipped cream on top too!

They look great, way to be super creative!

Tiffany said...

I love eclairs, too! I wish I was able to make them this month, but August was insane for (hence the lack of posts)! Sometimes my eclairs cave in as well. I think it may have to do with temperature/opening the oven before they are finished. I'll have to test out that theory some more, though.

Yours look so tasty! :)

Y said...

Peanut butter, and then bacon.. woohoo! Love the way you think :D

Kristen said...

I love all of the different variations the DB's have come up with for this challenge. Yours looks great!

ella said...

the whole time scrolling through your post I was mentally composing this comment about how I was going to have to tell you that whatever it was on that eclair looked just like bacon...
HA!
My husband recently bought a chocolate bar with bacon in it--you've captured a new trend. Who doesn't like bacon dripping with pancake syrup? Same thing.
I played it safe with my eclairs and followed the recipe as written. But next time--perhaps something wacky?!?

Rachelle said...

Bacon eclairs. Huh? Ok, I've seen a lot of bacon this or that lately, and I'm just not sure about it. I would probably try it if someone else made it, but it's not something I would make myself.
I have eclairs on my to-make list, but am worried now about them not coming out. Guess I should read up on them too. :)

Ruth E said...

Wow, bacon? Sounds strange yet very tempting! I'll have to try it sometime

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