Eclair Cake

I love it when I get birthday requests. This seems to be the only time of the year for people to really ask for what they want. It’s a whole day, all about them, and not about their guests.  Normally, If I do a cake or dessert for a dinner party or holiday, the host wants something generic, something everyone will like. But when it comes to birthdays, I can really customize the dessert to one person’s preference.

This may comes as a shock to some of you, but not everyone likes cake. I know, crazy right? But hey, as long as they’re not on a crazy sugar free/gluten free/vegan/paleo diet, I love the challenge. 

This eclair cake was made for my close friend’s brother (Hi Tiff!). She told me he really likes eclairs, and I wanted something that looked like a cake, so this was born:

DSC_0079

Many people shy away from pate a choux because they’re heard that it’s temperamental. Funny thing is, I didn’t know it was considered “difficult” until a couple of months ago. I didn’t even think twice about it because the first time I tried it, I just followed a recipe and didn’t have any problems.

Pate a choux is used to make a variety of desserts. The most popular is probably the eclair or cream puffs (choux cream), depending on where you’re located. Profiteroles, paris-brest, and croquembouche are all pretty much the same: pate a choux dough filled with cream, but with slight differences. Since we are going to the shape of a paris-brest, I used this recipe for the dough.

So no worries, relax, and lets make an eclair cake!

Ingredients:

Pate a Choux

1 c ap flour

1 tsp sugar

1/4 tsp salt

6 tbsp unsalted butter

1/2c whole milk

1/2c water

4 large eggs

 

 

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Boil the milk, water butter, salt, and sugar in a pot on high. Once it start boiling, turn off heat and add flour. Mix with a wooden spoon until dough balls up like this:

DSC_0048

Put the dough in a mixer with a paddle attachment and mix on low for about a minute, to let cool. Turn speed to medium and beat in 1 egg at a time. Do not add another egg until the last one has been completely incorporated. End result should look uniform and incorporated like below.
DSC_0052

Put dough in a piping bag, and cut a hole about 1 inch thick. No need to use a tip. I put my cake board under the silpat to use as a guide on piping a nice circle. Pipe leaving a one inch board from the edge of the cake board.

DSC_0060

Pipe another round on the inside of the first circle.

DSC_0061

Pipe a third round on top of the two.

DSC_0062

Pipe same sized dots on the sides of the silpat with any leftover dough. Wet your fingers to smooth out any lines, making one uniform circle. Make sure to press down any points on the dots as well. The wet fingers will keep the dough from sticking to your fingers.

DSC_0071

Bake at 400°F for 15 minutes, and then reduce temperature to 350°F and bake for another 45 minutes. It is important not to under bake pate a choux dough because if taken out too early, it will collapse.

Pierce with knife at the top of the dough to let out steam 5 minutes before taking out of the oven.

 

 

Pastry Cream

2c whole milk

1 tbsp vanilla bean paste (substitue 1 tbsp vanilla extract)

1/2c + 2 tbsp sugar

5 tbsp cake flour

pinch of salt

1 large egg

2 large egg yolks

1/4 + 2 tbsp heavy cream

 

I know what I’m about to show you is technically not the “correct way” to make pastry cream, but it works and I find it easier (plus less dishes)!

Add all the ingredients to a pot, and mix well with a whisk before turning on heat to medium.

DSC_0063

Continually stir until mixture has thickened and begins to bubble. It should have a pudding-like consistency.

DSC_0066

Strain (push through a chinois or fine strainer) and put in a pastry bag, cool in fridge.

*Sidenote: I tie my pastry bags using plastic wrap bunched up into a strand.
DSC_0068 DSC_0069 DSC_0070

Let the pate a choux cool completely. You can choose to do this ahead of time to this point. If it’s more than one day, Wrap the pate a choux and freeze. Defrost and crisp back up by baking at 350°F for about 10-15 min. I made mine one day before, and just left them on the countertop before re-baking it.

DSC_0073

To fill, use a pastry tip (any one will do just fine, even a knife works) to punch holes along the top of the pate a choux. 

DSC_0074

I made a hole every 2 inches around the whole circle, and on the underside of the puffs.

DSC_0076

Insert pastry bag into the holes and fill the eclair. Do not overfill to the point where the cream is oozing out of the holes or cracks of the dough.

DSC_0077

 

Chocolate Ganache

8 oz (226g) dark chocolate – chopped

1 cup (226g) heavy cream

1 tbsp corn syrup

 

Heat heavy cream and corn syrup in a small pot until simmering. Pour over chocolate, let sit for a minute, stir until emulsified.

Pour ganache over eclair, covering the holes used to fill with pastry cream.

Place cream puff in the center of the eclair cake and dust with powdered sugar. This eclair cake is best eaten the same day it is filled 🙂

DSC_0090

Eclair Cake
Print
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. Pate a Choux
  2. 1c ap flour
  3. 1 tsp sugar
  4. 1/4 tsp salt
  5. 6 tbsp unsalted butter
  6. 1/2c whole milk
  7. 1/2c water
  8. 4 large eggs
  9. Pastry Cream
  10. 2c whole milk
  11. 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste (substitue 1 tbsp vanilla extract)
  12. 1/2c + 2 tbsp sugar
  13. 5 tbsp cake flour
  14. pinch of salt
  15. 1 large egg
  16. 2 large egg yolks
  17. 1/4 + 2 tbsp heavy cream
  18. Chocolate Ganache
  19. 8 oz (226g) dark chocolate - chopped
  20. 1 cup (226g) heavy cream
  21. 1 tbsp corn syrup
Instructions
  1. Pate a choux
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  3. Boil the milk, water butter, salt, and sugar in a pot on high.
  4. Once it start boiling, turn off heat and add flour. Mix with a wooden spoon until dough balls up
  5. Put the dough in a mixer with a paddle attachment and mix on low for about a minute, to let cool. Turn speed to medium and beat in 1 egg at a time. Do not add another egg until the last one has been completely incorporated.
  6. Put dough in a piping bag, and cut a hole about 1 inch thick. No need to use a tip. I put my cake board under the silpat to use as a guide on piping a nice circle. Pipe leaving a one inch board from the edge of the cake board.
  7. Pipe another round on the inside of the first circle.
  8. Pipe a third round on top of the two.
  9. Pipe same sized dots on the sides of the silpat with any leftover dough. Wet your fingers to smooth out any lines, making one uniform circle. Make sure to press down any points on the dots as well. The wet fingers will keep the dough from sticking to your fingers.
  10. Bake at 400°F for 15 minutes, and then reduce temperature to 350°F and bake for another 45 minutes. It is important not to under bake pate a choux dough because if taken out too early, it will collapse.
  11. Pierce with knife at the top of the dough to let out steam 5 minutes before taking out of the oven.
  12. Pastry Cream
  13. Add all the ingredients to a pot, and mix well with a whisk before turning on heat to medium.
  14. Continually stir until mixture has thickened and begins to bubble. It should have a pudding-like consistency.
  15. Strain (push through a chinois or fine strainer with a rubber spatula) and put in a pastry bag, cool in fridge.
  16. Let the pate a choux cool completely. You can choose to do this ahead of time to this point. If it's more than one day, Wrap the pate a choux and freeze. Defrost and crisp back up by baking at 350°F for about 10-15 min. I made mine one day before, and just left them on the countertop before re-baking it.
  17. To fill, use a pastry tip (any one will do just fine, even a knife works) to punch holes along the top of the pate a choux.
  18. I made a hole every 2 inches around the whole circle, and on the underside of the puffs.
  19. Insert pastry bag into the holes and fill the eclair. Do not overfill to the point where the cream is oozing out of the holes or cracks of the dough.
  20. Chocolate Ganache
  21. Heat heavy cream and corn syrup in a small pot until simmering. Pour over chocolate, let sit for a minute, stir until emulsified.
  22. Pour ganache over eclair, covering the holes used to fill with pastry cream.
  23. Place cream puff in the center of the eclair cake and dust with powdered sugar. This eclair cake is best eaten the same day it is filled 🙂
Adapted from Joy of Baking
Adapted from Joy of Baking
crafts & cake http://craftsandcake.com/

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *