Saturday, October 17, 2009

Dare to Be an Éclair Extraordinaire

Wow!

I don’t think I’ve been so glad for the weekend in quite some time. I am going to spend my 2 free days with no thoughts of college in sight—oh wait, I have a restaurant review due for my Media Writing class next week that I plan on doing today, but hey I talk and write about food on here all the time, so I really don’t consider it as homework! I think I will do a review on Applebee’s..cliché I know, but college students around here love to hang out there due to the fun, laid back atmosphere, and of course good food. Hello appetizers and dessert shots!

Anything noteworthy going on in your neck of the woods this weekend??

If you have some down time, you should rent the DVD State of Play if you haven’t already watched it. We had to watch it in class and do a movie review. I will be watching it again due to the fact that I was extremely intrigued by it!

Oh, and if you by any chance happen to have even more down time, you need to make this recipe I am going to feature today. I figured after a busy week and no baking(which resulted in eating way too many bars for dessert), I deserved to try this somewhat daunting recipe, which in fact turned out to be one the easiest things I have ever made, and mighty tasty as well!

If you don’t know already, éclairs are is a long custard-filled French donut that is based on a cream puff dough. Here’s what I loved about this recipe:

  • Comes together in about 15 minutes.
  • Original recipe makes 8, perfect amount, or can be doubled.
  • Who doesn’t like a creamy chocolate/banana filling.
  • Cream puff dough tastes identical to a deep-fried donut without the deep-fried mess and fat. I can’t wait to experiment more with this quick and easy dough.
  • Although the recipe calls to pipe the filling via pastry bag into the long donuts, I was running out of time before class, so I opted to spread the filling on top which actually made the powdered sugar dusting stick much better.

So what are you waiting for?! Get out your chef hat and make some éclairs!

CIMG0828

CIMG0830

Chocolate-Banana Éclairs

Serves: 8

Ingredients:

Pastry Cream

  • 1/4 c granulated sugar (or Splenda)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp banana extract
  • 3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp corn starch
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2/3 c fat-free milk (I used Almond Breeze)
  • 1/4 cup thawed fat-free whipped topping

Cream Puff Dough

  • 1 c water
  • 3 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter (I used I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter)
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 c all-purpose flour
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 Tbsp confectioner’s sugar, for sprinkling

Directions

  • To make pastry cream, whip together sugar, egg, and vanilla in a bowl. Whisk in the corn starch, cocoa, and cinnamon. Bring the milk to a boil in a small saucepan; whisk in the cocoa mixture and extracts. Return the milk mixture to the saucepan and bring to boil. Cook, whisking, until thickened. Spoon into a bowl. Press a piece of plastic wrap onto the surface; refrigerate until cool. Fold in whipped topping. Refrigerate.
  • Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly spray a large baking sheet with nonstick spray, line with parchment paper or nonstick tinfoil.
  • To make cream puff dough, combine the water, oil, butter, granulated sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Cook until butter melts and mixture boils, about 3 minutes. Stir in flour all at once, cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the dough begins to pull of the side of the pan, 1-2 mins. Remove saucepan from heat and stir in eggs and egg whites, one at a time, beating vigorously until dough is smooth and shiny.
  • Fill a large pastry bag or a freezer bag with the corner cut off with dough. Pipe onto baking sheet to form 8 4-inch long x 2-inch wide fingers. Bake until golden, about 35 minutes. Turn off the oven.(If you want to make them like I did, with filling on top, now just take filling out of fridge and spread evenly on each log.) Make a small slit in one end of each éclair. Return to oven for 10 minutes. Let cool completely on rack.
  • To assemble éclairs, with a small knife, make a hole in the end of each one. Spoon pastry cream into pastry bag with 1/4 inch plain tip and pipe about 2 Tbsp cream into each éclair. Dust with confectioner’s sugar.

Adapted from Weight Watcher’s Best Ever Desserts

Nutritional Info: Calories-193 Fat- 9g Sat. Fat-2g Trans Fat-0g Sodium- 24g Carbs-24g Fiber-1g POINTS: 4

Hey by the way, head on over to a new website called Funny Spoon for easy and tasty meal ideas! I’m already eyeing up these!

8 comments:

CCV said...

I'm going to a pumpkin farm! Yes, I am five ;)

Erica said...

A restaurant review? What a fun hw assignment. Hope you enjoy your weekend! This dessert looks so yummy! I love that its lightened up. This weekend= usual working out, football, RELAXING

Krista said...

Great looking dessert!!!

joyofood said...

I have that DVD and love it. In fact my Dad borrowed it and went out and bought his own copy, even though he coulda borrowed mine anytime.

Taylor

Jenny said...

major rhymage going on in this post title and majorrrrrrr drooling going on over here at the sight of those eclairs! pastry covered and chocolate and stuffed with cream is pure magic!

p.s. Gingie is OBSESSED with A-bees.. must be a college thang!

burpandslurp said...

Haha, restaurant reviews are FUN! I'd be really interested to read what you write abt Applebee's...care to share?

Karine said...

Your eclairs sound delicious! Thanks for sharing:)

chiefcook said...

hey thanks for the recipes! love it!