Make Valentine’s Day Romantic

They say “The quickest way to a mans heart is through his stomach.” I don’t know if that’s true. I honestly have never heard a man say “I fell in love with her Eggplant Parmesn” or “Her Steak and Kidney Pie just made me smitten.” I do believe however, that good food emotes good feelings. Especially when it comes to dessert.

When it comes to dessert in my house Chocolate Eclairs are the pinnacle of romantic gestures. Saved for special occasions such as Valentines Day they are savored even more. These Chocolate Eclairs have a light, crispy pastry shell, with an airy interior perfect for filling with luscious pastry cream, and topped with decadent chocolate ganache.

Pastry Cream

Ingredients:

  • 1 Lb Milk
  • 2 Oz Sugar
  • 1.5 Oz Egg Yolks
  • 2 Oz Whole Eggs
  • 1 Oz Cornstarch
  • 2 Oz Sugar
  • 1 Oz Butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Recipe Notes:

  • It is very important to sift the cornstarch and sugar together to prevent lumps.
  • While heating the pastry cream, before it boils you may notice some lumps and think you’ve curdled your eggs. Don’t panic! This is the “ugly step-child” phase. Just keep stirring until it smooths out and comes to a full boil.
  • If you want to dress up this pastry cream swap the vanilla extract for a vanilla bean. Just split the vanilla bean, scrape out the seeds, and add it to the milk while heating. Remove the vanilla bean before tempering the eggs.

Procedure:

  • In a heavy saucepan, dissolve the  first amount of sugar in the milk and bring just to a boil.
  • With a whisk, beat the egg yolks and whole eggs in a bowl.
    Sift together the cornstarch and sugar, and incorporate into the eggs. Beat with a whisk until perfectly smooth.
  • Temper the egg mixture by slowly beating in the hot milk in a thin stream. Return the mixture to the heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
  • When the mixture comes to a boil and thickens, remove from the heat.
  • Stir in the butter and vanilla. Mix until the butter is melted and completely blended in.
  • Pour into a clean bowl, and cover with plastic wrap placed directly in contact with the surface of the pastry cream. Chill in the fridge completely.

Choux Pastry

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Water
  • 8 Tb Butter
  • 3/8 tsp Salt
  • 1 1/4 Cups Flour
  • 4 Eggs

Procedure:

  • Heat the water, butter and salt, and bring to a boil.
  • Add the flour all at once, and stir until a smooth dough forms.
  • Transfer the dough to the bowl of a mixer fixed with the paddle attachment. Let the dough cool to about 110 degrees F.
  • Add the eggs one at a time. After the last egg is incorporated you should have a smooth, shiny dough. Beat the dough for an additional two minutes on medium speed.
  • Pipe the dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet. The eclairs should be about 5 inches long and 3/4 of an inch wide.
  • Bake the eclairs at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for another 25 minutes more.

Chocolate Ganache

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 Cup Semisweet Chocolate
  • 1 1/2 tsp Corn Syrup
  • 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream

Procedure:

  • Heat the heavy cream and corn syrup over medium heat until just simmering.
  • Add the chocolate and stir until it’s completely melted and smooth.

Assembling The Eclairs

Components:

  • Baked and cooled eclair shells
  • Prepared, Chilled Pastry Cream
  • Chocolate Ganache

Procedure:

  • Cut the eclair shells in half horizontally so you have top halves and bottom halves.
  • Fill the bottom halves of your eclair shells with your prepared pastry cream.
  • Dip the top halves of the eclair shells in the chocolate ganache, and replace the tops on the eclairs.
  • Enjoy!

 

Summary
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Recipe Name
Chocolate Eclairs
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