Sunday, August 31, 2008

Chocolate...erm...Raspberry E'Clair(e)

When I was little, we had a friend who babysat me. She called me Chocolate E'Clair(e). So, I called her Chocolate E'Bev. I mean, it's just something made up, right? I was 3...give me a break. Well, I have never made the dessert of my name...until now! This month's Daring Baker's challenge was Chocolate Eclairs. Something different, so I was a bit intrigued. I waited until the last week because I knew I would be going home and my parents always like trying these challenges...and I like sharing! My dad didn't want a chocolate cream, so I let him suggest one; his choice was raspberry. I thought that would be wonderful. However, the recipe I found did not produce a cream that tasted of raspberries. Though the cream tasted fine (like vanilla) it was disappointing because is SHOULD have tasted like raspberries. While the process really wasn't hard, something didn't quite come out right. You see, my pastries didn't quite cook all the way and then I had to add extra time. To my disappointment, they didn't cook up to be very fluffy. In fact, they were VERY dense. If eaten alone, this density made them a bit eggy. When put together, though, I think they tasted fine. Nothing about them was bad...just not how I expected. Despite two disappointments, the challenge still pleased my parents and our guests. They all said how much they enjoyed them and even asked for seconds. Yet again, the DBer's have succeeded in pushing me to make something I normally wouldn't and in pleasing my tasters! Thanks to Tony and Meeta for hosting this month. Can't wait for our next recipe. The following is the recipe we used plus the raspberry cream recipe I used (at the end). For more entries go here! Pierre Hermé’s Chocolate Éclairs
Recipe from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé
(makes 20-24 Éclairs)

• Cream Puff Dough (see below for recipe), fresh and still warm

1) Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Divide the oven into thirds by
positioning the racks in the upper and lower half of the oven. Line two baking sheets with
waxed or parchment paper.

2) Fill a large pastry bag fitted with a 2/3 (2cm) plain tip nozzle with the warm cream puff dough.
Pipe the dough onto the baking sheets in long, 4 to 41/2 inches (about 11 cm) chubby fingers.
Leave about 2 inches (5 cm) space in between each dough strip to allow them room to puff.
The dough should give you enough to pipe 20-24 éclairs.

3) Slide both the baking sheets into the oven and bake for 7 minutes. After the 7 minutes, slip the
handle of a wooden spoon into the door to keep in ajar. When the éclairs have been in the
oven for a total of 12 minutes, rotate the sheets top to bottom and front to back. Continue
baking for a further 8 minutes or until the éclairs are puffed, golden and firm. The total baking
time should be approximately 20 minutes.

1) The éclairs can be kept in a cool, dry place for several hours before filling.

Assembling the éclairs:

• Chocolate glaze (see below for recipe)
• Chocolate pastry cream (see below for recipe)

1) Slice the éclairs horizontally, using a serrated knife and a gently sawing motion. Set aside the
bottoms and place the tops on a rack over a piece of parchment paper.

2) The glaze should be barely warm to the touch (between 95 – 104 degrees F or 35 – 40
degrees C, as measured on an instant read thermometer). Spread the glaze over the tops of
the éclairs using a metal icing spatula. Allow the tops to set and in the meantime fill the
bottoms with the pastry cream.

3) Pipe or spoon the pastry cream into the bottoms of the éclairs. Make sure you fill the bottoms
with enough cream to mound above the pastry. Place the glazed tops onto the pastry cream
and wriggle gently to settle them.

1) If you have chilled your chocolate glaze, reheat by placing it in a bowl over simmering water,
stirring it gently with a wooden spoon. Do not stir too vigorously as you do not want to create

2) The éclairs should be served as soon as they have been filled.

Pierre Hermé’s Cream Puff Dough
Recipe from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé
(makes 20-24 Éclairs)

• ½ cup (125g) whole milk
• ½ cup (125g) water
• 1 stick (4 ounces; 115g) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
• ¼ teaspoon sugar
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 1 cup (140g) all-purpose flour
• 5 large eggs, at room temperature

1) In a heavy bottomed medium saucepan, bring the milk, water, butter, sugar and salt to the

2) Once the mixture is at a rolling boil, add all of the flour at once, reduce the heat to medium
and start to stir the mixture vigorously with a wooden spoon. The dough comes together very
quickly. Do not worry if a slight crust forms at the bottom of the pan, it’s supposed to. You
need to carry on stirring for a further 2-3 minutes to dry the dough. After this time the dough
will be very soft and smooth.

3) Transfer the dough into a bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using your
handmixer or if you still have the energy, continue by hand. Add the eggs one at a time,
beating after each egg has been added to incorporate it into the dough.
You will notice that after you have added the first egg, the dough will separate, once again do
not worry. As you keep working the dough, it will come back all together again by the time you
have added the third egg. In the end the dough should be thick and shiny and when lifted it
should fall back into the bowl in a ribbon.

4) The dough should be still warm. It is now ready to be used for the éclairs as directed above.

1) Once the dough is made you need to shape it immediately.

2) You can pipe the dough and the freeze it. Simply pipe the dough onto parchment-lined baking
sheets and slide the sheets into the freezer. Once the dough is completely frozen, transfer the
piped shapes into freezer bags. They can be kept in the freezer for up to a month.

Chocolate Glaze
Recipe from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé
(makes 1 cup or 300g)

• 1/3 cup (80g) heavy cream
• 3½ oz (100g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
• 4 tsp (20 g) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces, at room temperature
• 7 tbsp (110 g) Chocolate Sauce (recipe below), warm or at room temperature

1)In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a boil. Remove from the heat and slowly begin to add the chocolate, stirring with a wooden spoon or spatula.

2) Stirring gently, stir in the butter, piece by piece followed by the chocolate sauce.

1) If the chocolate glaze is too cool (i.e. not liquid enough) you may heat it briefly
 in the microwave or over a double boiler. A double boiler is basically a bowl sitting over (not touching) simmering water.

2) It is best to glaze the eclairs after the glaze is made, but if you are pressed for time, you can make the glaze a couple days ahead of time, store it in the fridge and bring it up to the proper temperature (95 to 104 F) when ready to glaze.

Chocolate Sauce
Recipe from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé
(makes 1½ cups or 525 g)

• 4½ oz (130 g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
• 1 cup (250 g) water
• ½ cup (125 g) crème fraîche, or heavy cream
• 1/3 cup (70 g) sugar

1) Place all the ingredients into a heavy‐bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil, making sure to stir constantly. Then reduce the heat to low and continue stirring with a wooden spoon until the sauce thickens.

2) It may take 10‐15 minutes for the sauce to thicken, but you will know when it is done when it coats the back of your spoon.


  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup strained black raspberry puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons Chambord


In a small saucepan, warm the milk over low heat until it is just hot enough to steam. While the milk is warming, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, flour, and cornstarch until the mixture is completely smooth.

Once the milk is steaming, add half of it, whisking constantly, to the egg mixture. Add the milk and eggs back into the hot milk, continue stirring, and heat it for 1-2 minutes, until the custard reaches 170F on a digital thermometer and is very thick. Remove from the heat, stir in the black raspberry puree, vanilla extract, and Chambord. Chill the cream before filling pastry.

This black raspberry pastry cream recipe makes approximately 2 cups flavored cream.


Cristine said...

Looks great! Sorry things didn't turn out the way you wanted, but I'm glad you still enjoyed them!

Anonymous said...

i looked at that recipe too for the raspberry creme. bummer it didn't work out. i just made the vanilla creme and added the berries to that. it worked pretty good.

loved the story about your babysitter. that is just too cute.

Beth said...

I am racking my brain to think of someone I can call "Chocolate E-something." Great post!

Sara said...

yum! i wish i'd made some puffs as well.

Shelby said...

Sorry you were disappointed by the raspberry cream! The recipe certainly reads like it would be raspberry flavored! Glad you enjoyed them anyway!

Anonymous said...

Having had a three year old myself, I think that name is pretty darn adorable! Your eclairs look delicious... sorry they weren't what you expected!

Jaime said...

raspberry cream sounds great, sorry the flavor wasn't as raspberry-ish as you would have liked. they still look great, though! good job w/the challenge

oh, and judging from the picture of them straight out of the oven, i would definitely say that the denseness and eggy flavor is due to them being undercooked. they need to get really brown to be puffy - almost to the point where they look like they are going to burn

April said...

They do look great, and the raspberry cream sounds delicious!!

Unknown said...

Cristine - Thanks! Guess I should cook them longer.

Courtney - I think that adding the berries would have worked better.

Beth -'ll find someone one day.

Sara - My mom liked those best.

Honey - I even put extra raspberry in it, so I can't imagine what it would taste like with only 1/4 cup puree!

Kristen - :-) Thanks!

Jaime - Yeah, I think that I've seen what they SHOULD look like on several blogs. Oh, well! With all the filling, you really don't notice the eggyness.

April - Thanks!

Ranee @ Arabian Knits said...

I'm so sorry the raspberry cream didn't work! I used a lot more raspberry puree in the chocolate raspberry pastry cream, probably a tablespoon of Chambord and no vanilla. I think the vanilla extract is probably what overpowered the rest. They are pretty, though!

aisha said...

Too bad things didn't work out the way you wanted, but they do look good! And your tasters seem pleased, second helpings are always a great sign!

millie said...

Thanks so much for posting on my blog. My husband is also a physician, so we have something in common besides a love of cooking! I've never tried raspberries in my eclairs, but uuummmm, I just might have to make them again!

Susan @ SGCC said...

Your cream may not have tasted the way you wanted, but it sure does look pretty! Your eclairs turned out beautifully. Well done!

Dewi said...

Goodness me, I would love to have your eclaires, raspberry and chambord, for raspberry pastry cream will definitely become my favorite!

Anderson Zoo Keepers said...

Thanks for stopping by! I really appreciate it. I'd 2nd the cook-them-longer comment. I did three batches all a little differently and the ones I left in for almost 15 minutes longer were hollow and puffy. The ones I cooked near the actual time on the recipe were dense and eggy.
I'd like to try a raspberry creme. Maybe we can locate something yum for your dad.

Anonymous said...

Maybe frying the raspberries in butter and simmering them until the sauce is thick and very dark might help with the taste (remember to strain the syrup). That's what I did for my sour cherry eclairs and they worked out great. Thanks for the thanks on my blog. We only learn by doing it and you have learnt a lot. Yours Audax

Christy said...

I love the name Chocolate E'Clair(e)!! I think it's so catchy and super sweet!! Sorry that your eclairs did not turn out the way you wanted them too, but I think you give them a real good go!! But at least it tasted great and your guests liked them!

Deanna said...

Oh yum!! I have a cheater recipe I use for chocolate eclair dessert. I am just not as patient as you.

Anonymous said...

the raspberry does sound good though..and the combination of the eclair and pink and chocolate is beautiful.

Anne said...

black raspberry sure sounds really delicious - too bad it didn't work out as you had planned. They still look very nice :)

Alpineberry Mary said...

Even though the eclair(e)s didn't turn out the way you wanted, sounds like everyone still enjoyed them a lot.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Nice looking Eclairs! I bet they were delicious! Very well done!



Gina said...

I'm sorry your raspberry cream didn't work out; however, the eclairs look wonderful!

Lot-O-Choc said...

Aw sorry that the pastry cream didnt taste like raspberries :(
They still look delicious though, and glad you still liked them.

kat said...

I love the pink filling! I wonder why it didn't taste raspberry enough

Anonymous said...

I am so impressed by this latest Daring Bakers challenge. Eclairs! Who've thunk it? Very delicious, and very tempting. Your post is giving me a major chocolate craving.

Anonymous said...

Your Eclairs are beautifu! Sorry your raspberry cream didn't work out! I am glad your guest still liked them.

Anonymous said...

I was also not happy with the cream-- it was never firm enough. Raspberry's do sound wonderful though, if the taste transferred through!


Barbara Bakes said...

Sorry they weren't as great as you hoped, especially with company. They looked great - maybe just try a different recipe. I think an E'Claire needs to make a great eclair!

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Hello E'claire! Your E'clairs are very cute. Sorry you didn't love them but I'm sure they were delicious with the raspberry cream. Yummmm!

Anonymous said...

Hey E-Claire :-) Thanks for the comment on my blog. The only reason my final eclairs look so well puffed up is that I reverted to the classic recipe of using boiling water instead of milk. I wonder why yours came out dense. I beat the choux quite a lot, which might've helped. Still, they look YUMMY.

Bunny said...

I'm glad that you family and guests enjoyed your eclairs because they certainly look good. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Anonymous said...

Mmmm chocolate and raspberries. Too bad it didn't taste like you wanted it too. Still looks delicious, though.

Unknown said...

Ranee - I think you're right...I have a bad habit of not measuring vanilla, so I may have put too much in!

Aisha - Thanks...I think they enjoyed it.

Millie - What is your husband's specialty? I'm about to start on my peds ER month...should be fun! Thanks for stopping by.

SGCC - Thanks!

Elra - I actually left the Chamborde out...but I'm sure it would be great.

Anderson Zoo - My dad actually didn't say much, so I don't think it was his fave. Oh, well.

Audex - I used frozen raspberries, so that could have had an effect. I don't know.

Christy - Yeah, sometimes things just don't turn out how we want!

Deanna - This wasn't that time could do it!

Marye, Anne, Mary, Rosa, Gina, Natalie - Thanks! I think it was worth it.

Kat - I think there wasn't ENOUGH raspberry despite putting more than called for in there!

Ari - Just look at some of the others and you'll want even MORE chocolate.

Brianna, Bonobo - Thanks...a different cream next time, maybe.

Barbara - :-) I suppose so.

Cookie - It's all right...we have winners and...NOT winners!

Lisa - Ah! Seems that people weren't pleased with this one.

Bunny - Thanks!

BC said...

Mine definitely needed more cooking time too but it was a great learning experience.

Unknown said...

Jude - Thanks for dropping by.

BC - You're right about that!

Anonymous said...

Raspberry cream - first time I've seen that - sounds good. Your eclairs look very nice, I'll bet they tasted great.

LunaMoonbeam said...

Ooh...rasberry eclairs sound delicious!! I'm sorry your eclairs didn't puff up how you wanted! I wonder why that was??

Thanks for stopping by Bubba Bubbles. :-)

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear you weren't thrilled about your results either... But hey, at least they look great!

Anonymous said...

Nice idea with the raspberry! I hate that when you don't get a good berry flavor, but happy that they tasted delectable anyhow. :)

pixie said...

they look raspberry flavoured with the pink tinge but I am sorry it wasn't really there. they look beutiful though!

Jodie said...

Ooh, raspberry cream sounds so yummy! Great job!

Anonymous said...

They look great! Sorry to hear that the raspberry pastry cream didn't taste of raspberries. The recipe looks good--I wonder why it didn't turn out right...

Jenny said...

Raspberry cream is a good idea!

Anonymous said...

Your eclairs look good! Raspberry filling sounds like a fantastic idea! Must be delicious.

Y said...

eClaire.. eBev.. Haha! So cute :)

Vera said...

Claire, I'm glad your guests enjoyed them. Too bad you didn't. They do look very nice!

Elle said...

Sweet take on your name! Hard to believe that the pretty pink pastry cream didn't taste very much of raspberry, but it sure makes these look festive...very pretty, too.

Deborah said...

Sorry it didn't taste like raspberry, but they sure do look good!

Michelle said...

Wow those look amazing!! great job!

Michelle said...

Wow those look amazing!! great job!

eatme_delicious said...

Sorry to hear they didn't turn out as you'd hoped but they look beautiful and I'm sure the people who got to try them loved them. =)

Kristianna said...

They look great!