coffee caramel éclairs (recipe)

I think the very last time I made éclairs would be a year ago. Work’s been so hectic that I haven’t had much time to experiment with new recipes (I work 10-11 hours a day). Surprisingly this weekend’s been very relaxing (may be the calm before the storm) so I was able to bake something for this blog :)

Coffee is possibly my favourite flavour when it comes to éclairs. But to add more depth and texture, I decided to fill the éclairs with a layer of caramel at the bottom. The coffee diplomat cream balanced out the sweetness in the caramel, and I must say the caramel was incredibly aromatic and the combination was perfect! I originally wanted to make maple ganache instead of caramel but I ran out of maple syrup :D

Hopefully I will be able to take more photos and share some more summer-y recipes in the next two months. I would love to create a wide variety of recipes to share on this blog, but unfortunately time gets in the way of things. To bake, take photos, as well as blog about it, requires more effort than I remember. However, baking is my passion so feel free to let me know what type of recipes you’d like to see more of. I will try my best to fulfill your requests :)

Recipe

Pastry

Ingredients

3/4 cups water
3/4 cups milk
Pinch salt
¾ cup butter
4 teaspoons sugar
1 ½ cups flour
6 eggs, lightly beaten
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Method

1. Heat the oven to 375 F/190 C.

2. Put the water, salt, butter, and sugar in a roomy saucepan, bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the flour and ground sesame all at once, beating until it forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the pan. Return the pan to the heat for a minute or two and beat to dry it out a little. (Removing moisture will allow the paste to absorb more egg, which will ultimately make the puffs lighter.)

3. Remove the pan from the heat. Beat in the eggs, the equivalent of one at a time, until fully incorporated. (Do not try to add them at once because they can’t be incorporated quickly enough, it makes a total mess, and furthermore you may not need all of them.) After the third addition of egg, add only enough to make dough that will fall, glossy and heavy, from the spoon. Beat in the vanilla. Spoon the dough into a piping bag.

4. Mix a bit of milk into any remaining egg (if no egg left, use only milk). Have at the ready with a pastry brush for glazing. Pipe the dough into finger like logs on a non-stick baking sheet, leaving a good 2-inches/5 cm between them so they have room to expand.

5. Brush the tops with the glaze and press any snouts down with a fingertip. Bake until puffed up, light, dry, and golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack, so they can breathe all around and will keep their shape and not go soggy.

:: recipe from Food Network with modifications


Coffee diplomat cream

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups (300 ml) milk (whole or 2%)
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar
2 tablespoons (20 grams) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons (20 grams) cornstarch (corn flour)
1/4 cup strong brewed coffee, cooled
150ml whipping cream

Method

1. In a medium-sized heatproof bowl, mix the sugar and egg yolks together. (Do let the mixture sit too long or you will get pieces of egg forming.) Sift the flour and cornstarch (corn flour) together and then add to the egg mixture, mixing until you get a smooth paste.

2. Meanwhile, in a saucepan bring the milk, ground black sesame, and vanilla bean just to boiling (just until milk starts to foam up.) Remove from heat and add slowly to egg mixture, whisking constantly to prevent curdling. (If you get a few pieces of egg (curdling) in the mixture, pour through a strainer.) Remove vanilla bean, scrape out seeds, and add the seeds to the egg mixture. (The vanilla bean can be washed and dried and placed in your sugar bowl to give the sugar a vanilla flavour.)

3. Then pour the egg mixture into a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until boiling, whisking constantly. When it boils, whisk mixture constantly for another 30 – 60 seconds until it becomes thick. Remove from heat and immediately whisk in the liqueur (if using). (Stir in vanilla extract if using instead of a vanilla bean.) Pour into a clean bowl and immediately cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a crust from forming. Cool to room temperature, and then chill in the fridge until cold.

4. In a stand up mixture, whisk 150ml of whipping cream until soft peaks form. Gradually pour in the cooled coffee until incorporated.

5. Fold the coffee cream into the pastry cream using a spatula until combined.

:: recipe from Joy of Baking with modifications


Caramel

Ingredients

2/3 cup grandulated sugar
1/2 cup whipping cream (35%)

Method

1. Place the sugar into a saucepan with a few drops of water. Turn the stove to high heat.

2. When the sugar has completed melted and turned into a caramel colour, gradually add the whipping cream while whisking with a balloon whisk. Be careful as the caramel will rise.

3. Allow to cool to room temperature.


Coffee glaze

Ingredients

1 cup confection’s sugar (icing sugar)
1/4 cup strong brewed coffee

Method

1. Sift the icing sugar until a bowl and gradually add the coffee. With a spoon, mix the two ingredients together until you can no longer see the icing sugar. Basically you want the glaze to be runny enough to dip the top part of your éclairs. You kind of need to add more or less of the two ingredients until it reaches the desired consistency.

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