Do you ever feel that sometimes people want you to be afraid. They wish fear upon you and although they say otherwise, they mostly don’t ever mean for you to feel better. And fear seems to be a while lot easier to learn than un-learn. Bravery are for those who stand up and say “You know what? Just go away.”
Then will we be left alone? Without these someones around. Suddenly you feel that maybe fear’s okay, better than being alone. But what would the brave ones say?
Don’t know; I don’t have the answer yet. All I can do is make an attempt at doing something difficult, to raise my bravery status. I tried to make baked vegan doughnuts but that was a flop. Chocolate eclairs are a lot cooperative. They even keep creamy secrets. And the dunking of chocolate is therapeutic; so’s the eating too.
Pate a Choux (adapted from Joanna Chang’s Flour Bakery Cookbook)
1 cup GF flour blend
2 tbsp corn flour
1/4 tsp xantham gum
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup butter, unsalted
1 cup warm water
1) Preheat oven to 200°C. Line two baking trays with baking paper or Silpat.
2) In a medium bowl, mix the flours and xantham gum together
3) In a medium saucepan, mix the butter, water and sugar together. Set over a medium flame and heat until butter is melted. Do not bring to a boil as the water will evaporate.
4) Immediately pour the flour mix into the butter mixture and stir to combine (I use a wooden spoon for this). It will come together in a ball and keep ‘roasting’ it by pushing the ball around the pan. Once you see an even film of coating over the bottom of the pan, remove the pot from heat and tip the dough into the bowl of a stand mixer. Using a paddle attachment, beat the dough for 2 minutes to cool it down.
5) Beat the eggs in one at a time. It will look like it’ll never come together and be smooth but it will after the addition of the last egg. Keep beating until you get a smooth custardy looking batter. Fill a piping bag fitted with a 12mm round tip and pipe 5cm logs on your baking paper. Bake for 15minutes before reducing the temperature to 160°C and bake for 25-30 minutes until it’s golden brown. This ensures the insides dry out properly.
6) Remove from tray and allow to cool completely before filling and dipping the tops into chocolate ganache.
Custard Cream Filling
1 egg yolk
1 cup milk
2 tbsp GF flour blend
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp rum
3/4 cup whipping cream
1) Heat the milk in a medium sauce over a medium flame.
2) In another bowl, whisk the egg, egg yolk, flour and sugar together.
3) When the milk is almost at a boil, pour it slowly into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Strain the mixture through a sieve back into the saucepan. Heat over a small-medium flame, whisking constantly until it starts to thicken (3-4 minutes). Once it resembles a watery custard, remove from heat, pour into a heatproof bowl, cover with plastic wrap touching the surface of the custard and allow to chill for 2-3 hours.
4) Once it’s completely chilled, whip the cream until firm peaks form. Fold it into the custard. Use it to fill the eclairs.
150g couverture chocolate, 55%
120ml heavy cream
1) Heat the cream in a medium saucepan until almost boiling. Pour the cream into the chocolate in 2 additions, stirring gently between each once. Allow to cool to room temperature, until ganache is slightly firm but still liquid enough to coat the eclairs evenly.