Sure, they're cute now, but you should have seen the first round...flat as pancakes. Very sad. I suspect I had oven issues; too much heat escaped when I attempted to rotate the baking sheets, and then the oven wasn't hot enough and/or I didn't allow the eclairs to cook long enough. If it had been any other night, I would have dumped them in the trash and relaxed the remainder of the evening.
I was determined to go for round two and get them right, because these eclairs needed to be in a limo full of women at 9:30 a.m. the following morning, celebrating Pammy's birthday. What better to go with Champagne at that time of the morning?
After a brief sushi and sake break at the local sushi bar, I came home and mastered the second batch. I looked at Barefoot Contessa's recipe and compared it with Dorie's, made a few adaptations, piped the pâte à choux on one baking sheet, left the oven door closed throughout the baking, and increased the oven temperature and baking time just slightly.
Dorie's traditional recipe is for Vanilla Eclairs, filled with vanilla pastry cream, and glazed with confectioners' sugar, milk and a squeeze of lemon juice. She also offers variations for coffee/espresso and chocolate pastry creams, and chocolate ganache. To booze it up, which was a no-brainer for this crowd, it was easy to add a few tablespoons of Frangelico liqueur to the espresso pastry cream. The chocolate ganache was another must do!
French Fridays with Dorie is an online cooking group dedicated to Dorie Greenspan‘s newest book, Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours. As members of the group, we have purchased the cookbook and cook along as much as we can. There is a new recipe each week, and we post about that recipe on Friday. We are asked to refrain from posting the actual recipes on our blog. The book is filled with stunning photography, and personal stories about each recipe, which makes it that much more intriguing.