5/11/12

Video Attempt: Mother's Day Special

I love my mom as much as the next gal (unless the next gal has a horrible mom and does not love her), but that doesn't mean that she and I drink the same amount of Diet Coke, wear the same amount of diamond jewelry, or eat chocolate éclairs the same way. Of course, that's really beside the point. The point is that my mom and I made éclairs, and they were fantastic. So, thanks, Momfor visiting and cooking with me and letting Matt capture the magic on camera. You've always supported all of my weird projects and for that, and everything else, I love you! Happy Mother's Day.

Chocolate Éclairs
slightly adapted from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Fizz Carr's The River Cottage Family Cookbook
makes about 12
(Instead of thick pastry cream, Hugh and Fizz stuff their éclairs with whipped cream. I personally think this was a great idea.)

5 tablespoons butter
7/8 cup water
a pinch of salt
scant 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 free-range eggs
1 cup heavy cream (+ 2 teaspoons of sugar if you want to sweeten your whipped cream a bit.)

For the chocolate icing:
1/2 cup superfine sugar
6 tablespoons water
2 oz. dark chocolate
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Dice the butter, put it in the medium saucepan with the water and salt, and turn the heat to low. Stir from time to time with the wooden spoon as the butter melts. Meanwhile, sift the flour into a small bowl.

2. When the butter has melted, turn up the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Turn off the heat and quickly add the flour to the saucepan. Immediately beat the flour into the liquid with the wooden spoon to mix all the ingredients together. After a few seconds or so, you'll find that the mixture swells into a smooth dough that comes away from the sides of the saucepan. Stop beating.

3. Remove the pan from the heat. Let the mixture cool for 3 or 4 minutes. Crack the eggs into the medium bowl and whisk them with the fork. Pour a little of the egg into the flour mixture and beat it in well. Keep adding and beating in the egg, a little at a time, until the dough looks thick, smooth, and shiny and still holds its shape well. You may not need the last 2 or 3 tablespoons of egg if your eggs are large ones.

4. If you happen to have an éclair pan, spoon the mixture into the éclair pan, keeping in mind that these things are going to puff up like crazy so you don't need much dough per éclair. If you don't have an eclair pan: spoon the mixture into a freezer bag (you'll need to scrape it out of the pan with a plastic spatula). Fold down the top of the bag to squeeze the dough to the bottom. Snip off one of the bottom corners of the bag to give you a hole about 3/8 inch long. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Squeeze the mixture into sausage shapes about 4 inches long onto the parchment, allowing about 1 1/2 inches of space between each one (they should at least double in size in the oven). You should be able to make about 12.

5. Oven gloves on. (That's what Hugh and Fizz calls them. Kinda cute.) Place the baking sheets in the hot oven and leave for about 30 minutes. When the éclairs are ready, they should be puffed up, a good golden brown all over, and feel hard when you poke one with a knife. Oven gloves on again. Take out the baking sheet and turn off the oven.

6. Immediately take each éclair off the sheets and, with the point of a knife, gently slit the side to let out the steam. (Otherwise the steam sits trapped in the eclair and turns back to water, leaving you with a soggy pastry.) Let them cool and dry out on the wire rack.

7. Whip the cream in the small bowl with the whisk (adding the two teaspoons of sugar if you're adding it, about halfway through) until it's just thick enough to hold its shape. Put it in the fridge while you make the chocolate icing.

8. For the icing, put the sugar and water in a small saucepan, place it in the stove, and turn the heat to low. Heat gently, stirring all the time with a wooden spoon to dissolve the sugar. Bring to a boil and boil fast for 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and wait for a few minutes for the syrup to cool down (you can speed this up by dipping the bottom of the pan in a bowl of cold water, if you like). Meanwhile, break up the chocolate and cut the butter into chunks.

9. When the syrup is very warm, rather than very hot, add the chocolate and butter. Stir until both have melted and blended to a smooth, glossy sauce. Let cool, stirring occasionally. When the sauce starts to thicken, it's ready to ice your eclairs.

10. When the pastries are cool, use a teaspoon to fill the inside of each éclair with whipped cream (you may need to enlarge the slit that you made before). Then take a different teaspoon and smear the chocolate icing generously over each eclair. Leave the eclaris on the wire rack until the icing has set. In the unlikely event that you're not going to eat them straight away, you can put them in the fridge for a few hours.
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37 comments:

  1. I ended up only getting two eclairs! Happy Mother's Day!

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  2. Happy Mother's Day! Great video, great-looking eclairs!

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  3. Those eclairs look great! Also, your mom is funny and sweet. :)

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  4. Love the Mother's Day Special! But what happened to the chalkboard?

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  5. You and your mom are too cute. And all the Heath in this post makes me jealous.

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  6. That video is amazing. That is so me and my Mom, too, except my Mom drinks Pepsi. We could probably fill a treasure chest with your Mom and my Mom's gold jewelry, score!

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  7. I love this so much. I especially ADORE the Diet Coke feature. Nice job, the 3 of you! xoxo

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  8. awwwww it's so sweet and your mom is so cute! love this so much!!

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  9. So sweet and fun! This captures perfectly why I love cooking with my mom!

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  10. LOVE THIS! So funny and heart warming! Your mom is absolutely adorable. Great mothers day post :)

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  11. Oh my gosh, your mom! What a good sport. Hooray for this video. When's your TV show debuting, huh?

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  12. i liked how you forbid your mom from talking about other cooking shows :)

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  13. that made me happy, thanks. :) happy mother's day, all!

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  14. I LOVE your mom. Happy Mother's Day indeed!
    -Jess

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  15. "eclair means a flash of lightening!"
    "k."

    AMAZING!!

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    Replies
    1. that's classic MOM right there. :)

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  16. Ok, this is the best thing ever.

    1. I'm really glad to see that you moved your big stand of sex toys and bondage gear in the corner of your dining room. That might've been kinda awkward with mum there.

    2. The diet coke thing= amazing.

    3. You seriously don't put your dirty spoons on the stove?

    4. We have the same mug

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  17. ps. I'm just kidding about the sex toys and bondage gear. (This is what happens when I'm up 2 hours past bedtime)

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    Replies
    1. hahahhahaaha Oh, Rebecca!
      and yes, I seriously don't put dirty spoons on the stove. Just another rule of the road for me...

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  18. This is awesome!!! Nice work you guys!!

    i love becky bickel!!

    Amerz, you and your mom are kinda dressed alike, did you realize that??

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    Replies
    1. FULL DISCLOSURE: Mom and I went to Madewell before the filming of this video.

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  19. so charming!!! "probably just the tv." best part.

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  20. I love your mom's purple pants and the messy way she eats eclairs. This was adorable, and as always brought a huge smile to my face. Now I need an eclair!

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  21. I usually don't comment if just to say "fantastic" and "adorable" - but this was a really special video, and I chuckled out loud: so charming! :)
    Greta

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  22. You and your mom are so cute! Also, I love the purple plant hanger in the background. Can I ask where you got it?

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Abby!! sooooooo glad you asked about the plant hanger. Guess what? I made it! Here's the post where I mention it: http://www.bonappetempt.com/2011/10/curry-craft-night.html

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  23. I love this!! Your Mom is awesome. SO would not have expected her to be a messy eclair eater though.

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  24. That was such an awesome video! You and your mom are completely adorable. I'd be the one with chocolate on my face. And omg, I've never had an eclair ever. Gotta get on that!

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  25. I love that your mom didn't care about stuffing her face in front of the camera! If that video had been me and my mom, you would have seen my mom hovering just behind me, hand out, trying to take the spoon from me until I got sick of it and walked out. It's amazing I bake as much as I do, seeing how we were never allowed to do anything in her kitchen. It made me happy to see you and your mom enjoying that time together.

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  26. I have fallen in love with your mom!! She looks 8 years old, waiting to eat those eclairs. So adorable...

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  27. I love this video. It is so sweet and loving. Yay!

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Thanks for your thoughts!