Vanilla Eclairs

Hello everyone! Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there! I hope you guys had an amazing day with your mothers. Today, I wanted to surprise my mom with an extra-special dessert but not just any dessert; a French staple! I decided to opt for something other than chocolate eclairs so I made vanilla ones with some piped buttercream on top. Enjoy!

Vanilla Eclairs Recipe:

Choux Pastry:

1/2 cup (65 grams) all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon granulated white sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons (55 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1/2 cup (120 ml) water

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Pastry Cream:

1 1/4 cups (300 ml) 2% fat milk (you can also use whole for a richer taste, or reduced fat for a less rich taste). 

3 large egg yolks 

1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar

2 tablespoons (20 grams) all-purpose flour & 2 more scant tablespoons (15 grams) flour

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Glaze:

1 cup (100g) powdered sugar

Water

Food coloring (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

In a bowl whisk the flour with the sugar and salt. Place the butter and water in a saucepan over medium high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and, with a wooden spoon, add the flour mixture, all at once, and stir until combined.

Return saucepan to the heat and stir constantly until the dough comes away from the sides of the pan and forms a thick smooth ball (about 1-2 minutes). Transfer the dough to a bowl and mix until lukewarm, about a minute. Once the dough is lukewarm,  start adding the lightly beaten eggs (dough will separate and then come together) and continue to mix until you have a smooth thick paste (dough will fall from a spoon in a thick ribbon). Place the dough in a pastry bag fitted with an open star tip and pipe about 12 oblongs of dough (about 3/4 inch (2 cm) wide) onto the baking sheet. (Its best to have a 45 degree angle when you are piping. Dust the choux with icing sugar before they go into the oven. 

Bake for 15 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Continue to bake for about another 25 minutes until the shells are a golden brown color and if you break one are almost dry inside. (If this doesnt happen you can turn off the oven and leave them in there with the oven held ajar by a spoon until they’ve dried out. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

Pastry Cream:

In a heatproof bowl, mix the sugar and egg yolks together. Whisk the flour and then add to the egg mixture, mixing until you get a smooth paste.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan bring the milk just to a boil (just until milk starts to foam up.) Remove from the heat and add slowly to egg mixture, whisking constantly to prevent curdling. Then pour the egg mixture into a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until boiling, whisking constantly. When it boils, keep whisking constantly for another 30 – 60 seconds until the pastry cream becomes thick. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.  Pour the pastry cream into a sieve to remove lumps and then into a clean bowl, and immediately cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Cool to room temperature then refrigerate until firm (can be made up to 3 days ahead). Whisk or stir before using to get rid of any lumps that may have formed.

Glaze:

Mix all the ingredients together until combined. (You can add more of an ingredient until you get the desired consistency). (Add a drop of red food coloring to create a pink if desired).

Serve an enjoy! These can be made hours in advance and chilled in the fridge until ready to serve.

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