Some friends and I were just discussing this the other day. Are you one of those that starts with the filling or one that slowly licks the chocolate sauce on top first? Have a favorite filling? Can you stop with just one?! I know my new friend Chef Chuck says ‘one is just not enough’.You’ll get no argument from me :)
I’ve been wanting to make these for some weeks now, so after reading Chucks post here, and since it’s been years since I have made them (and for lack of locating/unpacking my fave recipes) I gave his pastry recipe a whirl. Excellent choice! They are light and yet still slightly butter flavored and browned up beautifully. The biggest problem I had was piping them onto my cookie sheet and filling. (Yes, my piping bags and tips are also still missing.. ugh!) But I’m certain the Ziplock Storeage Bag Co just knew there would be millions of cooks across America with this same dilemma when they designed their handy little bags.
I used my regular custard filling for the éclairs and whipped cream for the puffs. And as I had some of my delicious chocolate glaze leftover for ice cream stashed, I used this.
This is a basic all purpose pastry cream that can be used for a variety of desserts: éclairs, cream puffs, Napoleans, fruit tarts, even layered cakes. And you may use any flavorings such as vanilla, almond or anise extracts to taste.
2 cups milk
2 eggs – room temp
¾ cup sugar
½ cup all purpose flour
1 tsp flavoring – or omit.. it’s yummy enough without
Bring milk to scalding stage in a pan or double boiler (Do not allow it to boil.) Beat the sugar, eggs and flour together with a whisk and pour into the scalded milk. Lower the heat and with a wooden spoon, stir continuously until the pudding has thickened. Remove from heat and add your flavoring. Once your pastry has cooled, fill with pudding and dip or drizzle glaze/frosting topping.
As it’s New Years Day, why don’t you try your hand at making some of these. You won’t be sorry, and if you have a houseful of football fans today, best to make extras.. they are that good! You can be lazy like I am sometimes and use boxed pudding mix for your filling, but only use ¾ liquid called for to thicken it. A quickie chocolate sauce can be made with 1 cup chocolate chips and 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil, warmed until the chips melt. Keep them refrigerated before you serve, and then watch them disappear! Enjoy!