French Eclairs with Orange Blossom Pastry Cream
I had been obsessed with French Eclairs and how to make them perfectly. Typically eclairs are covered with fondant or chocolate so you don't really see if the choux itself is cracked however it bugged me to no end that my eclairs have cracks. So what else would a normal person do? Definitely not make them over and over (at least 11 times in one week!) to figure out how to get rid of those pesky cracks! Spoiler alert, she's not normal!
But on the flip side, I am excited to be sharing with you my recipe for perfect patisserie quality eclairs and my very own orange blossom pastry cream! Here we go!
1 cup of Milk
185 Bread Flour
4 tbsp Icing Sugar
1. In a pot, heat butter with milk and salt in medium heat. Make sure the butter is fully melted before the mixture starts to simmer.
2. Once the mixture is simmering, immediately add the flour and mix vigorously until a dough forms. Once the dough has dried slightly and a film develops at the bottom of your pot - your dough is ready! Take off heat and transfer to a heat proof bowl (or your kitchen aid bowl).
3. Let the dough cool slightly by pressing against the side of the bowl. This takes about 5 minutes. Once cooled, use an electric mixer with a paddle attachment. Mix the dough semi slowly (Level 2 in a Kitchenaide mixer) while adding the eggs one by one. The mixture will first start to look like its curdled but don't worry! You just need to keep mixing. The eggs will incorporate well. You are looking for a soft batter - not watery. You'll know the batter is done if it forms a V shape when a spatula is dipped in it.
4. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Pipe the batter using a French Tip on a parchment paper lined paper cookie sheet. Try to pipe straight lines. Right before going to the oven, lightly sprinkle icing sugar on top of each eclair.
5. Put the eclairs in the oven and bake at 425 degrees for the first 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 18 minutes. The high temperature will cause the eggs to expand rapidly in the first 10 minutes and then the lower temperature will cause the eclairs to dry up inside and make room for the pastry cream.
6. Cook eclairs before filling.
Orange Blossom Pastry Cream
1 1/2 cup Whole Milk
4 Egg Yolks
1/3 cup Sugar
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 cup Cornstarch
1 tsp Orange Blossom Extract
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 tbsp Butter (softened)
1. Warm the milk and orange blossom and vanilla extract in a pot. Do not boil! We are looking for wisps of steam only. Once you see the steam floating, take milk off heat.
2. In a heatproof bowl, whisk your sugar, egg yolks, cornstarch and salt until well incorporated and creamy. Temper the egg yolk mixture with the milk by pouring one scoop of hot milk in the egg yolk mixture and whisking vigorously until combined. Add another scoop of milk and whisk. Pour the yolk/milk mixture back into the pot and continue whisking.
3. Bring the pot back to heat and continue whisking until the mixture thickens.
4. Once the mixture thickens, add the butter to finish off. Whisk until the butter has melted and well incorporated. Take off heat and transfer to a clean heatproof bowl. Cool before using.