Crème Brûlée Eclairs
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Questions and answers will be added here. Have a question? Email BEL@bakeeatlovebox.com
1.) How can I tell if my choux pastry has released enough moisture before adding it to the mixer?
Answer: As you are stirring you will notice that the pastry will start pulling away from the sides of the pan and come together to form a tighter ball. As you draw your spoon or spatula through the pastry and notice that it starts leaving a streak or film on the bottom of the pan before being incorporated this is a good sign that your pastry has released enough moisture.
2.) What size eggs should I use in this recipe?
Answer: We recommend using large eggs in this recipe. If you use extra-large eggs, you run the risk of adding too much moisture into your dough resulting in a flat and soggy eclair.
3.) Why is it important to add the eggs one at a time?
Answer: The first reason is to ensure that the pastry dough is able to absorb the eggs efficiently without becoming overworked. The second reason is you might not need to add all four eggs to your pastry dough. This could occur if you didn’t evaporate enough liquid out of the pastry dough in the initial cooking process or if there were uneven measurements and the liquid to dry ratio was slightly off. You should check your dough consistency after adding in the third egg to determine whether or not you should add in your fourth egg.
4.) How do I know if my choux dough is the right consistency before piping?
Answer: You are looking for your choux pastry to have a nice fluidity and sheen to it. There are two tests that you can perform to see if your pastry dough is just right.
- After mixing in the last egg, take your spatula and dip it into the dough and pull up. If the choux pastry starts to drip off the spatula and create a v-shape, this is a great sign that your choux pastry is at the right consistency.
- Take a clean finger and drag it through your pastry. If it leaves a trough indentation in the dough and is not quickly flowing into the trough, then your choux dough is good to go!
5.) What are the steps for using a torch to caramelize the eclair tops?
- Place the eclair tops on a heat-resistant surface or a wire rack.
- Adjust the flame of the torch to medium or medium-high, depending on your torch settings.
- Hold the torch at a slight angle, about 45 degrees, to the surface of the éclair. In a slow and even sweeping motion, pass the flame over the top of the éclair. Keep the flame moving to avoid concentrating heat in one spot.
- Continue torching until the top develops a golden-brown color. Allow the torched éclair tops to cool for a few minutes before assembling to ensure the topping sets.
6.) What should my whip cream look like when it has reached stiff peaks?
Answer: When your whipped cream is nearing stiff peaks, you will notice that your whisk attachment (or beaters) are making circular tracks through the whipped cream. Stop your mixer and lift up the attachment. Remove the attachment and hold it up straight in your hand. If the whipped cream holds its shape in a nice peak, it is ready! See the picture below for guidance.
7.) The custard is thick, what is the best way to mix in the whipped cream to make a nice airy mixture?
Answer: You will fold half of the whipped cream into the custard. Start by mixing the custard with your spatula, stirring the mixture until it is a nice creamy consistency. Next, scoop in about a quarter of the whipped cream amount you will be adding to the custard. Stir the whipped cream into the custard. This will help to loosen the overall mixture, so that when the rest of the whipped cream is folded in, the mixture will be nice and homogenous and will help prevent lumps. For the rest of the whipped cream, you want to use the folding technique.
Most importantly, how do I fold? Using a spatula, scrape along the bottom of the bowl towards you, lifting up on the spatula and scooping the ingredients over. Rotate the bowl and repeat this process until the added ingredient(s) is incorporated into your mixture.
8.) Why are my eclairs soggy?
Answer: This can happen if your choux pastry wasn’t thick enough, and too runny. It’s important to make sure each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next one. It is also important not to open your oven and peak. This releases steam and can result in a soggy and flat éclair.
9.) How do I know when my eclair is done?
Answer: They will have a nice golden color and be nice and puffed. When the bottom is tapped it should make a hollow sound.
10.) How long do eclairs keep?
Answer: Eclairs are best eaten with-in a few hours of making them. However, they can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to two days. They will tend to get a bit soggy as time goes on.
11.) Why did my choux pastry collapse?
Answer: Collapsed choux pastry is usually the result of underbaking.
*Check out our blog for our eclair troubleshooting guide that provides tips and tricks to making the perfect eclairs