12 February 2011

Chocolate Eclair Hearts for Valentines Day

To all my readers, I'd like to wish you all a Happy Valentine's Day.

Hubby and I don't really celebrate Valentine's Day anymore.  When we first met, we used to go out for a lovely dinner.  Nowadays, I prefer to cook something at home for him and our children.  After all, the way to a man's heart is through his stomach.  And as you can tell, I love cooking and baking.  This year I decided to make my family, chocolate eclair hearts.

I've made choux pastry once before when I made my Hot Dog Cakes.  I used to be scared of making choux pastry but I'm glad that I have overcome that fear.  My piping technique, however, needs more work.  I drew heart shapes on the baking paper to use as a guide but some of my choux pastry hearts still didn't look like hearts. That's OK, it just makes my eclairs look rustic.  Anyway, the important thing is the taste.  And according to Hubby, it tastes great. 

Makes 12 (depending on size)
Choux Pastry 
40g butter
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup plain flour
2 eggs

1.  Preheat oven to 220degC (200 Fan forced).  Prepare an oven tray by drawing heart shapes onto the baking paper.  (I used a heart shape cookie cutter as a guide)

2.  Combine butter with the water in a saucepan and bring to the boil.  Add flour and beat with a wooden spoon over the heat until the mixture comes away from the sides of pan and forms a ball.  Transfer to a small bowl and the beat in the egg with a electric mixer until it becomes glossy.
3.  Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with 1cm plain tube.  Pipe the mixture onto the heart shapes on the baking paper on the trays.  Bake for 7 mins.  Reduce the temperature to 180degC (160 fan forced) and bake another 10 mins or until they are browned lightly and crisp.  Carefully cut them in half and remove any soft center.  Bake for another 5 mins or until eclairs are dried out.  Leave to cool.

Pastry Creme Recipe
1 cup milk
1/2 vanilla bean, split or 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup caster sugar
2 tablespoons cornflour

1. Bring milk & vanilla bean to the boil in small saucepan.
2. Discard vanilla if using the bean.
3. Meanwhile, beat egg yolks, sugar & cornflour in small bowl with electric mixer until thick.
4. With motor operating, gradually bet in hot milk mixture.
5. Return custard mixture to saucepan; stir over heat until mixture boils & thickens

To assemble, pipe the pastry cream into the bottom half of the choux pastry shells.  Place the other half on top.  Carefully spoon melted chocolate on top of the eclair.  Leave to set.

This post is also for Sweets for a Saturday for Lisa's Blog

Happy Valentine's Day.


/* */ eatmarvin said...

Hi Cherrie! They look awesome! The recipe is very simple and easy to follow. And I actually like the crooked edges of the Eclair. They look rustic, handmade. :)

/* */ penny aka jeroxie said...

How awesome and can I assume, loads of sticky chocolate fingers after? And it means finger licking good!

/* */ Joy said...

Those are adorable. I love this.

/* */ Lisa said...

Ooohh, these look darling. You're so amazing making choux pastry. I have yet to attempt it myself. Thanks for linking this up to Sweets for a Saturday.

/* */ Natasha said...

cute! I always have a fear of choux pastry too, it just sounds difficult, but you seem to have coped so maybe i will give it a go. A friends mum recently made chocolate eclair swans, which were a work of art!

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