Tony is all about food. His ongoing food events and special projects have been featured in the press. To learn more, you can view his gallery, read his blog, or simply contact him directly.

Blog Archive Entry


Nut your Typical Eclair

I still remember the day I stumbled upon the Daring Bakers. Do you? I thought it was odd. Why did everyone all of a sudden decide to blog about French bread? And why were they all using Julia Child’s recipe? I was sure I had found some sort of freaky food cult, but there was no way around it. Every blog, every comment, everyone was going on and on about these breads. It was like being the new kid in school all over again; only this time all the cool kids were talking about food & baking.

Orange Logo

This is my 6th month now as a Daring Baker and I got to cohost the August challenge with the amazing Meeta from What’s for Lunch Honey. She took me under her wing a few months ago and we immediately started scouring cookbooks for the ultimate recipe.

mise en place
mise en place

We began by brainstorming via e-mail and quickly settled upon an eclaire recipe from Meeta’s sugar daddy, and king of French pastries, Pierre Hermé. This was great since I had never made éclairs, but consider myself a professional éclair eater. Of course, the best part of any challenge is modifying the recipe and having the complete Culinary Freedom to bake whatever you want. I decided to make profiteroles (ie tiny, round éclairs), filled with an almond pastry cream, glazed with a hazelnut chocolate glaze and topped with finely chopped pistachios. Here is how it all went down: 

choux dough
choux dough

Choux dough is extremely easy to make, to my surprise. French pastries don’t exactly have the best reputations for being the ones you could whip up in no time. But for this dough there is no worrying about cold butter or overworking the gluten by stirring it for mere seconds. Nope, all this is left behind when entering choux paradise. Once these babies puff up in the oven, you’ve got yourself an empty canvas perfect for filling with whatever your foodie heart desires.

profiterole work flow
filling the profiteroles

I opted for an almond-infused pastry cream, and let me tell you: this pastry cream could be a dessert on its own. I had no problems eating it straight from a spoon as the profiteroles were baking away in the oven. Eventually, though, I had to exercise self control in risk of not having enough filling for the pastries. Next time, I’m doubling the the recipe for the cream – mark my words!

triple nut profiteroles
triple nut profiteroles

I’ve got to hand it to the French – they know exactly what they’re doing when it comes to cuisine (especially pastries). I will definitely be making these again in the near future.

I want to send a big thank you to all the Daring Bakers who joined us this month in baking eclairs! Finally, I also want to send a big hug to Natalie of Gluten A Go Go and Helen of Tartelette for helping us tackle any choux questions and offering their pearls of wisdom on how to achieve eclair bliss. 

Triple Nut Profiteroles

makes approx. 35-40 profiteroles

adapted from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé

Components

  • 900 g almond infused pastry cream
  • pâte à choux
  • 1 cup hazelnut chocolate glaze
  • finely chopped pistachios

Putting them all together

  1. Pipe choux dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and dry.
  2. With a serrated knife gently slice open each profiterole and pipe pastry cream into the bottom half.
  3. Replace cover, drizzle with hazelnut chocolate glaze and top with finely chopped pistachios.

notes: The individual recipes are posted under “Read more…”

Print

made to be eaten
a big bite

Almond Pastry Cream

makes 2 1/2 cups or 900 g

adapted from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé

Components

  • 2 cups (500 g) whole milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 6 tbsp (75 g) sugar
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch, sifted
  • 2 1/2 tbsp (40 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract

Putting them all together

  1. In a small saucepan, bring the milk to a boil. In the meantime, combine the yolks, sugar and cornstarch together and whisk in a heavy-bottomed saucepan.
  2. Once the milk has reached a boil, temper the yolks by whisking a couple spoonfuls of the hot milk into the yolk mixture. Continue whisking and slowly pour the rest of the milk into the tempered yolk mixture.
  3. Strain the mixture back into the saucepan to remove any egg that may have scrambled. Place the pan over medium heat and whisk vigorously until the mixture returns to a boil.  Continue whisking for 1 to 2 more minutes (still over medium heat).
  4. Scrape the pastry cream into a small bowl and set in an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Make sure to continue stirring occasionally so that you end up with a smooth cream.
  5. Once the cream has slightly cooled, slowly begin to add the butter in three or four installments and then add the almond extract. 
  6. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge until ready to use.

notes: The pastry cream can be made 2-3 days in advance and stored in the fridge.

Print

Chocolate Glaze

yields approx. 1 cup or 300 g

adapted from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé

Components

  • 1/3 cup (80 g) heavy cream
  • 3 1/2 oz (100 g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 4 tsp (20 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 7 tbsp (110 g) Chocolate Sauce, warm or at room temperature

Putting them all together

  1. In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a boil. Remove from the heat and slowly begin to add the chocolate, stirring with a wooden spoon or spatula.
  2. Stirring gently, add the butter, piece by piece followed by the chocolate sauce.

notes:

  1. If the chocolate glaze is too cool (i.e. not liquid enough) you may heat it briefly in the microwave or over a double boiler.
  2. It is best to glaze the éclairs after the glaze is made, but if you are pressed for time, you can make the glaze a couple days ahead of time, store it in the fridge and bring it up to proper temperature (95 to 104 degrees F) when ready to glaze.

Print

Chocolate Sauce

makes 1/2 cup or 250 g

adapted from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé

Components

  • 2 1/4 oz (65 g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup (60 g) water
  • 2 tbsp hazelnut liquor
  • 2 tbsp Nutella
  • 1/4 cup (125 g) crème fraîche, or heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp (25 g) sugar

Putting them all together

  1. Place all the ingredients into a heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil, making sure to stir constantly. Then reduce the heat to low and continue stirring with a wooden spoon until the sauce thickens.
  2. It may take 10-15 minutes for the sauce to thicken. It is complete once you can run your finger through the back of the spoon and the chocolate stays separate.

notes:

  1. You can make this sauce ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for two weeks. Reheat the sauce in a microwave oven or a double boiler before using.
  2. This sauce is also great for cakes and tarts.

Print

Pâte à Choux

makes 35-40 profiteroles

adapted from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé

Components

  • 1/2 cup (125 g) whole milk
  • 1/2 cup (125 g) water
  • 1 stick (115 g) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (140 g) all-purpose flour
  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature

Putting them all together

  1. In a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan, bring the milk, water, butter, sugar and salt to a boil.
  2. Once the mixture is at a rolling boil, add all the flour in at once, reduce the heat to medium and start to stir the mixture vigorously with a wooden spoon. The dough will come together quickly. Continue stirring until the dough is smooth, dry and has come away from the pan (2-3 minutes).
  3.  Transfer the dough into the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (you can also continue by hand). Let the dough cool while mixing on low for a couple of minutes so that the eggs do not scramble. 
  4. Once the dough has slightly cooled, begin to add the eggs one at a time. The dough will separate in the beginning, but it should come back together after the 3rd or 4th egg.
  5. While the dough is still slightly warm, scoop it into a piping bag to beginning piping the éclairs or profiteroles.

notes:

  1. Once the dough is made you need to shape it immediately.
  2. You can pipe the dough and freeze it. Simply pipe the dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets, and freeze. Once the dough is completely frozen, transfer the piped shapes into a freezer bag and store for up to 1 month. 

Print

Posted in desserts, French, recipe by Antonio Tahhan on August 31st, 2008. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


91 Responses to “Nut your Typical Eclair”

HoneyB Says:

Tony, there isn’t anything you do that doesn’t look awesome. Great choice for us this month! Thanks!

Kitt Says:

Bite-sized means you can eat more, right? Delicious!

Anita Says:

Tony, thanks for a great challenge this month. I love the flavor you chose for your eclairs. So glad we’ve “met” through the blogs!

Cristine Says:

Beautiful work! Thanks for an awesome challenge!!!

Cynthia Says:

THanks Tony, for the challenge. This couldn’t have been more incredible if I had chosen it myself. Nicely done. I too did the little round eclairs. I totally found joy in this challenge.

Beth Says:

I love your French flag graphic. What a great way to simply break down all of the ingredients. Wonderful challenge this month – thanks!

fanny Says:

Tony, thanks for the great pick. As usual I LOVE your mise-en-place pictures. So so pretty (so are your choux).

xx fanny

Jude Says:

Thanks for hosting. Excellent choice for the challenge… I’ve always wanted to make pate a choux.

Chocolate Éclairs by Pierre Hermé | Apple Pie, Patis, and Pâté Says:

[...] Daring Bakers – Pierre Herme’s Chocolate Éclairs hosted by Tony Tahhan and [...]

MyKitchenInHalfCups Says:

Awesome challenge! Your almond filling sounds divine. I’m hoping to try my frozen leftovers savory!
Nice intro on how you stumbled upon the DBs.

Shayne Says:

I agree the cream is sooo good and I too “sampled” a few too many time that I got a bit of a tummy ach, I think my daughter did too.

Thank you I love it when a challenge draws in the whole family and this was one of them.

Hexe Says:

As a relative newbie to the DB, I find each challenge a learning experience. Thank for you a wonderful choice!

Recipe Collector & Tester Says:

Thanks for the great recipe selection this month for Daring Baker’s! This was my first month participating and although I felt a bit overwhelmed (by the many steps) this came together great for me. However, I am loving the flavor combination you chose and wish now I would have done something a little different to mine!

Daring Bakers August Challenge « Golden Frame Cake Studio Says:

[...] Daring Bakers Challenge was hosted by Meeta and Tony from What’s For Lunch Honey and Tony Tahhan, who chose Chocolate Éclairs from the book Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé. How fancy is [...]

Mary (alpineberry) Says:

Your profiteroles look like the perfect bite sized desserts!

katie Says:

Great Job Tony! When I heard you were cohosting the eclair challenge I couldn’t wait to see what you would come up with. These look delicious!

Courtney aka glamah Says:

Almond pastry cream and choco hazelnut glaze sounds awesome. You and Meeta are brilliant hosts. Thank You.

Baking Soda Says:

Thanks for a great challenge Toni! My family loved it and yes, we ended up eating the pastry cream as a dessert on its own.

Jaime Says:

love the mise en place pics :) thanks for hosting a great pick!

Joy Says:

These look delicious and I love how you set out the ingredients. Thanks for a great challenge!

Rosa Says:

Your Cream Puffs look very dainty and delicious! Thanks for the great challenge!

Cheers,

Rosa

Ari (Baking and Books) Says:

I love you make little photographic diagrams of the ingredients – very cool! And these eclaris look terribly tempting. I just posted on Meeta’s site that seeing eclairs all over the blogosphere today is giving me a powerful craving for them!

kellypea Says:

Very nice pick this month, so thanks! I always enjoy looking at how you present your info — so attractive and neat. And the puffs are perfect, of course!

Chris Says:

Great job! Thanks for a fun challenge. I will reuse this recipe often, for sure!

Elle Says:

Tony,
Thank you and Meeta for choosing such a great recipe! The eclairs are wonderful and your petit ones are gorgeous!

Marija Says:

Beautiful presentation and amazing profiteroles! Thank you (and Meeta) for choosing this recipe! I loved it.

Breadchick Mary Says:

Tony,

I’m honoured that it was my challenge that inspired you to become a Daring Baker! Thanks so much for co-hosting this fabulous challenge. I get to return the favour by telling you that the pastry cream for this challenge was by far the best pastry cream I’ve ever had and it will be my go-to one.

Your photos are as wonderful as the recipe.

Anjanette Says:

Your profiteroles look amazing! Thanks to you and Meeta for a great challenge this month. I learned a lot!

clumbsycookie Says:

Cute and delicious looking! Thanks for hosting!

Gabi Says:

Thanks for hosting this month Tony- the eclairs were a fun challenge! I adore your profiteroles and your post is beautiful!
xo

manager mom Says:

those are beautiful…I can’t cook worth a darn, but I would totally hire someone to make those for me.

Mary Ann Says:

Thanks for a great challenge! I really enjoyed this one and your eclairs look simply delicious!

Alexa Says:

Tony,
Beautiful post… Your pictures are always such a delight and the choice of eclairs is decadent and delicious. Profiteroles were always my mother’s specialty when we were growing up filled with ice cream instead of creme patissiere and warm dark chocolate sauce over the whole thing. This post is bringing back some serious memories. :-)

jillian Says:

Thanks so much for hosting a great challenge! I love almonds , and your twist on the recipe sounds delicious!

Isa Says:

The profiteroles look amazing! The ingredient chart and step by step pictures are great… and well, the final profiteroles are even better. Loving the nutty twist!
Thanks for hosting this DB challenge :)

Candace Says:

Fabulous! I wish I had done almond pastry cream too. Thanks for choosing such a fabulous dessert this month!

Karen Says:

Thanks for the wonderful challenge! You have a beautiful site. Love the photos and descriptions. Well done!

Robyn Says:

Thanks for hosting this month! Your profiteroles look great!

rainbowbrown Says:

Many thanks for a perfect DB choice. Yours look really fantastic, I long to do an almond pastry cream.

Gina Says:

Tony, thank you and Meeta for a wonderful challenge this month (my first). I really enjoyed participating. Your profiteroles look wonderful and the almond pasty cream sounds divine!

Speedbump Kitchen Says:

Thank you for this challenge…it was obviously something I needed to learn! Your puffs look awesome!

bonnie baker Says:

i love your photos!!!
great job!

Andrea Says:

Profiteroles! Ohhhh, now I know what to try the next time I make these. Thanks to you and Meeta for choosing such a delicious challenge. My whole neighborhood thanks you, actually! :-)

Christy Says:

I know you probably get this about 50 million times a day, but I just have to say it again: I love your photos!! Especially the mise en place ones!! You are so very meticulous and neat you make me ashamed of the mess I create every time I bake. But I’m glad to see that your glaze turned out shiny and smooth. Just my luck that mine did not turn out the same way. Beautiful profiteroles, I’m sure they tasted awesome with almond cream filling!!

Tablebread Says:

Wow Tony, only a member for six months and you come up with this?!? I am absolutely amazed at how you photographed the ingredients for the fillings. That was truly creative. From the looks of everyone’s results I would say that you had a successful run as co-host this month!

Amy J. Says:

A+ job! I love your French flag up there! Hoh hoh!

Meeta Says:

Tony with you these were all the more sweeter! your little profiteroles look fantastic and yes – i love the addition of pistachios!

enza Says:

even if I’m allergic to nut those eclairs are simply spectacular.
antonio, thanks giving us an excellent challenge.

Eat4Fun (John) Says:

Wow! Great looking website and illustrations. Delicious looking bites. Thank you for hosting this months challenge. It was a challenge for me, but a very enjoyable challenge. :-)

Tanya Says:

This was a wonderful challenge! Thank you so much. Your eclairs and the photos are fantastic!

Karen Says:

Hi Tony!
Thanks for Aug challenge! gave me a chance to make elairs… it was a very yummy recipe…

Love the way u did ur elairs…

linda Says:

Thanks for the challenge!
Love the way your puffs look and the flavours you chose!

Diane Says:

Thanks Tony for a good challenge. I will be trying this recipe second time around.

Lisa Says:

Tony, you and Meeta made this such an enjoyable challenge.. thanks so much for all the hard work ya’ll put into it! :)

xoxo

Aparna Says:

I liked the three nut variation to your profiteroles.

Thank you Tony, for hosting this month’s challenge. I know for sure I would have never made Choux if it wasn’t for the DBs. I also discovered your blog.:)

Jenny Says:

Great looking pastry Tony, and I like the nut topping.

Kate Says:

ooh these are cute personified !!! smaller the better :)
i’m fasting right now and these arent really helping me …i’d reckon the next time you feel like sending me a parcel, pack some of these babies inside :)

Marce Says:

Wonderful photos and a great combination of flavors, now I want to have one around for a special breakfast!

PIXIE Olivares Says:

INSPIRED IT IS ADDING ALL THOSE NUTS! AND YOU’RE SO ORGANIZED WITH YOUR INGREDIENTS… I COULD NEVER BE LIKE THAT… MOR LIKE A HURRICANE PASSING BY!

Daring Bakers: Eclairs « Carrie’s Kitchen Creations Says:

[...] month’s Daring Bakers: Éclairs! This month’s challenge was hosted by Tony Tahhan and MeetaK. The recipe comes from Dorie Greenspan’s (*sigh*) book, “Chocolate Desserts [...]

Brianna Says:

Wonderful photos! They look amazing :)

Hélène Says:

Looks so delicious. Love the pictures. Would love to taste one.

Nikki @ Pixxienix Says:

Beautiful, Tony. I’m sure you hear/read this all the time…but I really love your website, and the pictures are so educational & organized!

Audax Artifex Says:

Your site is like having a great professional baker/chef on tap 24 hours a day. Quiet confident and inspirational all at once. NO in fact it is like having loving grandparents who cherish to be with you and who are imparting their passion of cooking to their grandchildren. You must love food and teaching others about it and it shows. Beautiful pictures and so easy to understand. Thank you for the wondrous éclair choice for Daring Bakers Challenge this month. Enjoy making them. Yours look so professional. Also thankyou for giving Culinary Freedom is the bakers on this recipe.

Hannah Says:

Thanks for choosing such a fun challenge- Although mine didn’t quite come out as I had hoped, it was still a good experience all the same. Yours of course look delicious!

Sathya Says:

Mmm, they look gorgeous! I love it. Thanks for hosting a fun challenge.

Amber Says:

I have loved your photos with words and arrows for a while now. You make it look easy. Thank you so much for the August challenge and all the work that entailed.

canarygirl Says:

What a great challenge, Tony! Your profiteroles turned out just sublime (profiteroles are probably one of my very favorite desserts). Excellent job hosting! :D

Medhaa Says:

They look lovely. Thank you for this wonderful challenge

Angela Says:

Tony, thank-you for choosing such a wonderful challenge this month! Your triple-nut profiteroles look absolutely divine!

Lesley Says:

Wow, gorgeous!
Thanks for the great challenge. Oh, and your blog is so beautiful!

joey Says:

Oh I SO wanted to do this…missed it agian :( But I have this book so I will get around to it for sure! They look too good and chocolate in choux is always welcome in my kitchen! :)

Great choice for a challenge!

Naama Says:

The biggest problem about these things is that you just cant stop eating them!
Anyway, your ecleirs looks just amazing! well done! :)

Elizabeth - Cake or Death? Says:

These sound delicious! I almost used gianduja chocolate in mine because I love the combination of chocolate and hazelnuts. Maybe next time! Thanks for a fun challenge.

Elle Says:

They’re gorgeous and perfect, Tony! Thanks for the challenge, and it *was* a challenge, hehe. A tasty one, though.

Daring Bakers Challenge: Gianduja Eclairs. at FattyPepper Says:

[...] the full original recipe for these eclairs at Meeta’s blog; Tony’s blog delineates his adapted version, which incidentally also incorporates Nutella.) Crème Fraîche From http://www.joyofbaking.com. Super [...]

Antonio Tahhan Says:

Thanks for all the wonderful comments!! I had lots of fun hosting this challenge with Meeta and we’re both very happy that everyone enjoyed it as much as we did!

pea and pear Says:

Wow, yes I remember discovering the daring bakers. At first it didn’t even occur to join, but once I did I couldn’t understand why i didn’t join earlier!!
Beautiful eclairs and a wonderful challenge. Thanks heaps!!
Ali

Amber Says:

Thanks for co-hosting this months challenge! Your eclairs look amazing!

muhajababe Says:

hi tony ! i learned to do eclairs a year ago and since then have experimented with it in different ways one major experiment was using white chocolate as the glaze, saffron infused in the dough and a cool filling pistachios and a hint of rose water .. it was weird but none the less good :) i love experimenting classic dishes with a twist !

George@CulinaryTravels Says:

Oh they look amazing, so well presented, so artistic, so beautiful.

Thank you for picking such a great challenge.

steph (whisk/spoon) Says:

what amazing photos! these look like perfect little puffs and the almond cream sounds wonderful! thanks for a fun pick this month…

Jennifer Says:

simply beautiful. great job.

Christina Says:

These are absolutely perfect, Tony!

Hilda Says:

Lovely, marvellous, wonderfull…
I need to learn english again (I forguet it all)
El año pasado logré hacer eclairs por primera vez… perfectos. Fué una gran satisfacción.
Thankyou very much for your blog.
Hilda

Ivonne Says:

Well done, Tony! Well done! Your pictures are gorgeous and I love that you made little puffs. Thank you so much to you and Meeta for handling this challenge so professionally. You’re a top notch Daring Baker!

Dana Says:

Gorgeous eclairs! Thanks for hosting!

August Daring Bakers: Chocolate Eclairs : Hello, Baker! Says:

[...] this challenge was hosted by Tony and Meeta. You can go to their blogs in order to view the original recipe because it is incredibly [...]

cookworm » Blog Archive » Everybody’s Doing It Says:

[...] Still, the recipe was a great classic and will be used again. You can find it at hosts Meeta K or Tony’s blogs or in the book Chocolate Desserts by Pierre [...]

Lavash (Armenian Flatbread) aka "Spice Rack Velcro" | Apple Pie, Patis, and Pâté Says:

[...] Daring Bakers – Peter Reinhart’s Lavash (Armenian Flatbread) hosted by Natalie and [...]

Chocolate Eclairs by Pierre Herme | PurpleFoodie.com Says:

[...] month’s challenge is hosted my Meeta and Tony Tahhan (which is where you can go and have a look at the entire [...]


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