Sometimes I have to ask myself whether I have a problem. Today was my birthday and I spent 2 1/2 hours trying to create the famous Laduree Chocolat Eclairs (I changed the recipe in that my filling does not have chocolate). It was fun, challenging, and slightly frustrating. I learned the hard way what "pouring fondant" is and my extended time in the kitchen delayed the Gourmet Female's preparation of my favourite dish - her special chicken curry.
Now, you can probably tell from the photo of the finished product where I fell short. Yep, it's the chocolate icing. I made the journey today to The Essential Ingredient in Rozelle (another fun thing I wanted to do on my birthday - again, did I say I may have a problem?) to pick up a few things and bought a tub of soft fondant. Turns out, I did a pretty poor job of creating the sugar syrup and heated the fondant in the wrong type of bowl, so it ended up very thick. In any case, they taste fantastic. So next time I'll work on the aesthetics but there's not much to improve on in regards to the flavour.
A word of warning: these are not easy and take a fair amount of time. But you can take quite a bit of pride in the finished product.
The recipe is from Laduree's Sucre book, with the modification that my filling is straight vanilla, not chocolate. And by the way, the book is one of the most beautiful cooking books I have ever seen. It arrived in a cool little box and has lavender tissue paper protecting the book. The pages are gold-leafed and the photos are mouth-watering. Highly recommended - I'll do a review of it sometime in the future.
In any case, as to not trample on Laduree's copyright, I'll just outline the basics. You can search the Web for recipes for the components. Trust me, they are a crowd pleaser!
- Basic Choux pastry - enough for 10 eclairs
- Basic vanilla pastry filling - this is where I strayed and didn't add chocolate
- Dipping chocolate - a mixture of white pouring fondant, melted chocolate, and sugar syrup
Give it a try. And let me know what you think...