I remembered some lessons, forgot others and will need to do this again to keep improving. Not that I seem to run out of people willing to try the desserts...
All in all, this week's experiments tasted really good, I just need to work more on the appearance side of things. I would say that my major fault here is my impatience. I just want to go too fast. What is frustrating is that I KNOW I am going too fast as I do it but I can't seem to slow myself down. This was particularly the case with the chocolate ganache in this case.
The eclairs recipe
Now, as you are baking, it is not so hard to say "ok, a couple minutes more". What is hard though is to keep track of how you modify the time for the next time you want to do this. And I haven't even figured out how to play with the temperature. How do you know which temperature would be the best for your project?
However, in my first batch, I poured the batter in a kind of rope and did a "folded" rope to ensure enough width. Well, the result was disappointing. The rope was not thick enough or high enough, which means those eclairs were flat. And the two parts of the rope did not mesh completely during baking, which gave me eclairs with a weird valley in the middle. This batch tasted good but looked horrible.
So for the second batch, I kept the pastry bag closer to the baking sheet and made sure to pour more batter. Frankly, I could have gone even further. I should have ended up with a sausage-like batter about one inch thick. The other thing is how hard it is to keep that pastry bag steady and pour the batter in a uniform way. I ended up with some funky shaped eclairs.
All in all, taste-wise, this was a success. Look-wise, well, there is still work to be done...
For the cream, I used the same recipe I used when I made the King Cake. The only mistake I made was once again due to my impatience. Small detail but it shows how important it is. I used the wrong measuring spoon to measure the vanilla extract and poured a bit too much of it.
The cream tasted good otherwise, however, I think I'm looking for something that has more firmness to it, more thickness.
Stuffing the eclairs was not easy, even if I used the smallest tip I had. I'm going to look into long and thing injectors or something like that. It is also really hard to know when to stop filling... because when it starts oozing out of the eclairs, it's too late...
The chocolate ganache
Now, I know why I was so impatient that day, it was the traditional day for crepes and I had guests over for crepes. Why did I start another project on the same day? Who knows but definitely not something to repeat. *embarrassed*
There is hope!
What is your weakness when baking?