Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Maple Eclairs-My Dirty Little Secret

I haven't told anyone and now I'm telling all of you, shhhh, I'm addicted to Tom Douglas's Maple Eclairs. There I've said it and now I don't have to hide my dirty little secret anymore.  But I do have to hide the Maple Eclairs.  Oh my goodness, what deliciousness in an eclair-thick maple pastry cream,lighter than air pate a choux pastry,and topped with a light crunchy maple sugar glaze.

Before I dropped out of Pastry School, I was working on perfecting 3 things-Eclairs,Croissants and Ciabatta.  The holy trinity of my pastry repertoire .  I'm still working on perfecting them,but I've come very very close to the perfect eclair -Thanks to Chef Tom Douglas.  The pate a choux-so easy, the maple pastry cream so thick and smooth and the maple sugar glaze-genius.  I wish I could publish the recipe here. But my practice has always been that if it isn't published on the Internet already , I won't post it on my site.  I believe in supporting the Chef, so buy the book.  Get to your computer quickly click HERE  to buy it .

It's a beautiful cookbook,tons of photos,tips and how to instructions-hint hint-it would make a great Christmas gift for that baker in your life.  Or even better,  treat yourself.  I couldn't stop drooling over most of the recipes and my first attempt did not disappoint.  I have the puffiest eclairs still rising  in my oven.Beautiful roly poly shapes ( I made them slightly smaller than Chef Douglas recommends) and golden brown.

It's taken everything to not open the oven and  try one. I plan on working my way through this cookbook and cooking and baking every single recipe in it and I encourage you to do the same.

But back to the Maple Eclairs-imagine a maple bar with thick luscious maple pastry cream-heaven . I couldn't find a recipe for eclairs close to the one in The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook.  Many have similar or exact ingredients,but none seemed to match the oven temperatures used and cooking times.

I will share a little tip with you -Chef Douglas recommends filling the eclairs from the top-that way the glaze seals the filling in and it won't squeeze out from the bottom as you eat the eclair.

When I was in Pastry School, The Dahlia Bakery was at the top of my list for bakeries I  would dream about an internship there as I precisely cut my Napoleons or piped my little pate a choux swans.  But life always has little surprises around every corner. One of those little surprises popped up in the Fall of 2008 and I left school-I thought I might return,but never did.  It was one of the best experiences of my life, I will never forget what I learned and I now use this blog to recreate those experiences in my own kitchen. But, like Old Blue Eyes sings:
"Regrets, I've had a few 
But then again, too few to mention 
I did what I had to do and saw it through without exemption 
I planned each charted course, each careful step along the byway 
And more, much more than this, I did it my way "

I've said it hundreds of times before,everything happens for a reason.  I accept the change ,sometimes laughing,sometimes crying.  I throw myself into what life throws at me.  Someone once told me that I live my life like it is all or nothing at all; and that I needed to find a better balance in my life.  Do you understand  when I say all or nothing at all is my balance ? I love where it has taken me and what it has taught me .So now I think I will have another Maple Eclair and ponder where it will take me next. Bon Appetit !


Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom said...

I also have the Dahlia bakery cookbook and will be attempting this!! LOVE!

Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom said...

I also have the Dahlia bakery cookbook and will be attempting this!! LOVE!

Roadtrek Girl said...

Warning: they are incredibly addictive !

Jeane M. said...

I read the warning too late. Got addicted to this one. :D Making some more. XD Got my eye on your next posts.