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 !

Monday, December 3, 2012

Sriracha Deviled Eggs

 I'm doing a quickie post today !  I've been working on recipes and some crafty things for our Family Christmas Celebration in Seabrook.  But I didn't want to wait until Christmas to post this recipe. If you are looking for a fabulously simple appetizer to add to your  repertoire this is it .  Incredibly delicious with just the right amount of spice.  Definitely a keeper-hope you like them as much as I did. I found this recipe on a lovely little blog called Life's Ambrosia

Sriracha Deviled Eggs

Makes 12
You will need:
6 hard boiled eggs
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons Sriracha
1 tablespoon minced onion
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper
chopped green onions for garnish

Peel eggs and cut in-half lengthwise.

Scoop all yolks into a bowl and mash with a fork. Add mayonnaise, mustard, Sriracha, minced onion and garlic powder. Stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Use a spoon or piping bag to fill each half of an egg with mixture. Squirt a dab of Sriracha sauce on top of each egg, sprinkle with green onion and serve.