Thursday, September 3, 2009

Mini Eclair Birthday Cake

With Rose's birthday upon us, it was time to get baking.

We always talk about baking a birthday cake, but honestly
when was the last time you only had to bake one birthday cake.

For our family, there is the cake for the classroom friends,
the birthday cake for family served on the actual day of the
birthday. And then the piece de resistance for the birthday
party. I'm sure I'm not alone in this.

So instead of cupcakes for the classroom friends, I decided
to make some mini eclairs and pile them together to make a
lusciously spectacular chocolate tower.

I had "needie" my little white dog helping in the kitchen. He was keeping
an eye on the temperature, as my oven has a tendency to go
all "furnace" on me without warning.
Anyway that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I suppose I should give the recipe, so it goes like this;

Mini Eclairs
60g unsalted butter, chopped
125g plain flour, sifted
4 eggs beaten
300mls whipping cream
1 tablespoon icing sugar sifted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
50g dark chocolate, melted

(recipe found in my favourite cake cookbook,
Sweet Food by Murdock Books .
I found it in Freedom although I have seen it
in most good kitchen stores.)

Oven preheated to 200 degrees Celsius.
Line baking trays with baking paper, I found Alfoil was just
as good with some flour dusted to stop sticking.

Bring butter and water to boil over stove top, remove from heat
and beat in flour with a wooden spoon till smooth. I used a metal
spoon, so sue me.... they still turned out fine.

Return to heat and beat for 2 mins until the mixture forms a ball.
Remove from the heat and transfer to your mixing bowl.
Leave to cool for 5 mins.

Add the eggs a little at a time. Make sure you beat well. I used
the electric beaters for this part.

Spoon into a piping bag, or a zip lock sandwich bag and cut a
little hole in the corner of the bag. Works just fine for this job.

Pipe the mixture onto your trays, the recipe calls for 6cms long,
although you could make them shorter or longer.

Cook for 10 mins on 200 degrees Celsius, then reduce to
180 degrees Celsius and cook for 10mins or until golden.

Remove from the oven, and poke a whole in the side of each
eclair. You need to take the fluffy stuff from inside the
eclair out. Can get a little tricky here.

Return the eclairs to the oven for another 2 -3 mins. Remove and then cool on
a rack.

Whip Cream, Icing Sugar and Vanilla until thick. Pipe into the eclairs
through the whole you made when baking them.
Once each eclair is filled with cream, dip into your melted
chocolate and leave to set.

I placed mine into a pile whilst they were still sticky so
they would set together.

Ive been asked if I used the packet mix to make the eclair batter,
I can't see any point. They are pretty straight forward,
Butter, Water, Flour & Eggs.

I like to know that my flour is organic, australian
grown etc..... so its nice to make from scratch.
Also you get bragging rights...... Happy Baking.


Annie said...

Mmmm... Yum! As always, your kitchen creations are looking very, very tasty!
Hope Rose had a great birthday!
Annie - red bamboo

Canterfeet said...

..and you forgot to mention the biggest challenge of them all...trying to carry them down to the classroom in one piece, like some kind of a Pied Piper from Hamlin - with the classmates (et al), following you from the bus stop - all trying to get a peek at the goodies!

Sandrine said...

Happy birthday to your beautiful young lady!Great baking I love eclairs :)

m.e (Cathie) said...

they look fantastic! they look harder to make than what they are really, aren't they. I thought my 1st attempt was going to go horribly, but was fantastic. hope your little one had a fabulous birthday.