Friday, April 15, 2011

French Fridays with Dorie Vanilla Éclairs

My very pretty mini Eclairs

My first attempt at making pâte à chaux was probably 30 years ago. My neighbor wanted to try making cream puffs. My thoughts were…these have to be quite difficult but, it was a challenge and I always loved a good challenge! We found a recipe and we each made our own batch. To our amazement,, they came out wonderful!! The challenge met…job well done…that's that!! Fast forward about 17 years. My daughter was getting married and we were throwing her a shower. I wanted to do fancy finger foods! Something elegant! I wanted to do a ladies tea! Pretty china, cloth napkins and beautiful food. Out comes my Martha Stewart Hors d'Oeuvers cookbook. Pâte à chaux puffs filled with chicken salad! Oh yes! Just what I was looking for. I made what seemed like hundreds but in actuality were probably about 80 or 90 puffs. As I made them, I was able to freeze them. I took them out of the freezer the day of the shower and filled them with the chicken salad. They were a hit! I decided to keep the "pate a chaux puffs" in my "go to" file. A short time later, I needed a dessert for our dinner club and decided to make profiteroles. Awesome! But, until today, I have never made Eclairs. This weeks FFWD recipe was for Vanilla Eclairs. Dorie gave us a lot of choices with these eclairs. Chocolate filling, vanilla pastry cream or profiteroles, which are filled with ice cream. I chose to make eclairs and profiteroles. I made my eclairs shorter then Dorie suggests. Three inches long gave me a very nice mini eclair. I had never piped pastry before. I think I could have made them a bit fatter. I chose to make a vanilla pastry cream for the filling and finish with a chocolate ganache for the top. Since I plan on using the profiteroles for Easter, I made two for the photos and froze the rest for later. These were delicious and my Easter company will definitely appreciate having these as part of our dessert selection!

I really enjoy making Pâte à chaux and had fun with this recipe…If you need a challenge, give them a try. This recipe came from Dorie Greenspans new cookbook "Around My French Table". If you'd like to have your own copy you can get it here...Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours.

Ingredients for pâte à chaux

Boiling the milk mixture

Flour being stirred in

Ready for the eggs

After the eggs were added

Piped eclairs


Vanilla pastry cream 

Pastry cream cooling

Pretty Profiteroles!!
Post script to my I was hitting the publish post button I accidentally deleted my whole post..I still don't know how I did it but for the second time this morning here we go!!


  1. I like your mini pastries! And, chicken salad in the baked puffs? That sounds tasty!

  2. Your mini eclairs and profiteroles look very pretty, and I bet they tasted pretty awesome too!

  3. Oh Kathy, my heart goes out to you! Losing the post...oh my goodness. What a pain. Your profiteroles and eclairs came out perfectly! Easter is going to be great at your house!

  4. Oh - I hate it when that happens. That it is truly an UGH moment.

    Your pastries look lovely! You should make more eclairs - because who doesn't need more ecliars in their life?

  5. The vanilla pastry cream filled eclairs with the ganache glaze look just so scrumptious, I wish I could enjoy one right now.
    The how to photos look great. This pastry really is a versatile one;-)

  6. Yours look PERFECT! So poofed and lovely! YUM!

  7. Kathy dear, some of your photos are actually making me blush they look so good. :) I had to skip this one as I just got home from a trip but I think I'll play catch up this weekend as my honey adores profiteroles and I think he would be quite pleased to see that I made some.

  8. kathy! these are just lovely photos. i'm drooling looking at your eclairs and i'm sad all the ones i made are already gone. i guess i'll have to make some more.

  9. I'm sorry you had to redo your post. Better the post than the eclairs though, right? Your eclair photos look great.

  10. I'm impressed with your eclairs and profiteroles. They look delcious. And I like the idea of chicken salad in the puffed pastry. What perfect shower food.

  11. They look so pretty and puffy, Kathy! You did a fantastic job! I bet your profiteroles with the chicken salad were a hit at your daughter's shower.

  12. Kathy your eclairs look amazing! I'm so jealous of your process photos. I was too freaked out to even think about picking up my camera! Love that this recipe has been a part of your life for so long. I think it will be for me from here on out as well.

  13. Kathy-It's been about thirty years ago when I made homemade cream puffs, and don't even have that recipe any more. Now I know where to find this amazing recipe. Lora has the book and it's a must try.
    Your eclairs look so scrumptious, light, and yet decadent with the chocolate ganache.
    So sorry you deleted your happened to me too a few times. Now I make sure to press the save button, so I don't delete by mistake.

    Lovely photos, as well!

  14. Love, love your eclairs, That thick chocolate ganache is so lucious! Pate choux is timeless, indeed. Thanks for sharing your memories of making these awesome pastries.

  15. You've done it again, I'm drooling.....but I get to eat one and they don't, bwahhaha (evil laff) on Easter. Once again, you pics are absolutely professional. You take a difficult process and make it look so easy with your step by step instructions, great job!

  16. Your eclairs are just gorgeous, as are the profiteroles. I really appreciate your process photos - they always turn out so well.

  17. How wonderful! They are so pretty. Thank you for posting the photos because I really didn't know how they are made. I just got the Dorie cookbook in the mail. Wow.

  18. Your profiteroles look amazing!
    I love your photos, my day was such a blur, looking at them brought back memories of the process. I can sit back and enjoy it now! Thank You!
    I hope your Easter dinner goes well!
    Have a wonderful holiday!

  19. Those eclairs look so nice and fluffy! I can only imagine how amazing they must taste :)