I almost forgot that I needed to write this post. It was only because someone responded to a comment of mine that it even occurred to me!
Right now we are in the home stretch of packing for our move to Florida. We leave in 4 days, not including today, although we really must include it because there is still so much to do! The kitchen has been long packed up, but I left my Dorie books out because there was a challenge, and no move was going to stop me!
Luckily Eclairs are an easier challenge. The challenge, for me, was making these in someone else’s kitchen (my mother in law’s), using unfamiliar tools and having no scale. Everything dry was sifted, spooned, and leveled to make sure that it wouldn’t be too dry without weighing it all, and it did turnout great. Not at all dry. I couldn’t let a cross-country move deter me from a Dorie challenge! That night I also made the Orange Pork Tenderloin from AMFT, which was also a huge hit. My husband has had pork tenderloin ruined for him in the distant past, so he is generally averse to eating it, but he loved this for all its flavor and juiciness!
Anyway, side note. I went to IKEA to look for the Swedish pearl sugar, but it seems they discontinued carrying it, at least in our store, about 3 years ago. Instead, this happened:
Between me and my husband we bought about 3lbs of candy, so at least the trip to IKEA was not wasted. But let’s be honest. Is a trip to IKEA ever wasted? I am pretty sure not.
I did go back to Gygi for the sugar, and also left with 6 lbs of Callebaut White Chocolate. This is the stuff with the cocoa butter in it that was so very hard to find when we were using it for a previous challenge, so until I can source it in Florida I have no qualms about keeping it on ice in a cooler for the duration of the drive. After all, I refuse to ditch my passion fruit puree either. Plus I was easily swayed by the cashier’s tall tales about the high cost of shipping chocolate, and how people will fly out here and drive chocolate back across state lines. No complaints from me. It all feels so culinarily clandestine! I also left with a new star piping tip, a few new cooling racks, another half sheet pan, some pre-cut half sheet pan parchment paper, and pre-cut quarter sheet pan parchment paper.
So for the cream puffs! I actually did a pastry cream in the bottom, with a sweetened whipped cream on top. Both my husband and I thought it would be lovely with a coulis or other bright fruit puree in the bottom too. As you can see I also used the Swedish pearl sugar on top. I piped the pâte a choux bubblesa bit overlapping (using my fabulous new star tip), and thought that it wouldn’t turn out, but they actually looked quite good, and stayed together.
As a side note, I consistently use Nielsen Massey Vanilla Bean Paste EVERYWHERE that Extract is called for but of course that was packed so I used regular McCormick Vanilla Extract in the pastry cream. Man what a difference that makes! So much less vanilla-y. Still delicious, but way less vanilla flavor. I will never go back. In fact, the only thing that stopped me from just buying the industrial sized jug was the fact that I would have to pack that. Not that it stopped me from buying OTHER things, but really. Maybe buying the gallon bottle is going over the top. Maybe not. Gygi ships, and the gallon jug saves money. Just sayin’.
Anyway, the Eclairs were gone in a flash. Almost in less than 5 minutes. That is the glory of cooking at my mother in law’s. Everyone loves it, and there isn’t anything to store away.
Alright guys, see you on the flip side in Florida for the next challenge! We will just be getting there on the 3rd, which should be just in time. Priorities.