Happy November! I’m going to keep riding this pumpkin flavor wave until Thanksgiving rolls around. # 96: Pumpkin Chocolate Eclairs
November is the best month for many reasons:
- It starts to actually act like autumn weather in the Bay Area
- The holidays are right around the corner, but not so close that we have to stress about planning for them yet
- Pumpkins, cinnamon and apples are in nearly everything I eat and drink
- Last but not least, it’s my birthday month!!
Sweet, crisp choux pastry, filled with velvety pumpkin creme patissiere and topped with bittersweet chocolate and chopped pecans. Oh yeah.
Choux so far has been a hit or miss with me. These are the two main things I’ve learned so far:
- If the oven door opens while they’re baking, they won’t rise
- If your dough is too runny then it won’t crisp up while baking, staying soft and turning ooshy when you fill them (I know ooshy isn’t a word, but it just describes the texture perfectly
So essentially, don’t make these while distracted or in a rush. Which of course is how I normally bake everything, so you can see where my choux struggle lies. If the choux fits…? I’ll work on that pun.
Not quite ready yet – it needs to come together more. So close!
Once the dough is shiny and holding it’s shape, dump it in a bowl and add the eggs. After adding the eggs, it should be sturdy enough to hold a spoon upright all on it’s own.
You can’t see it under my hand, but I’ve twisted the top of the piping bag so I get as much of the dough out as possible. No dough left behind!
Voila! Next time I’ll leave them in a little longer for a more crispy texture, but at least these guys puffed up nicely.
This pastry cream has two thickeners: cornstarch in addition to egg. (It makes up for the added liquid from the pumpkin.)
For half the batch, I cut them lengthwise and filled them like so. For the second half, I poked holes in both ends and piped the filling in. Then you take a bite and magically pumpkin cream appears!
I tried crushing the pecans first, but honestly chopping them is more efficient. When you crush them, more of the oil comes out and makes it start to form a paste. I’m sure you all are thinking “obviously!” but like I said, distracted baker over here.
Go crazy with the chocolate! Life’s too short to make all the eclairs perfect. Happy munching!
Recipe partly from: https://www.thespruceeats.com/pumpkin-pastry-cream-recipe-1375631