If you don't already know, I spend most of my free time running tests and doing experiments in order to constantly innovate, create or recreate something new or something I Iove. It doesn't all the time work out great of course, which can be quite disappointing at times because the harsh truth it that tests = ingredients wastage. And my costs are so very high, oh so very very high...
That said, when it does work out, it can be quite a wonder. It makes me happy and of course, the bellies of those around me. If you don't follow Shermay's Cooking School's facebook page or website, then you wouldn't know why I suddenly decided to test éclairs again. In July, I'm having a demo class on Choux Pastry which comprises of all the making, piping, filling, assembly, dressing and glazing of Éclairs and my St. Honoré. There will be a tasting thereafter and it's capped at 30 pax so if you'd love to learn how I make my Éclairs and St. Honoré, do sign up asap as slots fill up rather fast.
For the tasting, I think I've decided that I'll be doing the Vanilla Caramelized Pecans because it's simple, delicious and students always want to take away something they can easily replicate at home. This Vanilla Éclair is a classic but still elevated, and yet comprises of the fundamentals of filling and glazing an Éclair so I thought it would be a perfect fit for the class. However, I couldn't restrain myself from doing another test which was the classic Fôret Noir, a.k.a, Black Forest because I saw some beautiful Rainier cherries that day and I was reminded that it's Cherry season and boy do I love les griottes.
While the Black Forest Éclairs are mine, the Vanilla Éclairs were inspired by l'Éclair de Genie. Of their whole entire range of éclairs in the shop in Paris, that simple one was my ultimate favourite. If I can't get them here, make 'em right? And so I did recreate it, and I love it just the same.
It's simple really; I did a choux pastry, Tahitian Vanilla ganache montée, caramelized some pecans, and a white vanilla glaze.
I cannot say the same about my Black Forest ones though; that had many layers of textures and it was so rustic, dark but sophisticated all at the same time. Like I always say: "an oldie but a goodie".
Rocks? Gravel? Oh no, chocolate streusel.
Scintillant Rouge. I love playing around with scintillants. J sent me a bottle of various ones and I've been playing with them ever since. Love that deep red colour I got, almost the exact shade of that of a cherry. And that shimmer and shine...... I can't even. It's such a beautiful beautiful piece of art. Doing this was slightly challenging in the sense that these brandied cherries I got in Singapore don't come with the stems. I regret not buying a bottle back from Paris because this meant I had to manually pluck the stems off life-sized cherries and find ones that fitted these miniature Morello cherries.
On a side note, Happy June!! May was so incredibly busy for me but it was such a nice one anyway. June is pretty relaxed so I foresee myself doing more tests to create so keep reading to find out what's up to date in my little pastry lab.
On top of the 64% Manjari Chocolate Cremeux and Vanilla Cream in the Black Forest Éclairs, there is also a sour Morello Cherry Jelly piped inside. I made the jelly and then folded in some freshly diced dark cherries for sweetness and texture.
Éclairs are really self explanatory. They're so many ways to flavour and dress them that I currently have a gazillion ideas swimming around in my head. They're such great fun to make and the end product is always such a joy to see. Extremely visually pleasing to the eyes and on the mouth? Let's not even go there. Obnoxiously photogenic little things.
A lovely start to the week everyone. And have a great month of June again!