Homemade Eclairs & Chocolate Cream Pie

I am finding that I am not having any trouble keeping up with my weekly baking adventure, but I am having a hard time getting a blog post written each week.  I will try to do better, but no promises.  I finally felt up to taking on advanced recipes and went straight for homemade eclairs followed by chocolate cream pie with oreo cookies crust.  I love eclairs, and chocolate cream pie is a favorite Thanksgiving dessert, so I was very hopeful that they would turn out well.  And I am pleased to announce that, a little under-baking on the eclairs aside, they were AMAZING!

Eclairs

Eclairs are one of my favorite desserts, and ever since I started my baking adventure I have wanted to make them. They are very intimidating because they have so many steps, and the dough is very easy to mess up, so I have been putting them off.  Turns out they are just as time consuming to make as I imagined.  It took me a whole evening to prepare, bake, and fill the eclairs, and as I hinted at earlier they did not turn out 100% correct.

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One of the things that Cooks Illustrated warns about is to make sure that your pastry is cooked fully before moving on to the next step.  Unfortunately, it is difficult to tell when they are finished because an undercooked pastry looks just as golden brown as a fully cooked one.  I fell prey to this, and took my pastries out of the oven too early.  When I cut into them to release the steam, they deflated.  I was still able to fill the pastries just fine, and they tasted amazing, but they did not look as nice as I would have liked.

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In the end they were so tasty I didn’t care that they looked a little off, and I am definitely going to make them again.

Chocolate Cream Pie

Chocolate cream pie has a history attached to it at our Thanksgiving dinners.  My mom used to make it out of jello pudding when I was a kid, and I thought that was stellar.  Then Matt tried to out do my mom and make it from scratch only to end up with something that more resembled chocolate puddle pie.  So, when I decided to take on my own from-scratch chocolate cream pie, there was a lot of internal pressure to get it right.

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It was a little complicated and required getting all my ingredients measured out and in place before I started, but it was totally worth it.  It was amazing.  My biggest fear was that the texture wouldn’t end up right, but I had nothing to worry about.  There were no scrambled eggs. It didn’t turn into a puddle.  It was perfect!  My second biggest fear was that it wouldn’t taste like much, but it really had a nice chocolaty flavor.

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The one thing that didn’t work out as well as I hoped was what I thought would be easiest part.  The Oreo cookie crust turned out to be difficult to get set in the pie pan, and then it crumbled when we cut the pie.  I think it needed more butter, but I am not honestly sure.  It still tasted good though.

All in all these turned out to be two very successful desserts that I will likely make again.

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