I was thinking of making eclairs a few weeks ago because I wanted to try cooking the pastry cream, but my sister wants to use fresh cream instead. She wins, because these are actually made for her friends, so she shall have the final say, and she is actually also helping me to cut the preparation time. I used the same recipe as the cream puffs I made on my first try. But this time round I piped them into eclairs instead.
The first arm-breaking stunt of the day: mixing the choux pastry dough. This time round, I am more comfortable with piping. At least I can pipe the batter into longish shapes now.
Second arm-breaking stunt of the day: whipping cream to stiff by hand. I'm very sure I'm going to have muscle ache tomorrow. I seriously think that the baked choux pastry looked like mini baguette, lolz.
Piped with cream and topped with chocolate ganache. A little too much cream actually. My sister complains that the cream is too stiff and not sweet enough. Haiz.
In addition to the eclairs, I decided to bake a chocolate cake coated with chocolate ganache as I wanted to use up as much of the whipping cream as possible. It will be Bing's birthday next week and I actually wanted to bake a cake for the occasion. But in the end, I ate a slice of the cake tonight. Haha. That's because I'm not confident it can be a birthday cake, so I decided to taste a slice of it before letting anyone else eat it.
Firstly, I suspected I had overbeaten the eggs. I used the handheld mixer and beat at high speed for 5 minutes, but when I held up the whisk, instead of seeing the ribbon stage, it looks more like a stiff peak stage. The batter was very thick, too thick in fact, because I can't draw the figure 8 without the batter breaking off. I suspect I had overbeaten it as I was only working with 2 eggs and 5 minutes may have been an overkill. Either that or because the eggs were low cholestrol ones.
I baked it in my new 15 cm pan, and the cake turns out to be 1 inch tall. It wasn't very hard but I suspect it would be dense. When slicing the cake into 2 layers, I used a small knife and as a result, the cake layers were very uneven. When applying the ganache, the cake soaked up the ganache as it was very runny. Glazing the top of the cake was also a big mess. Not sure if this cake will be edible, I tried a slice and it was surprising pretty good. Nothing can go wrong with chocolate, really. Though the sponge layer is really quite dense, the rich chocolate ganache makes up for it.