Chocolate Grand Marnier Éclairs
Posted by: TUDDLES Fri 20 Jan 2006 12:13 pm
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup water
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/8 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
Chocolate Grand Marnier filling:
3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
2 tablespoons cold water
1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon orange juice
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
Make the éclairs:
1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees F. Line
two baking sheets with baking parchment.
2. In a glass measuring cup, stir the eggs with a fork until blended. Pour
approximately 2 tablespoons of the beaten eggs into a small cup, leaving 1/2 cup
of the egg mixture in the measuring cup.
3. In a medium heavy saucepan, combine the water, butter and salt. Over medium
heat, stirring occasionally, heat the water mixture until the butter has melted.
Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil. Remove the pan
from the heat.
4. Using a wire whisk, stir in the flour. Whisk vigorously for 20 to 30 seconds,
until the mixture is smooth and pulls away from the side of the pan. Return the
pan to the heat and stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, cook for 30 to 60
seconds, until the paste forms a very smooth ball. Stir in orange zest. Transfer
the paste to a large bowl.
5. Pour the reserved 1/2 cup of beaten eggs over the paste and beat vigorously
with a wooden spoon for 45 to 60 seconds, until the mixture forms a smooth, soft
dough. The dough should hold its shape when scooped up with a spoon but be soft
enough to slowly slide off the spoon when tilted. If the dough does not slide
off the spoon, add 1/2 tablespoon of the reserved egg mixture, beat until smooth
and retest the dough with a spoon. The remaining 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of egg
will be used to glaze the tops of the éclairs before they are baked.
6. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a 5/6-inch plain tip (such as Ateco #3) with
the éclair dough. Pipe 5-inch strips approximately 1/2-inch wide on the prepared
baking sheets. Leave about 1 1/2 inches between éclairs. Dip your finger in some
of the remaining beaten egg and gently smooth down any "tails" left from piping.
Lightly brush the tops of the éclairs with more of the egg.
7. Bake the éclairs, one baking sheet at a time, for 10 minutes, propping the
oven door open about 2 inches with the handle of a wooden spoon. Reduce the oven
temperature to 375 degrees F and close the oven door. Continue baking the
éclairs for 20 to 25 minutes, until they are crisp. Transfer the éclairs to a
wire rack and cool completely. The éclairs may be prepared up to this point and
stored in an airtight container at room temperature for one day or in the
freezer for up to one month.
Make the Chocolate-Grand Marnier filling:
8. Melt the chocolate with the water and Grand Marnier according to the
directions in the Chocolate Key.
9. Place the cold water in a small saucepan. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water
and let the mixture stand for 5 minutes to soften the gelatin. Place the
saucepan over low heat and cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly with a
wooden spoon, until the gelatin granules dissolve completely and the mixture is
clear. Allow the mixture to cool until tepid.
10. In a chilled 4 1/2-quart bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer, using the wire
whip attachment, begin to whip the heavy cream at low speed. While continuing to
whip the cream, gradually add the cooled gelatin mixture to the cream in a slow
stream. Stop the mixer and scrape down the side of the bowl with a rubber
spatula. Add the cooled melted chocolate mixture and continue
to whip the cream, increasing the speed to medium, until it begins to mound. Do
not overwhip. Cover the surface of the filling with plastic wrap and chill
for 30 minutes.
Make the glaze:
11. In a small bowl whisk together the orange juice and confectioners' sugar
Assemble and glaze the éclairs:
12. Poke a hole in each end of the éclairs with a skewer. Fill a pastry bag
fitted with a 1/6-inch plain tip (such as Ateco #1) with the Grand Marnier
filling. Insert the tip of the pastry bag into the hole at each end of the
éclair and fill with some of the filling. Repeat with remaining éclairs.
13. Drizzle the orange glaze over the top of each éclair. Garnish with strips
of orange peel, if desired.
Yield: 8 eclairs