I admit it. I did not believe in myself when I set out to make this. French pastries freak me out when I am making them. But did I fail? I will tell you, actually, show you in a bit.
I have dreamed of eating eclairs since I was young and spent so many hours reading Enid Blyton’s books. For the uninitiated, this British author was the queen of children’s fiction. She reigned over children’s literature from the 20’s to the 60’s but I know children loved reading her books even her peak years. My sister and I were introduced to Blyton by my mother and I have childhood memories dotted with holidays solely dedicated to reading Famous Five, The Five-Find Outers and Mallory Towers and lusting after all the delicious food they eat in the books. Believe me, there were lots of ’em!
Apart from dreaming of bacon and eggs (and not knowing that bacon was meat) and Joanna’s (the cook in Famous Five) famous ginger cookies, I used to wonder what chocolate eclairs tasted like. They sounded delicious whenever the Find Outers ate them at their local swanky cafe near the railway station, especially in Mystery of the Missing Man. In my later years, I remember Googling all the food featured on Enid Blyton’s books just to know what they looked like.
Though I am not all that new to baking, I have always thought Eclairs was a dish I would shy away from making due to the complicated process it involves. But today, I had all the ingredients I needed to make this pastry and a very empty schedule for the day. Moreover, Julia Child gave me the confidence I really need to “buck up” as Blyton’s characters would say. This recipe is an adaptation from the foodnetwork website and Child’s book, The way to Cook. You can follow the link for the former and as for the latter, I promise to type out and publish soon.
I was pretty scared of making the pastry primarily because I ended up with flat dough, although I followed the recipe to the T. Thankfully, I decided to let my oven judge it. Within five minutes of baking it, the pastry puffed up and roughly twenty minutes later, I had two beautifully light, meringue-ish pastry in my hands. Needless to say, the Mister fell in love with it and wished I had made more than two (we are on a diet as always). Ah well, there is always the lazy weekend!