Sometimes things are bound to be an epic bomb. Sadly, the bubble eclairs turned out this way for me. I’ve made choux pastry before and it’s always turned out great. I feel as though I had omens this particular venture wouldn’t work out but I kept going forward.
I was really excited about using pearl sugar and had planned ahead and ordered some online. Being so ahead of schedule I didn’t bother with expedited shipping. This turned out to be a fatal error as what was sent to me can only be described a kid’s sugar experiment gone awry. I received giant and jagged sugar lumps in an industrial bag with the marking KEEP AWAY FROM CHILDREN. No list of ingredients, manufacturers name or anything to indicate what was inside. Kudos to Amazon for giving me a prompt refund and directing me to their own listing and offering expedited shipping. Unfortunately it was still a little too late. I looked everywhere locally for pearl sugar and even had some friends looking and couldn’t find it anywhere.
So I decided what the heck I’ll go with streusel topping. This turned out to be mistake number two. The hot Arizona summer can make my kitchen a little tricky sometimes. Despite my AC it appears that my ingredients can still feel the heat sometimes and this streusel was no exception. It hindered my eclairs from puffing and started burning after only half the cooking time. They actually tasted pretty ok and had the perfect custardy interior but they just did not look all that pretty.
Mistake number three was thinking that I should try this all over again. That batch was pretty much a disaster. No puff, no chew and no fun.
So what to do when a recipe just isn’t working? Normally I’ll keep going till I get my desired result. In this case I really didn’t want a whole bunch of eclairs and I knew that we will eventually get to making cream puffs. Even though I’ve successfully made them in the past these days I never make my own eclairs. Why? Because I have a really amazing French bakery that I frequent.
Essence Bakery is truly an amazing place. They’ve worked hard to perfect their croissant recipe for our desert weather. On one visit my friend Sarah declared it the best croissant she’s had outside of Paris. They also make delicious eclairs. For me, one really excellent eclair is perfect to share. Scott was sweet enough to purchase one to showcase here. I snuck a bite after he cut into it and it was unbelievable. If you get the chance to visit Phoenix I would encourage you to visit one of their locations.
I had made some tasty coconut pastry cream for my eclairs but rather than waste it I set it aside and will make a coconut banana cream pie. Even with the baking portion of this turning out kind of sad, in the end I got to support one of my favorite bakeries and enjoy a delicious eclair. That’s a happy ending if I’ve ever heard one.