Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Chewy Muesli Bars

Breakfast IS the most important meal of the day. And yet how many of us just pop out of the house in the morning thinking - 'I'll have more time tomorrow', 'I'll buy it on the way', 'I'm not really hungry', or the worst excuse of all 'I'm not a breakfast person'!! Supermarkets offer all kinds of breakfast options, and while the best breakfast might actually be oat or wheat porridge, its nice occasionally to jazz it up. These Muesli Bars do the trick!!

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup oats
1/3 cup oat bran
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup dark raisins
1/3 cup almonds
1/4 cup pecans
1/4 cup grated coconut

  1. Preheat the oven to 320F.
  2. Place the butter in the microwave for 11/2 minutes or until completely melted.
  3. Remove and add the sugar. Mix well until it is well blended.
  4. Add all the remaining ingredients to the the butter-sugar mix, and blend well. It mixture well just about bind together.
  5. Spoon this mixture onto a greased cookie sheet, spread, and the press down with a large flat spoon. You can do this with your fingers too, but beware, the mix might be too hot.
  6. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. Cool on the sheet. Slice or cut into squares. (Note: at this stage the baked mix might be quite firm. Take care when cutting).
These Muesli Bars are yummy on their own, with a glass of cold milk, or your morning cuppa ( tea for me)!! Packed with whole grain goodness, I find that the coconut, almond, and pecans all add to my energy levels and keep many cravings at bay till lunch. I always make a fresh batch of these bars on Sunday. These bars also make a great snack especially during long-distance travel. They are really easy to carry and very satisfying after a nice long hike or bicycle ride. Try them once, I promise you will not look back!!!!

These wholesome whole grain bars go out to Suganya at Tasty Palettes who is hosting JFI - Whole Grains this month. And as these grains make a great breakfast, these bars go to Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen. She is hosting Weekend Breakfast Blogging, the theme for which is Grains in My Breakfast.

All text and photographs in this blog, unless otherwise noted, are Copyright of © Annarasa 2007-2013. All Rights Reserved. Kindly do not reproduce without permission.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Garden-Fresh Salad

My patio vegetable patch has been yielding some lovely cucumbers and plum tomatoes this week. These are great for snacking, but I occasionally toss them into a bowl for a salad. The salad here is a simple salad, but it packs a great punch when accompanied with a nice heavy desi-style lunch. Alternately pair it with Spicy Paneer-Filled Rolls or a Pilaf for a complete meal!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Lavash Crackers: A Vegan & Gluten Free Challenge

A new frontier for the Daring Bakers opened up this month with a vegan and/or gluten free challenge. Two Alternative Daring Bakers : Natalie from Gluten A Go Go and Shel of Musings From the Fishbowl are hosting this challenge. And with great delight I found that the challenge this month was savory. The aim was to make Lavash Crackers from Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice (pp 178 - 180).

The Challenge: From Natalie & ShelMake Lavash Crackers and create a dip/spread/salsa/relish to accompany it. This challenge allows for large helpings of creativity and personality, with the crackers, your flavor choices for the crackers, and with your dip/spread choice. You can create your own dip/spread recipe, use one of your favorites, or use one of the recipes we’ve provided at the bottom of this post. Get crazy ! Just be sure to post the recipe along with your challenge crackers so we can see what you made and how you made it (so we can try it, too!).

The Rules:
You have so much freedom! You can make the Lavash Crackers either with all purpose wheat flour or you can try making them gluten free. You may use any variety of spices/seeds/salt to top the crackers. All dips/spreads/
relishes/salsas must be vegan and gluten free.

The Definitions: Vegan - no animal products of any kind (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veganism); Gluten Free - No wheat (including kamut and spelt), barley, rye, and triticale, as well as the use of gluten as a food additive in the form of a flavoring, stabilizing or thickening agent. For the purposes of this challenge, we are also excluding oats, even though there are gluten free oats available in some parts of the world. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gluten_free)

Heads Up :
* You can do so much to make this recipe your own – adding dried herbs or roasted garlic, etc., to the dough, using gourmet spices-salts-seasonings-seeds to sprinkle on top, etc.
* Read carefully ! The following recipe includes directions for both gluten-free crackers (à la Natalie !) and traditional AP flour crackers.
* The key to crispy crackers is rolling out the dough as thinly as possible. We noticed that the crackers turned out better if you divide the dough in half before rolling. You’ll roll out the dough as per the directions, decorate and cook the crackers in two batches.
* We’ve included some links with examples of the finished Lavash at the bottom of the post. J

RECIPE - Recipe Reference: The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering The Art of Extraordinary Bread, by Peter Reinhart. Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, CA. Copyright 2001. ISBN-10: 1-58008-268-8, ISBN-13: 978-158008-268-6.

Here's a simple formula for making snappy Armenian-style crackers, perfect for breadbaskets, company and kids...It is similar to the many other Middle Eastern and Northern African flatbreads known by different names, such as mankoush or mannaeesh (Lebanese), barbari (Iranian), khoubiz or khobz (Arabian), aiysh (Egyptian), kesret and mella (Tunisian), pide or pita (Turkish), and pideh (Armenian). The main difference between these breads is either how thick or thin the dough is rolled out, or the type of oven in which they are baked (or on which they are baked, as many of these breads are cooked on stones or red-hot pans with a convex surface)...

The key to a crisp lavash,...is to roll out the dough paper-thin. The sheet can be cut into crackers in advance or snapped into shards after baking. The shards make a nice presentation when arranged in baskets.

Ingredients:1 1/2 cups (6.75 oz) unbleached bread flour or gluten free flour blend (If you use a blend without xanthan gum, add 1 tsp xanthan or guar gum to the recipe)
1/2 tsp (.13 oz) salt
1/2 tsp (.055 oz) instant yeast
1 tbsp (.75 oz) agave syrup or sugar
1 tbsp(.5 oz) vegetable oil
1/3 to 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp water, at room temperature
Poppy seeds, sesame seeds, paprika, cumin seeds, caraway seeds, or kosher salt for toppings

Method:1. In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, salt yeast, agave, oil, and just enough water to bring everything together into a ball. You may not need the full 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp of water, but be prepared to use it all if needed.

2. For Non Gluten Free Cracker Dough: Sprinkle some flour on the counter and transfer the dough to the counter. Knead for about 10 minutes, or until the ingredients are evenly distributed. The dough should pass the windowpane test and register 77 degrees to 81 degrees Fahrenheit. The dough should be firmer than French bread dough, but not quite as firm as bagel dough (what I call medium-firm dough), satiny to the touch, not tacky, and supple enough to stretch when pulled. Lightly oil a bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.


2. For Gluten Free Cracker Dough: The dough should be firmer than French bread dough, but not quite as firm as bagel dough (what I call medium-firm dough), and slightly tacky. Lightly oil a bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

3. Ferment at room temperature for 90 minutes, or until the dough doubles in size. (You can also retard the dough overnight in the refrigerator immediately after kneading or mixing).

4. For Non Gluten Free Cracker Dough: Mist the counter lightly with spray oil and transfer the dough to the counter. Press the dough into a square with your hand and dust the top of the dough lightly with flour. Roll it out with a rolling pin into a paper thin sheet about 15 inches by 12 inches. You may have to stop from time to time so that the gluten can relax. At these times, lift the dough from the counter and wave it a little, and then lay it back down. Cover it with a towel or plastic wrap while it relaxes. When it is the desired thinness, let the dough relax for 5 minutes. Line a sheet pan with baking parchment. Carefully lift the sheet of dough and lay it on the parchment. If it overlaps the edge of the pan, snip off the excess with scissors.


4. For Gluten Free Cracker Dough: Lay out two sheets of parchment paper. Divide the cracker dough in half and then sandwich the dough between the two sheets of parchment. Roll out the dough until it is a paper thin sheet about 15 inches by 12 inches. Slowly peel away the top layer of parchment paper. Then set the bottom layer of parchment paper with the cracker dough on it onto a baking sheet.

5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit with the oven rack on the middle shelf. Mist the top of the dough with water and sprinkle a covering of seeds or spices on the dough (such as alternating rows of poppy seeds, sesame seeds, paprika, cumin seeds, caraway seeds, kosher or pretzel salt, etc.) Be careful with spices and salt - a little goes a long way. If you want to precut the cracker, use a pizza cutter (rolling blade) and cut diamonds or rectangles in the dough. You do not need to separate the pieces, as they will snap apart after baking. If you want to make shards, bake the sheet of dough without cutting it first.

5. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the crackers begin to brown evenly across the top (the time will depend on how thinly and evenly you rolled the dough).

6. When the crackers are baked, remove the pan from the oven and let them cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. You can then snap them apart or snap off shards and serve.

What I Did:I chose to make the non-gluten free crackers. I prepared the dough and then divided it into 2 parts. In one I mixed some onion seeds and in the other Italian herbs. I baked the onion seeds dough in sheets and the one with the herbs I cut into circles. The crackers came out really crisp and crunchy. They were very tasty and also very light as munchies. I served mine with home-made Baba Ghanoush (recipe to follow). All in all, this recipe is a keeper.Though it really is an effort to roll the dough out to the requisite thin-ness, the results are well worth it!!

All text and photographs in this blog, unless otherwise noted, are Copyright of © Annarasa 2007. All Rights Reserved. Kindly do not reproduce without permission.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Spicy Panner-Filled Rolls

Paneer or Indian-Style Cottage Cheese makes a delicious filling for these quick and easy bread rolls. Paneer is usually made with buffalo milk and is rich in calcium and contains upto 500mg calcium in a serving of a single cup. Quite simply, its good for you. These rolls taste delicious warm or cold. They are perfect as a snack, great for a party, but throw in a salad or soup and you get a yummy meal that's nutritious at the same time.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Lemony Chickpea & Macaroni Chaat

Here's another original from my kitchen - Chickpea & Macaroni Chaat!! As all my friends and family know, I love to be creative in the kitchen. So, when we got home last Saturday, exhausted after some biking, we couldn't wait to get some lunch. Well, it was closer tea time and the breakfast we'd eaten had long been digested. Of course, we could have eaten out. But our new mantra is to avoid eating out as much as possible - primarily with the aim of avoiding unnecessary calories from restaurant food and hence to replace any such meal with a healthier home-cooked alternative.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Mini-Appams for Onam

I decided to make some appam for Onam this year. I had just bought a packet of double roasted rice flour to make Palappam or Vellaiappam!! Its the first time I saw it at my local desi store. I was really excited until I found that all the instructions for use were in Malyalam!!!! After much deliberation, I decided to experiment and here is the recipe I used to make some delicious Vellaiappam. To make sure the experiment would work, I made these a few days before Onam.

However, I had quite a bit of batter remaining, which I promptly refrigerated. I am happy to report that it did quite well under refrigeration. I could not do much cooking for the last few days, anyway, as I was completely out of action with my cut finger. This morning when I pulled the batter out, I was delighted to find it usable. I decided to go creative and make something different, and as it turned out, even more delicious with them. And so the Mini-Appams came into being. These turn out crispy on the outside and wonderfully spongy on the inside. They retain their ability to mop up any curry and have a great taste too. They are a treat on their own, and can be served as a heavy snack with chutney. But I think they will be perfect for a party where you have many guests - a sort of cross between an idli and an appam!!!!

For Appam Batter:2 cups rice flour
1 tsp yeast
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup water
1 tsp sugar
1 cup coconut milk
Extra milk as needed

  1. Warm the milk and water in a pan. Add sugar, dissolve. Then sprinkle the yeast. Let it sit for a few minutes or until you see it frothing.
  2. Mix well, and add it with the coconut milk into the rice flour. Add extra milk if needed to get a dropping consistency.
  3. Let the batter sit overnight in a warm place.
  4. The batter will rise and become frothy and will be ready to use in the morning
  5. Keep tuned for the Appam method in a following post!
For the Mini-Appams:
2 cups appam batter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 green chilli, minced
1 tbsp cilantro, minced
1 tsp cumin seeds
Oil, as needed
Salt to taste

  1. Mix all the ingredients into the batter.
  2. Heat the Uniappam pan. Pour a very small amount of oil into the cavaties.
  3. Pour spoonfuls of batter till the rim.
  4. Fry on medium heat.
  5. Turn the mini-appams halfway through cooking.
  6. When done, remove and place on a kitchen towel. This will help drain away any excess oil.
  7. Serve hot with a curry of your choice.
These lovely Mini-Appams are my contrinution to Festival Food - Onam Celebrations, hosted this month by notyet100 of Asan Kahna. To read more about Onam and see the treat that's cooking in celebration for this colourful harvest festival, visit Asan Khana.

All text and photographs in this blog, unless otherwise noted, are Copyright of © Annarasa 2007-2013. All Rights Reserved. Kindly do not reproduce without permission.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

An Injury, a Tag, and a Time to Give Thanks!

While cooking is my passion, I had a rather unfortunate encounter with a kitchen knife this weekend. I injured my finger as I attempted to chop some really tough coconut. This has put me out of action for the last few days:(

Well, the good news is that after 4 days of concern, the cut is now well on its way to healing, and I am able to type without much pain!! I thought I'd take this time to pen a non-recipe blog. To begin with, I have been encouraged this last month by several words of appreciation from fellow food bloggers. These are displayed on the left margin of this blog. I would like to thank http://simpleindianfood.blogspot.com/and http://kitchenflavours.blogspot.com/ for their thoughtfulness:)

Kitchen Flavours also tagged me with the job of presenting my most unspectacular quirks (odd habits). Funny how one never really thinks about such things.

1. Fresh fruit is a great treat after a meal.
2. Shopping is a chore.
3. A daily swim is refreshing.
4. Whenever I go to the ice-cream shoppe, I get always try a new flavour.
5. Sunday papers are a fun read.
6. I like cloth kerchiefs!

Here goes the rules for the game:
1. Link back to the person who tagged you
2. Mention the rules on your blog.
3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours.
4. Tag 6 following bloggers by linking them.
5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they have been tagged.

I would like to invite the following bloggers to share their unspectacular quirks via this tag:

Red Chillies

Have a great day everyone!!

All text and photographs in this blog, unless otherwise noted, are Copyright of © Annarasa 2007. All Rights Reserved. Kindly do not reproduce without permission.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Methi-Kanda Pakoras | Fenugreek-Onion Fritters

Something for a rainy day? How about pokaras? A tea-time staple, these Indian-style fritters are quickly rustled up and served with tea especially when there are unexpected visitors. Loved by kids and adults alike, pakoras come in all shapes and sizes. Vegetables of choice are cut in bite-sized portions and covered with seasoned chickpea flour and deep-fried. In my home we love onion pakoras. I usually make them on a really rainy day and serve them hot with a steaming cup of sweet tea!!

Methi-Kanda Pakoras or fenugreek-onion fritters taste divine. The somewhat bitter taste of fresh fenugreek leaves combines very well with the sweet flavour of the onions. I usually use the red onions as they turn out more crispy when fried. I have found that the white or yellow onions are more watery that the red ones and do not acquire or retain the desirable crispness when deep frying.

1 cup fenugreek leaves, tightly packed
1 medium onion, chopped fine
3/4 cup chickpea flour
2 green chillies
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp red chilli powder
Salt to taste
Water, just enough to make a batter
Oil, for deep frying

  1. Place the chickpea flour in a large mixing bowl. Add the cumin seeds, chilli powder, and salt. Sift together.
  2. Now add just enough water to make a batter. Make sure that the batter is completely free of any lumps.
  3. Chop the fenugreek leaves coarsely, mince the green chillies, and mix with the onion. Pour this into the prepared batter and blend together, making sure that all the vegetable has a coating of the batter.
  4. Heat oil for deep frying in a heavy bottomed wok. Reduce heat to medium. Gently drop spoonfuls of the onion-fenugreek batter into the oil. Fry on medium heat until the pakoras are well cooked and golden brown in colour.
  5. Serve hot with fresh green chutney.
This delicious treat goes out to Herb Mania hosted this month by Red Chillies.

Vegan Recipe

All text and photographs in this blog, unless otherwise noted, are Copyright of © Annarasa 2007-2013. All Rights Reserved. Kindly do not reproduce without permission.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Besan Laddoos & Sabudana Khichiri

Besan Laddoos make a beautiful and tasty naivedyam. Its also one sweet that stays well and stores well too. This year I decided to make besan laddoos for Ganesh Chaturthi. This is a really tasty recipe - and makes a delicious festival food.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Ganesh Chaturthi

Vakratunda Mahakaaya, Suryakoti Samaprabha, Nirvighnam Kuru Mey Deva, Sarva Kaaryeshu Sarvada

Salutations to the supreme Lord Ganesha, whose curved trunk and massive body shines like a million suns and showers his blessings on everyone. Oh my lord of lords Ganesha, kindly remove all obstacles, always and forever from all my activities and endeavors.

Happy Ganesh Chaturthi!! Our offering to Lord Ganesha: Besan Laddoo & Sabudana Kichiri.
*Recipes to follow.

All text and photographs in this blog, unless otherwise noted, are Copyright of © Annarasa 2007. All Rights Reserved. Kindly do not reproduce without permission.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Back With a Puff: Chocolate Eclairs with a Daring Baker

Chocolate Eclairs, for me, are melt in the mouth Choux Pastry that brings with it an explosion of the cream puff, fresh cream filling, and the very fudgy chocolate glaze!! Its a recipe that I picked up sometime in high school and have many happy memories of seeing the joy it has brought to everyone I have shared it with. Needless to say, I was delighted when I found that Chocolate Éclairs by Pierre Hermé was the recipe chosen by Meeta and Tony for the August Daring Bakers Challenge!!

The recipe as posted on the DB Challenge shows Éclairs as consisting of 3 elements:- Pate a Choux, or Choux Pastry or Cream Puff Dough, Pastry Cream, and Chocolate Glaze. The detailed recipe is as follows:

Chocolate Éclairs @ Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé
makes 20-24 Éclairs

Making the Cream Puffs:
  1. Take one portion Cream Puff Dough (see below for recipe), fresh and still warm
  2. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Divide the oven into thirds bypositioning the racks in the upper and lower half of the oven. Line two baking sheets withwaxed or parchment paper.
  3. Fill a large pastry bag fitted with a 2/3 (2cm) plain tip nozzle with the warm cream puff dough.Pipe the dough onto the baking sheets in long, 4 to 41/2 inches (about 11 cm) chubby fingers.Leave about 2 inches (5 cm) space in between each dough strip to allow them room to puff.The dough should give you enough to pipe 20-24 éclairs.
  4. Slide both the baking sheets into the oven and bake for 7 minutes. After the 7 minutes, slip the handle of a wooden spoon into the door to keep in ajar. When the éclairs have been in the oven for a total of 12 minutes, rotate the sheets top to bottom and front to back. Continue baking for a further 8 minutes or until the éclairs are puffed, golden and firm. The total baking time should be approximately 20 minutes.
  5. The éclairs can be kept in a cool, dry place for several hours before filling.
Assembling the Eclairs:
  1. For this you need the Chocolate Glaze (see below for recipe), the Chocolate Pastry Cream (see above for recipe), and the cooled Eclairs.
  2. Slice the éclairs horizontally, using a serrated knife and a gently sawing motion. Set aside the bottoms and place the tops on a rack over a piece of parchment paper.
  3. The glaze should be barely warm to the touch (between 95 – 104 degrees F or 35 – 40degrees C, as measured on an instant read thermometer). Spread the glaze over the tops of the éclairs using a metal icing spatula. Allow the tops to set and in the meantime fill the bottoms with the pastry cream.
  4. Pipe or spoon the pastry cream into the bottoms of the éclairs. Make sure you fill the bottoms with enough cream to mound above the pastry. Place the glazed tops onto the pastry cream and wriggle gently to settle them.
  5. If you have chilled your chocolate glaze, reheat by placing it in a bowl over simmering water,stirring it gently with a wooden spoon. Do not stir too vigorously as you do not want to create bubbles.
  6. The éclairs should be served as soon as they have been filled.
Pierre Hermé’s Cream Puff Dough Ingredients & Recipe:
½ cup (125g) whole milk
½ cup (125g) water
1 stick (4 ounces; 115g) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
¼ teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup (140g) all-purpose flour
5 large eggs, at room temperature
  1. In a heavy bottomed medium saucepan, bring the milk, water, butter, sugar and salt to the boil.
  2. Once the mixture is at a rolling boil, add all of the flour at once, reduce the heat to medium and start to stir the mixture vigorously with a wooden spoon. The dough comes together very quickly. Do not worry if a slight crust forms at the bottom of the pan, it’s supposed to. Yaounde to carry on stirring for a further 2-3 minutes to dry the dough. After this time the dough will be very soft and smooth.
  3. Transfer the dough into a bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using your hand mixer or if you still have the energy, continue by hand. Add the eggs one at a time,beating after each egg has been added to incorporate it into the dough.You will notice that after you have added the first egg, the dough will separate, once again do not worry. As you keep working the dough, it will come back all together again by the time you have added the third egg. In the end the dough should be thick and shiny and when lifted it should fall back into the bowl in a ribbon.
  4. The dough should be still warm. It is now ready to be used for the éclairs as directed above.
  5. Once the dough is made you need to shape it immediately. You can pipe the dough and the freeze it. Simply pipe the dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets and slide the sheets into the freezer. Once the dough is completely frozen, transfer the piped shapes into freezer bags. They can be kept in the freezer for up to a month.
Chocolate Pastry Cream Ingredients & Recipe:
2 cups (500g) whole milk
4 large egg yolks
6 tbsp (75g) sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch, sifted
7 oz (200g) bittersweet chocolate, preferably Velrhona Guanaja, melted
2½ tbsp (1¼ oz: 40g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  1. In a small saucepan, bring the milk to a boil. In the meantime, combine the yolks, sugar and cornstarch together and whisk in a heavy‐bottomed saucepan.
  2. Once the milk has reached a boil, temper the yolks by whisking a couple spoonfuls of the hot milk into the yolk mixture.Continue whisking and slowly pour the rest of the milk into the tempered yolk mixture.
  3. Strain the mixture back into the saucepan to remove any egg that may have scrambled. Place the pan over medium heat and whisk vigorously (without stop) until the mixture returns to a boil. Keep whisking vigorously for 1 to 2 more minutes (still over medium heat).Stir in the melted chocolate and then remove the pan from the heat.
  4. Scrape the pastry cream into a small bowl and set it in an ice‐water bath to stop the cooking process. Make sure to continue stirring the mixture at this point so that it remains smooth.
  5. Once the cream has reached a temperature of 140 F remove from the ice‐water bath and stir in the butter in three or four installments. Return the cream to the ice‐water bath to continue cooling, stirring occasionally, until it has completely cooled. The cream is now ready to use or store in the fridge.
  6. The pastry cream can be made 2‐3 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator. In order to avoid a skin forming on the pastry cream, cover with plastic wrap pressed onto the cream. Tempering the eggs raises the temperature of the eggs slowly so that they do not scramble.
Chocolate Glaze Ingredients & Recipe:(makes 1 cup or 300g)
1/3 cup (80g) heavy cream
3½ oz (100g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
4 tsp (20 g) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces, at room temperature
7 tbsp (110 g) Chocolate Sauce (recipe below), warm or at room temperature
  1. In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a boil. Remove from the heat and slowly begin to add the chocolate, stirring with a wooden spoon or spatula.
  2. Stirring gently, stir in the butter, piece by piece followed by the chocolate sauce.
  3. If the chocolate glaze is too cool (i.e. not liquid enough) you may heat it briefly in the microwave or over a double boiler. A double boiler is basically a bowl sitting over (not touching) simmering water.
  4. It is best to glaze the eclairs after the glaze is made, but if you are pressed for time, you can make the glaze a couple days ahead of time, store it in the fridge and bring it up to the proper temperature (95 to 104 F) when ready to glaze.
Chocolate Sauce Ingredients & Recipe: (makes 1½ cups or 525 g)
4½ oz (130 g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup (250 g) water
½ cup (125 g) crème fraîche, or heavy cream
1/3 cup (70 g) sugar 1)
  1. Place all the ingredients into a heavy‐bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil, making sure to stir constantly. Then reduce the heat to low and continue stirring with a wooden spoon until the sauce thickens.
  2. It may take 10‐15 minutes for the sauce to thicken, but you will know when it is done when it coats the back of your spoon.
  3. You can make this sauce ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for two weeks. Reheat the sauce in a microwave oven or a double boiler before using.
  4. This sauce is also great for cakes, ice-cream and tarts.
What I Did:

I followed the recipe for the Cream Puffs as per Herme, though I made only half the quantity. The dough was really easy to make and came together very well. I used my especially purchased piping bag to pipe out the eclairs. The size of my eclairs was around 11/2". I baked them for around 24 minutes total following the method above, but found it was just simpler to bake in the middle rack of the oven. The Choux Pastry turned out beautiful, firm, and sounded hollow when I gave it a gentle tap.

When the puffs cooled down I filled them with fresh whipped cream, and covered the tops with the chocolate glaze. Simple, beautiful, and delicious!!
All text and photographs in this blog, unless otherwise noted, are Copyright of © Annarasa 2007. All Rights Reserved. Kindly do not reproduce without permission.