Eclair Bites with Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream and Salted Chocolate Ganache

12 Nov

Eclair Bites with Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream and Salted Chocolate Ganache
Makes: 2 1/2 dozen

Ingredients:
Pastry Cream
1/2 cup Vanilla Sugar
3 tablespoons Cornstarch
1 large Egg
2 large Egg Yolks, reserve egg whites for another use
2 cups Whole Milk
1/4 teaspoon Maldon Sea Salt
1/2 Vanilla Bean, split pod and scrape out seeds, reserve pod for another use (if not using vanilla sugar, can increase to a whole bean)
4 tablespoons Cold Unsalted Butter, cubed

Pate a choux
1/4 cup Millet Flour
1/4 cup Garbanzo Fava Bean Flour
2 tablespoons Potato Starch
2 tablespoons Arrowroot Starch
1/4 teaspoon Xanthan Gum
1/4 cup Water
1/4 cup Whole Milk
6 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
1 tablespoon Evaporated Cane Juice or Granulated White Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt
4 large Eggs
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Salted Chocolate Ganache
2 ounces Bittersweet Chocolate
1 1/2 teaspoons Unsalted Butter
1/8 teaspoon Maldon Sea Salt
1/4 cup Heavy Cream

Directions for making the pastry cream:

  1. In a small, heatproof bowl (2 quart), whisk together vanilla sugar and cornstarch. Whisk in egg and egg yolks; set aside. In a small, non-aluminum saucepan
  2.  over medium heat combine milk, salt and vanilla bean seeds. Whisk constantly until the milk is steaming, and just about ready to simmer.
  3. Whisk hot milk in a slow stream into egg mixture. Return milk and egg mix to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it comes to a simmer. (It will thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon and “snail trails” can be formed in the cream )
  4. Remove pastry cream from heat, strain through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl. Whisk in butter. Place bowl in ice bath and whisk to cool the pastry cream quickly. Place a sheet of plastic wrap directly on top of cream, cover bowl with another sheet and refrigerate until well-chilled.

DO AHEAD: Pastry cream may be made up to five days in advance.

Directions for the pate a choux:

  1. Place oven rack on the center level, preheat to 375°F. Line a half-sheet pan and a smaller baking sheet (basically, whatever pan arrangement that you can fit on one rack in the oven so you don’t need to rotate pans during baking) with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper; set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together millet flour through xanthan gum. In a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat, combine water, milk and butter. Warm, whisking constantly, until butter melts and mixture comes to a simmer; stir in sugar and salt.
  3. While pan is still on the heat, stir the flour mixture into hot water mixture stir with a wooden spoon until it forms a smooth, stiff paste (about 1 minute). Remove from heat and scrape the dough into the bowl of a stand mixer.
  4. Break two of the eggs into the paste, beat on medium-high speed until it’s smooth and kind of sticky looking (takes a couple minutes). Break the remaining eggs, one at a time, into the paste, and beat again after each addition until blended (it will easily pull away from the paddle). Beat in vanilla extract.
  5. Spoon small, level cookie scoops (1 tablespoon) of paste onto prepared pans spaced about 1 1/2 inches apart. Place pans in oven and bake at 375°F for 25 minutes, then reduce heat to 325°F and bake another 5 minutes or until nicely browned and somewhat dry on the inside. Remove from oven and transfer puffs to wire cooling racks. Once cooled completely, proceed to filling.

Directions for filling the Eclair Bites:

  1. Fit a 12” pastry bag with a Wilton #230 pastry trip (no coupler required).
  2. Fill with a third of the cold pastry cream. Puncture the side of an eclair with the pastry tip, fill with cream (just until it feels like the shell is going to burst) and wipe off excess from around the filling hole.
  3. Place filled eclairs on a plate and refrigerate once the first pastry bag of cream runs out.
  4. Refill pastry bag and repeat filling/refrigerating process.

Making the ganache and glaze Eclair Bites:

  1. In a small saucepan, warm cream over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, just until you see a bubble come to the surface. While cream is heating up, place chocolate through salt in a heatproof bowl.
  2. Pour hot cream over chocolate and let it sit for a minute; gently stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
  3. Dip the tops of the filled eclair bites in the ganache, allow excess to drip back into the bowl.
  4. Place glazed bites on a clean platter. Allow chocolate to set at room temperature for about 15 minutes before serving or refrigerating. Eclairs are best eaten within several hours of filling.
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