Saturday, March 14, 2009

~Simply Irresistible

Here's a little fashionable movie for you. "Simply Irresistible" A struggling chef (Gellar) comes across a magic crab and suddenly is able to cook culinary masterpieces. Soon she's falling in love with the high-powered executive (Flanery) opening a nearby high-class restaurant of his own. Gellar's clothing is this sweet funky boho style brought to you by Todd Oldham.When you get done watching You might want go make these Caramel éclairs.

Pastry Cream:
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Choux Pastry:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Pinch salt
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup butter
2 large eggs

Caramel Icing:
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 1/2 teaspoons butter
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon whole milk
1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar

1. Pastry cream: In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar. Whisk in the flour and cornstarch, then milk. Strain into a 3-quart saucepan. Whisk constantly over medium heat. The mixture may bubble and it should become harder to pull a whisk through the custard. When thick, remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour into a small bowl, refrigerate 1 hour.

2. Choux pastry: Preheat oven to 400 and bake an additional 25 minutes. They should be lightly browned.

3. The easiest way to beat in one egg at a time is to use the edge of the wooden spoon to "cut" the eggs into the dough. The mixture will be slippery at first, keep stirring and cutting in until it becomes sticky. Stir vigorously at this point until well blended, repeat with second egg.

4. It is easy to drop tablespoonfuls onto a greased baking tray OR to make éclairs you can fit a pastry bag with a 5/16-inch plain tip and pipe out 3 or 5-inch strips that are approximately 1/2-inch wide. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake an additional 25 minutes. They should be lightly browned.

5. Set the pastries on a cooling rack, then use a scissors to cut a small slit in the side of each pastry to allow steam to escape. Pastries are best kept in a cool dry place at room temperature.

When ready to serve, use a clean piping bag and fill with custard.

6. Caramel icing: In a 1-quart saucepan, heat brown sugar, cream and butter over medium heat until sugar melts. Remove from heat, stir in
vanilla, milk and confectioners' sugar. Top filled pastries with warm icing. Place in the refrigerator if you are not serving the pastries

Variation: Serve shells filled with ice cream and top with caramel or chocolate sauce. Shells may also be filled with whipped cream and topped with melted chocolate.

Makes 12