Daring Bakers and a Classic

It’s time again for another monthly Daring Bakers challenge, this time hosted by Meeta of What’s for Lunch Honey? and Tony of Tony Tahhan. I was away on vacation when the recipe was announced so Helen quickly emailed me to tell me that this month’s challenge was going to be Pierre Herme’s chocolate eclairs. The first thing I thought was “my family and friends are going to love this” and my second thought was, “I better not mess up a classic!”.

For a few days I thought about different flavor possibilities although I knew I wanted to keep part of the recipe as it was given to us with the chocolate pastry cream. I still have quite a bit of matcha in my pantry so I decided to make some green tea eclairs and profiteroles in honor of the other great parisian patissier Sadaharu Aoki, who is also turning fairly new ingredients into classics.


I made two different pate a choux recipes by keeping one plain and infusing the other one with green tea. I did the same with the pastry cream fillings by adding chocolate to one batch and green tea to the other. I played around with the presentations as well, making a chocolate religieuse with cocoa nib tuile and ice cream filled profiteroles with warm chocolate sauce using some leftover honey ice cream I had from the mamia post last week.

A big thank you to Meeta and Tony for hosting this month’s challenge. Please visit their websites for the recipes and also go here to check out the Daring Bakers blogroll.


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89 Responses to “Daring Bakers and a Classic”

  1. Vera says:

    Aran, fabulous as always! Every single pastry is so lovely! I love the varieties of shapes and fillings.

  2. rainbowbrown says:

    What a tasty array of flavors. Very nicely done.

  3. Peabody says:

    Very gorgeous. I am sure you did not disappoint your taste testers.

  4. chefectomy says:

    I wish I could eat one of these right now Aran – delicious!

    –Marc

  5. Elizabeth says:

    Sounds like this challenge was well met! Gorgeous photos Aran!

  6. cookemila says:

    as always true works of art
    como siempre verdaderas obras de arte, te admiro porque de una receta sencilla haces cosas maravillosas…lastima no tenerte mas cerca, seguro que P.Herme temblaria…

  7. Tanya says:

    Wonderful job as always!

  8. I am new to your site, and I am hooked. Very creative.

  9. Elra says:

    Would love to have one of those mancha flavor, please?!

  10. fantastic, truly creative, amazing…

  11. Just gorgeous! I would like to try one chocolate, one matcha and one vanilla flavor please.

  12. Great blog with wonderful phostos!:))))
    I’m glad I’ve discovered it.
    Your profiteroles look just amazing!

  13. Christy says:

    Such beautiful way of presenting a classic pastry!! I love that you have played around with it in so many ways…ice cream, matcha, cacao nib tuile..I bet your family devoured all of them!! Great photos too, as always!!

  14. *fanny* says:

    Aran, I wanted to mae matcha ones too. Turned out I didn’t have enougth time on my hands, but damn, this maes me wish I would have had a few extra minutes.

    Gorgoeus, as usual!
    xx fanny

  15. Kim says:

    Exquisite pastries, and if you every need more taste testers-I’m in. You always surprise and delight us, thanks.

  16. Absolutely gorgeous…these are as good as they get Aran!! Pretty all the way!! I love the fact that yo make such great use of left-over stuff…& in such an ‘alluring’ way!

  17. C.L. says:

    Beautiful…I keep forgetting I have gold leaf! You are amazing :)

  18. Ann says:

    Can I have a job as one of your taste testers? Gorgeous pastries and beautiful photos!

  19. It’s a damn good policy to choose not too choose just one flavour! Gorgeous results as usual.

  20. culinography says:

    I’ve been *so* looking forward to seeing your photos, Aran. Gorgeous!!

  21. Bridget says:

    Aran…I think there is drool on my keyboard ;)! These look divine!

  22. I love the flavors and the colors you got on these. They are quite artfully presented and I’d have a tough time choosing between both the chocolate and the matcha versions…so I’d eat both when nobody’s looking. ;-)

  23. morgana says:

    impresionantes! Tan perfectos y con una presentación tan cuidada… Las fotos me han dejado loquita. Bueno y los pastelitos de té verde me han llegado al alma (con la guerra que le tengo yo declarada al verde..) Preciosos. Como para las mil y una noches.

  24. Tartelette says:

    Love all the appications and the tought you put in it….yeah to matcha and chocolate…now those are choux and eclairs I could sink my teeth into :)

  25. Amy says:

    Oh, Aran, these are absolutely gorgeous!!

  26. Guapa tus primeras 4 fotos me han dejado sin palabras! Los más bonitos que he visto hasta ahora. No se cual me escojeria, estan decadentes todas tus creaciones. Eres la mejor!

  27. miri says:

    Aran, every single pastry that comes out of your hands is simply stunning! Your eclairs look divine, I could stare at them for hours!

  28. nadia says:

    They look so wonderful….aran this reminds so much of my childhood, it reminds me of my grandmother and my auntie..it reminds me of special occasion and regular days made special from these being made in the kitchen…

    oh how i miss these days, but love that i can now spend the day remembering because of your photographs.

  29. amy says:

    oh aran,
    you are killing me! they look perfect, and delicious and i am just sitting hear, dreaming of fresh eclairs with a nice espresso.

  30. HoneyB says:

    AWESOME creations! They look wonderful!

  31. Eileen says:

    Oh Aran, these are just beautiful! I knew I’d find amazing éclairs on your website!

  32. Anita says:

    Huge fan of Sadaharu Aoki as well – I really love your eclairs – they look so gorgeous!

  33. What gorgeous creations and pictures! You really did a great job here! Stunning!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  34. Fantastic job! They look beautiful!

  35. Tammy says:

    They look fantastic! I love the green tea one!

  36. Marija says:

    On my! Unbelievably beautiful!

  37. so many wonderful things that can be done with choux! profiteroles are my personal favorite, but these are all gorgeous!

  38. jillian says:

    These just look amazing and your photographs are beautiful!

  39. Alexa says:

    Aran,
    What a wonderful rendition of this classic patisserie! I love using matcha in desserts and the idea of using it in an eclairs is lovely. I’m also loving the creative nib tuile. I’ll have to try that one. The pictures are stunning.

  40. Angela says:

    Oh my goodness, Aran! What beautiful eclairs and the filling flavours are just out of this world!

    One day I must track down some matcha. I really want to know what it tastes like!

  41. Leonor says:

    Your éclairs are stunning!!
    I love your presentation and your pictures are amazing…

  42. PheMom says:

    Seriously so gorgeous! I swear I could stare at this all day!

  43. What a beautiful little collection of eclair masterpieces! They’re so lovely! I love the different flavor combinations you used.

  44. Aran,
    Congratulations! You are a winner of August IFP poll!!

    Please collect your badge here:
    http://www.coffeeandvanilla.com/?p=2838

    And read about new nominations here:
    http://www.coffeeandvanilla.com/?p=2962

    Ciao, Margot

  45. Camille says:

    You wrote,”I better not mess up a classic!”. Aran, I don’t think you could mess up anything you bake! These are wonderful and I love the green tea and matcha. Of course, I love all the photos!

  46. Mandy says:

    I love both versions with chocolate and also matcha. Any chance that you will share the recipe with matcha? :)

  47. pea & pear says:

    in the words of ‘the cure’:

    why can’t I be you.?..

    Ali :)

  48. Katie B. says:

    So much tastiness!! Love your flavors!

  49. jen says:

    These are incredible! Absolutely beautiful, bravo!

  50. and yours yet too is stunning–particularly the gold leaf, quite the touch. the green ones are very cute, i feel like a hobbit would like to serve them at a party. hooray!

  51. Sweet Bird says:

    These look outstanding, I love the matcha!

  52. Jude says:

    Such a nice use of green tea. herme and aoki in one post? My head would probably explode if I tried that.

  53. Lisa says:

    I’ve just joined and it was my first DB challenge. I wanted to make matcha pastry cream but didn’t quite get there (thought two kinds was enough!) Yours looks excellent, and you’ve inspired me to try it in the future.

  54. marion says:

    nom d’un chien !!!!!! est ce que j’arriverais à faire des beautés pareilles un jour ??????
    scotchée …

  55. Aparna says:

    These are so beautiful, I’m almost speechless.
    You’ve just taken the eclairs to a new leve. I’m sure even the French would agree.:)

  56. enza says:

    ok I’m not surprised just know how you transform everything in wonderful

  57. Aran says:

    mandy- for the matcha pastry cream, follow the recipe for the vanilla mousseline in this post (http://cannelle-vanille.blogspot.com/2008/07/passion-fruit-apricot-and-vanilla-bean.html) and add 1 Tbs of matcha to the milk before boiling it. hope you like it!

  58. mycookinghut says:

    Looks lovely and yummy! Looks like another thing for me to learn making!!

  59. Ginnypa says:

    Hi Aran,
    I’m at a loss for words…other than mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
    Seems it takes me hours just to make a batch of filled cupcakes.
    So I’m curious to know how much time you invested in this baking project.

  60. Aran says:

    Ginnypa- Thank you! It’s hard to tell how may hours but I made the pastry creams one day, then the next day made the choux and froze it and the the next day I baked it, filled the eclairs and photographed it. Not long though. I take my time because I have a 2 year old and I can’t be in the kitchen all day. he’d go nuts!

  61. Meeta says:

    incredible – how can you even think you’d mess up! that just will never happen so forget that thought. these look spectacular and i love the matcha idea!

  62. diva says:

    GORGEOUS! the classic eclair is simply beautiful but the matcha eclair steals my heart. how pretty and looks so light. i just gotta have one of those!

  63. Zoe Francois says:

    What a lovely place for matcha, it must be absolutely delicious with the chocolate. They all look fabulous!

  64. Astrid says:

    Wow. If I had done the challenge, I would have sweated and suffered to make simple eclairs (I tried once…). During that time, here you were whipping up one ravishing variation after another. You are a virtuose baker!

  65. Lesley says:

    Green tea eclairs? that’s a great idea. I love profiteroles as well…my fave.

  66. Millie says:

    Very well done! I am sooo impressed!

  67. Candace says:

    Love your use of matcha… Lovely eclairs!

  68. GORGEOUS!!! {sigh} green tea…just beautiful…aran please open a patisserie and I will come down and work for you…you are so talented!

  69. Jennywenny says:

    Truly beautiful! Something about your pretty eclairs makes me want to get them all doing a singalong, like the muppets, especially the green tea one with the almonds that might look like eyes if you squint!

  70. Lori says:

    HMMMMMMMMMMMM they look so yummy. I love the look of the green tea ones. Such a stylist you are!

  71. Kevin says:

    Your eclairs look great! I really like the matcha ones!

  72. Looks like you succeeded – you certainly didn’t mess up a classic. Those look absolutely wonderful. Well done.

  73. What a splendid array of eclairs you have here. They belong in the window of a French bakery.

  74. I always love checking out what twists you put on the daring bakers challenge! I love the ice cream profiteroles and the chocolate religieuse with cocoa nib tuile! The photos turned out lovely too!

  75. jo says:

    WOW, your blog is deliciously divine! Your photos are beautiful and the goodies even better.

  76. Y says:

    Beautiful and elegant, Aran! .. as always :)

  77. breadpitt says:

    your presentation were wonderful , not messing up the classic. the gold leave where just nice to bring up your lovely classic dessert and the profiteroles where tempting too…

  78. Mrs.French says:

    here’s the problem I am having….I have been trying my hardest to cut back on sweets, then I head on over to your blog and that is all I want! These look amazing!

  79. Bria says:

    Well you certainly didn’t mess up this classic! Stunning as usual…

  80. Brilynn says:

    Gorgeous! Excellent interpretation of the challenge!

  81. Chez US says:

    I love your flavor combinations! Fantastic job! I wish I would have put more time into mine … next time!

  82. the green tea is just stunning…

  83. Maggie says:

    Gorgeous images! The green tea ones make me want to make another batch.

  84. my goodness, these are stunning!! the eclairs were my first daring bakers challenge – i wish i’d had as much success! so glad to have found your blog, looking forward to reading more. xx

  85. Helene says:

    Again, gorgeous. I just want to grad one.

  86. Anonymous says:

    Aran, these pictures are stunning, I am a fellow expat living and for a little momemt i feel like a la maison with this beautiful classic thanks a lot! any chance that you will share the recipe of the cocoa nib tuile?
    Anis

  87. Aran says:

    Anis- Can you please email me so I can send you the recipe It’s too long to type in the comment section. Thank you!

  88. Neo Johns says:

    Matcha Green Tea is great for cleaning the body of harmful toxins because it is rich in Chlorophyll, which is a well-known detoxifying agent. Chlorophyll is quite simply the pigment which supplies leaves with their lovely green color. But more than just a color, it can also help to get rid of chemical toxins and heavy metals from your body. Unlike tea leaves, (which are used to infuse water and then discarded), Matcha Green Tea powder is actually completely consumed when drank, (or used in cooking). Matcha Green Tea is also grown in the shade rather than direct sunlight, a technique that boosts the chlorophyll content in its leaves.

    These factors make Matcha green tea truly rich in chlorophyll, boosting its health benefits significantly.

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