Sunday, March 20, 2011

Not your Grandma's Chocolate Eclair Cupcakes

♥♥ Intermediate

 My grandma (we call her Bommie) is a great baker.  Even from the time I was little I can remember her making yummy pot roasts, divinity candy, and of course Eclairs. Her eclairs are things dreams are made of.  They don't always look super pretty, but it doesn't even matter because they taste so good. And really, it's all about the feeling we have when we can smell them baking in the kitchen. I'll never forget sitting around the Christmas tree with the entire family eating eclairs and laughing about the silliest things.  

So, in homage to my Bommie, I decided to create a Chocolate Eclair Cupcake.  I'll be honest with you, I like the concept and the taste (they taste exactly like an Eclair) but it's still not up to par with the actual Eclairs that Bommie makes.  Maybe it's just one of those things that no other baked good will even be able to live up to. However, in an attempt to make a quick eclair that tastes awesome, this is what I created. I hope you'll be able to share this with your family, and maybe even make it one of your favorite memories too.

For those of you who may not know what an Eclair even is (shame on you, but my husband didn't know either so you're in good company), it's traditionally a hollow choux pastry stuffed with a creamy ricotta or vanilla pastry cream topped with a chocolate glaze. Basically, it's a great treat that is easy to convert to a cupcake!

*I apologize in advance for my photos, I took them with my cell phone, even though I knew better. :)

**These cupcakes require refrigeration, will last up to 4 days refrigerated in an air tight container.

What you'll need:

Here's the deal, I'm a fan of using a box mix for my cupcakes IF they are the appropriate flavor.  I'm not running a business where I have to worry about excess overhead, and I don't see the need to reinvent the wheel either.  With that said, I'm a fan of using a traditional yellow cake for this recipe. (Duncan Hines has a fantastic yellow cake.) But if you're feeling adventurous, you can make your own cupcake batter too. This cupcake recipe is an all around "Cheat" to cupcakes - it's pretty much all a mix!
  • Yellow Cake Mix
  • French Vanilla Instant Pudding Mix
  • 2 C. Milk
  • 8 oz. Whipped Cream
  • 1/2 C. Heavy Cream
  • 4 oz. Semisweet Chocolate
How to do it:

1. Preheat oven to temperature set on cake mix, and mix cupcake batter. Bake. Let cool completely.

2. Mix Vanilla Pudding as directed on packaging, let set.  Once pudding is set, fold in whipped cream to make it light and fluffy.

3. After the cupcakes have cooled, take a sharp knife to the center of the cupcake in a circular motion cutting a nickle sized hole in the top of the cupcake and removing some of the insides. Take all of the removed portions and crumble them up and set them aside.

4. Using a piping bag with no tip, fill the cupcakes to as close to the top of the cupcake as possible (sometimes if you bang the cupcake on the counter after filling them, the filling will seep further down into the cupcake removing air and allowing you to fill them even more).

5. Cover the hole in your cupcake with the crumbled cupcakes filler that you set aside.

6. Heat cream until you see bubbles forming at the edge. Remove from heat.

7. Add chocolate and let sit for a minute, and then stir until smooth.

8. Drizzle on top of your cupcakes for the finished product!  (The chocolate is the BEST part!) They do not have to be perfect, half the fun is in how imperfect eclairs really are!