My husband and I are planning a move from Maryland back to our beloved Texas, and last week brought us the house-hunting trip from hell. Apparently some storms had blown through D.C. the day before we were scheduled to fly out and a ton of flights had been cancelled. On top of that, the airline we were flying with was experiencing technical issues. Naturally, the airport was in a frenzy, and we were among the disheveled and angry people who missed our flight and were waiting fruitlessly to fly stand-by.
After 8 hours, multiple cups of coffee, and a couple self-pity crepes, Tanner and I finally called the airline and learned that we could drive one hour to another airport and get on a one-way flight to Dallas with no problem. So, that's what we did. The fiasco cost us a whole day of house-hunting, but such is life.
Driving around and looking for a place to live in DFW was also a less-than-pleasant experience. We found out that it is a seller's market with houses selling in a matter of days and going for thousands of dollars over asking price. Needless to say, the trip was not a very relaxing one.
To ease the stress of moving halfway across the country, I decided to make some chocolate eclairs this week. They're like doughnuts but fancier. I had my first chocolate eclair during our biking trip across Ireland. It was a huge pick-me-up then, and creating my own recipe at home was the perfect way to say goodbye to my beloved little kitchen in Maryland.
So, here's to new houses and new adventures and deep-fried sweet breads!
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tbs sugar
- 2 tsp yeast
- 1 tbs butter (melted)
- 1/2 cup milk (warm)
- 1 egg (beaten)
- 1 pint heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
To begin, combine the flour, sugar, and yeast.
Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, and then add the melted butter, warm milk, and beaten egg.
Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet mixture in the center of the well.
Once the mixture is a thick dough, begin to knead in any remaining flour.
Continue kneading the dough for about 7 minutes. The dough should become soft and will have the consistency of play-dough.
Lightly flour the bottom of a pie pan.
Place the dough in the pie pan, and sprinkle some flour over the top of the dough.
Cover the pie pan with plastic wrap, and refrigerate the dough for 4 hours.
After the dough has chilled, turn it onto a lightly flour surface and roll it out to a quarter-inch thickness.
If you have an oblong oval-shaped cutter, then use it to cut out your eclairs. If you don't possess such finery, then you can do what I did: draw your desired shape on a piece of paper, cut it out, and use a sharp knife to cut the dough around the edges of the paper shape.
Place the cut-out eclairs on a lightly floured piece of wax paper, and let them proof for about 20-30 minutes.
Fill a deep frying pan with an inch or two of oil and turn the heat up to medium.
Place the eclairs one-by-one into the oil and cook on either side until the color is a rich golden brown.
Once the eclairs are cooked on both sides, remove them from the oil and let them cool.
In the meantime, go ahead and make the whipped cream and chocolate glaze.
Pour most of the cream (saving about 1-2 tbs for the chocolate glaze) in a bowl and whip it until it's your desired consistency.
Slowly heat the chocolate chips in a double boiler or in the microwave (about 20 seconds at a time and stirring in between) until all have melted. Whisk in 1-2 tbs of whipping cream. Add a little more if the mixture is too dry.
Finally, cut your eclairs in half. Dump a layer of whipped cream on the bottom half, and smother the top of the upper half in chocolate glaze. Put tops and bottoms together, maybe snap a few pictures for Instagram, and then bite into a job well done.