Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Eclairs – #FirstOnTheFirst

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Eclairs

When I heard this month’s First On The First challenge was eclairs, I admit I was a bit cocky. I’ve made cream puffs before and the pastry base or the “choux” is the same for eclairs. And cream filling? I make homemade pudding all the time. Chocolate glaze? No problem.

Well, let’s just say it was definitely a learning experience (which I guess is the whole point of this cooking challenge anyway, eh?) I decided to leave myself in Fanny Farmer’s hands – my usual go-to cookbook for basic, foolproof recipes. With a couple tweaks, my choux actually turned out very nice. The dough came together quickly and now I’m thinking “these suckers are going to be a snap to make.” I piped the dough into pretty 4-inch long x 1-inch wide rectangles, yet after removing them from oven, I realized there was zero height because I made them too thin. Not exactly optimal for a pastry you have to fill. (Note to Fanny Farmer: include a height measure in next addition.) The second batch was a winner.

Onto the cream filling: since I make roux for mac & cheese as well as stovetop pudding often (two recipes that thicken as they heat), I figured I could make a few tweaks to the recipe right from the start, using fat free milk and a bit less sugar. You know where this is going – mistake. The filling never quite thickened – and it’s really not a good thing to have your eclair cream dripping completely out of the pastry leaving nothing but a puddle on the plate. For the second batch, I ditched the flour completely and used cornstarch instead, which worked its thickening magic. By the third batch, I added my peanut butter and banana tweaks (and at one point, did consider just eating it as pudding vs. filling in those eclairs.)

The chocolate topping was no fuss – I melted chocolate chips and peanut butter together in a saucepan – which worked fine the first time around (thank goodness.)

By the time I assembled all the eclairs (with just 2 -3 that looked halfway decent at best) I was relieved, glad I participated in the challenge and definitely enjoyed the flavors of chocolate, banana, peanut butter and pastry all coming together. But in reality, I’ll probably leave the eclair creating up to the bakery professionals the next time I need a French pastry fix.

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Eclairs

Makes about 1 1/2 dozen eclairs

Ingredients

    Peanut Butter Banana Eclair Filling
  • 1 cup 2% reduced fat milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 large banana
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • Basic Choux (for pastry base)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • Peanut Butter Chocolate Glaze:
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter

Directions

    To make eclair filling:
  1. Heat milk in microwave for 2 minutes until hot but not boiling.
  2. In a medium saucepan, whisk together milk, sugar, cornstarch and salt over medium low heat. Whisk continuously until smooth and thick (this will take about 5 minutes.)
  3. Add egg yolk and whisk for 1 more minute. Remove from heat and cool slightly, stirring every so often.
  4. In a small bowl, mash banana and peanut butter together with potato masher until well incorporated. Whisk into cooled filling. Put in refrigerator until ready to use.
  5. To make choux:
  6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  7. In a medium saucepan, add water and butter, bring to a boil.
  8. Reduce heat to medium low, add flour and mix briskly until incorporated. Keep mixing until the mixture becomes a dough ball in center of pan. Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes.
  9. One at a time, mix eggs into dough, mixing very briskly.
  10. To assemble eclairs, use ungreased cookie sheets and pastry bag. Pipe into rectangles 4-inches long, 1-inch wide and 3/4-inch high.
  11. Bake for 25 -30 minutes until golden. Cool on a rack and then split length wise.
  12. To assemble eclairs (before making glaze):
  13. Fill bottom half of eclair with about 3 tablespoons of filling. Place top of eclair on top of filling like a sandwich.
  14. To make glaze:
  15. In a small saucepan, melt chocolate and peanut butter over medium low heat, stirring often. Remove from heat and cool for a few minutes.
  16. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of glaze over top of eclair.

Notes

* Adapted from The Fanny Farmer Cookbook Cream Puffs recipe

http://teaspooncomm.com/teaspoonofspice/2012/03/peanut-butter-banana-chocolate-eclairs-firstonthefirst/

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Eclairs

Want to expand your kitchen skills this year? Created by Carrie of Poet In the Pantry and Kate of Food Babbles, First On The First  is a year-long challenge of tackling certain culinary feats. On the 1st of each month, the results of that month’s challenge will be posted by all bloggers participating.

 

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Comments

  1. Oh my, those look absolutely delicious! Yes, an indication of height would have been helpful. It’s only by a stroke of luck that I managed to work that out okay; I looked at mine and thought they didn’t look thick enough, so I piped an extra layer on top of each. I love your flavor combination!

  2. Wow!!! Love your flavors! I’m so glad you participated too :) despite the challenges you faced. Hope to see you next month for royal icing!

  3. I love the peanut butter/banana/chocolate combo!

  4. That was an inspired flavor combo!

    I’ll admit – I really prefer to make cream puffs, too!

  5. I think we were baking in parallel kitchens this month. My filling didn’t really thicken, and I too had quite a few “height challenged” eclairs. But they were tasty! Love the flavor combo. Very creative.

  6. Pastry, chocolate,a and peanut butter banan cream filling??? Yes, please!!!

  7. OMG, these sound fabulous!!! And this reminds me so much of my first exam in culinary school. I had to make some pastry cream, and while it was setting up, some choux puffs. It took me two tries to get the puffs just right. But I hadn’t cooked the pastry cream enough to thicken, and it was literally pouring out of my bag/tip all over my work station. So I tried to spoon it in, but it kept running out. While I was fooling with it, my chocolate heated up too much and separated. The whole thing was more like cream puff soup.

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