Kat of Bobwhites was our August 2012 Daring Baker hostess who inspired us to have fun in creating pate a choux shapes, filled with crème patisserie or Chantilly cream. We were encouraged to create swans or any shape we wanted and to go crazy with filling flavors allowing our creativity to go wild!
So call me a little lacking in creativity. I didn't make any beautiful swans, darling turtles or cute-as-a-bug ladybugs, as I saw some of my truly daring Daring Baker colleagues do. Instead, I went for the traditional cream puffs and eclairs. But, believe you me, they were just as delicious in these ordinary forms as they would have been shaped like two romantic swans with their graceful necks entwined.
I suppose I might have ONLY done cream puffs had it not been for my granddaughter, Clara. Remembering our "girls night out" over a year ago, and her first taste of eclairs (we called them "e-claras", in her honor) has made them more meaningful to me, so I had to include a few of them in my batch.
|Clara's first taste on our girls night out in 2011!|
I tried to make these delights as lactose-free as possible, since I am pretty sure that I've recently developed an intolerance. So the pastry cream filling, at least, was made with an adapted recipe using lactose-free milk. I thought it would be a shame to make them and not be able to enjoy them myself! The pate a choux (the puff pastry dough) did have butter in it, but I thought I might be able to fudge a little bit.
And here they are, in all of their puffy glory! I only wish Clara had been here to help me enjoy a homemade-by-grandma e-clara :-) They really were delicious.