If you can believe it, there was once a time in my life when I couldn't make pie crust from scratch. Actually, before that, cupcakes. For whatever reason, I decided during my sophomore year of college that I was going to teach myself to bake. I had never cared for baking before, or cooking for that matter, but loved gazing at all the beautiful sweet treats at my local bakery and thought I could make those too. I'm a sucker for a challenge and will accomplish anything I put my mind to, so, when I saw that one of my favorite food bloggers, Love and Olive Oil, hosted monthly challenges, I decided to join.
The challenge for April was eclairs and whoa man! are they work. I must note that these really are for an experienced baker. Seriously. Start with cookies or cupcakes if you're wanting to get into baking and move from there. They may not be the most difficult but they're incredibly time consuming (try 7 hours from start to finish). Honestly, my biggest challenge, aside from lack of patience, was getting the filling in the pastry, so it could have been much worse.
Fortunately, I had tasted an eclair pretty recently to know what I didn't want mine to turn out like. It seems that eclairs often get a bad rap because bakeries around the country keep them on the shelf past their best taste date. Bummer. So this was my chance to make a fresh eclair and enjoy it immediately. They were delicious!
Eclair recipes can be found anywhere on the internet, but I used the Bouchon Bakery recipe found in their book:
In the end, my book club group got to enjoy fresh eclairs during our meeting, and I got to try something new. It was a win. The monthly challenge is such a great idea and I can't wait to do it again. Thanks, Love and Olive Oil for hosting!