Friday, August 30, 2013

Tropical Joy Eclairs & Puffs

These pastries are reminiscent of a favorite childhood candy bar and grown up enough to enjoy with cappuccino, espresso or a big glass of milk. It’s easy to please when the main ingredient is Tropical Traditions Coconut. Tropical Traditions is America’s source for coconut oil and so many great organic coconut products (be sure to check out their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil).

Depending on the size and shape of the puffs, yield can vary. Use leftover filling on cupcakes or as a filling for layer cakes. Fill extra pate au choux puffs with whipped cream or chopped ham salad. Any leftover ganache can be used to dunk seasonal berries.

Tropical Joy Eclairs & Puffs
by Chiffonade

Coconut Filling:
Two 13.5 ounce cans of Chaokoh Coconut Milk
2 ½ cups sugar
¼ teaspoon baking soda
3 cups Tropical Traditions Shredded Coconut

Combine the coconut milk and sugar in a large heavy saucepan. Cook 10 minutes, stir in baking soda and coconut. Cook 90 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

Pate au Choux Shells:
1 cup water
½ cup butter
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs

Preheat oven to 400°F. In a saucepan heat water, butter and salt to a full rolling boil. Reduce heat and quickly stir in flour, mixing vigorously with a wooden spoon until mixture leaves the sides of the pan in a ball. Remove from heat and beat in eggs, one at a time. Pipe dough into éclair or puff shapes on a parchment-lined sheet tray. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F and bake an additional 25 minutes, or until golden. Allow to cool enough to handle. Using a sharp knife, cut into each puff and place puffs back into the turned off oven. This will dry out the puffs so they will not become soggy. Alternatively, the top of each puff and éclair may be sliced off and the flabby uncooked dough may be scooped with a small spoon from inside each pastry prior to returning them to the oven. Allow to cool completely before proceeding with recipe.

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ cup cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In the top of a double boiler over a saucepan of simmering water, place chocolate chips and cream. Stir occasionally. When chocolate is completely melted and incorporated with cream, add vanilla.

Now that all the components are prepared, it is time to assemble the eclairs and puffs. Place the coconut filling into a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip. Generously fill each of the pastries. Dunk the top of each pastry into the ganache and place on a rack to cool and set the chocolate.

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