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Chocolate Grand Marnier Éclairs




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Chocolate Grand Marnier Éclairs
Chocolatier Archives

Yield: 8 eclairs
Preparation: 1 1/2 hours plus cooking, baking,
cooling and chilling times.

Éclair dough:
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup water
5 tablespoons unsalted butter,
cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1/8 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon orange zest

Chocolate Grand Marnier filling:
3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate,
coarsely chopped

3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
2 tablespoons cold water
1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored
powdered gelatin

1 cup heavy cream

Orange glaze:
1 tablespoon orange juice
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

Make the éclairs:
1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 425
degrees F. Line two baking sheets with baking parchment.
2. In a glass measuring cup, stir the eggs with a fork until blended.
Pour approximately 2 tablespoons of the beaten eggs into a small
cup, leaving 1/2 cup of the egg mixture in the measuring cup.
3. In a medium heavy saucepan, combine the water, butter and salt.
Over medium heat, stirring occasionally, heat the water mixture
until the butter has melted. Increase the heat to medium-high and
bring the mixture to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat.
4. Using a wire whisk, stir in the flour. Whisk vigorously for 20 to 30 seconds, until the mixture is smooth and pulls away from the side of
the pan. Return the pan to the heat and stirring constantly with a
wooden spoon, cook for 30 to 60 seconds, until the paste forms a
very smooth ball. Stir in orange zest. Transfer the paste to a
large bowl.
5. Pour the reserved 1/2 cup of beaten eggs over the paste and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon for 45 to 60 seconds, until the
mixture forms a smooth, soft dough. The dough should hold its
shape when scooped up with a spoon but be soft enough to slowly
slide off the spoon when tilted. If the dough does not slide off the
spoon, add 1/2 tablespoon of the reserved egg mixture, beat until
smooth and retest the dough with a spoon. The remaining 1 1/2 to
2 tablespoons of egg will be used to glaze the tops of the éclairs
before they are baked.
6. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a 5/6-inch plain tip (such as Ateco #3)
with the éclair dough. Pipe 5-inch strips approximately 1/2-inch
wide on the prepared baking sheets. Leave about 1 1/2 inches be-
tween éclairs. Dip your finger in some of the remaining beaten egg
and gently smooth down any "tails" left from piping. Lightly brush
the tops of the éclairs with more of the egg.
7. Bake the éclairs, one baking sheet at a time, for 10 minutes, prop-
ping the oven door open about 2 inches with the handle of a wooden
spoon. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F and close the
oven door. Continue baking the éclairs for 20 to 25 minutes, until
they are crisp. Transfer the éclairs to a wire rack and cool completely.
The éclairs may be prepared up to this point and stored in an airtight container at room temperature for one day or in the freezer for up to
one month.

Make the Chocolate-Grand Marnier filling:
8. Melt the chocolate with the water and Grand Marnier according
to the directions in the Chocolate Key.
9. Place the cold water in a small saucepan. Sprinkle the gelatin over
the water and let the mixture stand for 5 minutes to soften the gelatin.
Place the saucepan over low heat and cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring
constantly with a wooden spoon, until the gelatin granules dissolve
completely and the mixture is clear. Allow the mixture to cool
until tepid.
10. In a chilled 4 1/2-quart bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer, using
the wire whip attachment, begin to whip the heavy cream at low
speed. While continuing to whip the cream, gradually add the cooled
gelatin mixture to the cream in a slow stream. Stop the mixer and
scrape down the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the
cooled melted chocolate mixture and continue to whip the cream,
increasing the speed to medium, until it begins to mound. Do not
overwhip. Cover the surface of the filling with plastic wrap and
chill for 30 minutes.

Make the glaze:
11. In a small bowl whisk together the orange juice and confectioners'
sugar until smooth.

Assemble and glaze the éclairs:
12. Poke a hole in each end of the éclairs with a skewer. Fill a pastry
bag fitted with a 1/6-inch plain tip (such as Ateco #1) with the Grand
Marnier filling. Insert the tip of the pastry bag into the hole at each
end of the éclair and fill with some of the filling. Repeat with
remaining éclairs.
13. Drizzle the orange glaze over the top of each éclair. Garnish with
strips of orange peel, if desired.

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