Monday, September 8, 2014

Chocolate Eclair Cupcakes with a Custard Cream Filling

After having a tough week, one of the only things that cheers me up is baking. It lifts my spirits like nothing else can, I find it relaxing and therapeutic. So of course after I had a super rough week last week, I found solace in baking. My Grandma Mo's all time favorite dessert is an eclair and she makes a delicious eclair cake for my family all the time. So I made these cupcakes for her and she gave them two thumbs up.Warning: This cupcake is quite delicious, but it is very time consuming. I made the custard filling from scratch and it takes time, patience, and lots of stirring. The rest of the components, though are super simple and easy to make. This creamy and chocolately cupcake will make your mouth water.
The first component of the cupcake you should make is the creamy custard filling. You should start with this first because it takes the longest and needs to be refrigerated for at least an hour before you can put it into the cupcake center. Here is the recipe: 
Custard Filling: makes 3 1/2 cups
3 egg yolks
3 cups of milk 
1/2 cup of sugar
1/3 cup of cornstarch 
1/4 tsp of salt
3/4 tsp of vanilla
First, separate the egg yolks and put them in a medium bowl and whisk them. 
Then, gradually stir in milk until it is completely blended.

Next, mix the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a large saucepan. Gradually stir in a small amount of the milk and egg mixture. This should make a smooth paste.
Then, stir in the rest of the milk mixture slowly. 
Then, cook the mixture over medium low heat. This is important, you don't want the heat to be any lower or higher than this or the custard could curdle.

Stir the mixture constantly, and when I say constantly I mean it. Don't stop. This will ensure that the custard won't curdle or burn and is the right consistency. Stir the mixture for about 20 minutes or until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens. 

Once it boils, stir it for one more minute. 
Have a large pan of ice water ready so the custard cools quickly. Set the saucepan of custard into the large pan of ice water and stir occasionally and gently for a few minutes. 
Stir in the vanilla next.

Scoop the custard into a Tupperware container and press plastic wrap on the custard to prevent a skin from forming on top of the custard.

Refrigerate for at least an hour. 
I know that that was a time consuming recipe, but the outcome is so worth it. I promise the next components are easier. The next part that I made was the cupcake itself. For this recipe I decided to make a simple yellow cake. It is delicious and has a simple vanilla flavor. Here is the recipe:
Yellow Cupcakes: Makes 12 cupcakes
1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1/2 cup of sugar
1 1/2 tsp of baking powder
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 cup of unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup of sour cream 
2 eggs
1 tsp of vanilla extract 
Preheat the oven to 350 and line 12 cupcake wells with liners.
In a bowl of a standing mixer, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. 
Next, add the butter, sour cream, eggs, and vanilla extract and beat until it is smooth. Don't over mix. 

Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 of the way full. 
Bake for about 18 minutes or until a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean. 
After the cupcakes cool and the custard has cooled for at least an hour, you will want to fill the cupcakes with the custard. 
To do this, take a spoon and circle out a hole in the center of the cupcake. Don't go too far down or the
custard will soak through to the bottom.
Next take a spoonful of custard and fill the hole in the cupcake with it. 
Of course chocolate is one of the most delicious parts of an eclair. So it had to be added to this cupcake! I wanted this eclair cupcake to have a wonderful chocolate flavor. 
The next component to make is to melt a cup of of chocolate chips. To do this use a double broiler. In the bottom sauce pan boil water than place the double broiler sauce pan on top and add the chocolate chips. Mix it around until it melts. 
Next, use a knife and and top the cupcakes with the melted chocolate. 

One of the best parts of an eclair is the graham cracker crust. So I decided to make a graham cracker crust frosting for some crunch and deliciousness. Here is the recipe: 
Graham Cracker Vanilla Buttercream:
1 cup of butter
3 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
1 tbs of milk
1 tsp of vanilla extract 
salt to taste (put a dash in then keep tasting and adding more depending on your preference)
Graham cracker crumbs 
In the mixer, beat together the butter, powdered sugar, and salt, Beat until blended.
Then, add the milk and vanilla extract. and beat until creamy. 
Then mix in the graham cracker crumbs. 
Then put a little bit of the buttercream on top of the cupcakes. I wanted more of a chocolate flavor so I only put a little bit of buttercream on top. 

Then, for extra crunch I added more graham cracker crumbs on top.  Make sure you refrigerate the cupcakes because of the custard. Don't leave them out.
Next, finally enjoy these cupcakes! 

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