Monday, November 14, 2005

Coffee Pecan Éclairs



Not an éclair in the pâte à choux sense, but an éclair in the spirit of. These elegant confections, petit-fours if you will, come from Carole Walter's Great Cookies, one of my favourite books on the subject. She attributes the recipe to master baker Nick Malgieri. A rich little number, it yields a luscious array of flavours and textures in all of one succinct bite. Not exactly the fastest thing to whip up when you're in need of an instant sugar fix, more the stuff of leisurely preoccupation on a rainy afternoon, the best possible kind of project when you're in an un-harried frame of mind. Pecan meringues, scented with the warm whiff of cinnamon, sandwich a plush cushion of coffee buttercream. Good immediately, even better upon standing - the creamy filling softens the undersides of the crisp cookies, making for a deliciously deliquescent mouthful.

20 Comments:

Blogger Reid said...

Hi J,

This looks simply scrumptious. I can just imagine the wonderful infusion of flavor that that coffee buttercream gives to the pecan meringue.

I can also imagine how time consuming these would be to make. Once again, kudos to you!

12:37 pm, November 14, 2005  
Blogger Cenzina said...

Hi J,
I'm following your blog since a few weeks now and, though the pictures are really above anything else i've seen around, I'm still wondering how comes you never write down any receipe. ??
cheers,
S

2:10 pm, November 14, 2005  
Anonymous augustusgloop said...

I'm sure I can hear a chorus of angels when I look at this shot. Brilliant plating and focus as always.

2:28 pm, November 14, 2005  
Blogger Ruth said...

J, as always this is tooooooo gorgeous and so deliciously written.

I come by your blog often to live vicariously through your efforts.

Thanks for sharing.

9:39 pm, November 14, 2005  
Blogger Nic said...

Delicious. I absolutely adore the size!

9:42 pm, November 14, 2005  
Blogger Cathy said...

Just beautiful. You have such a knack for capturing your amazing creations with your words and your camera. (and I learned a new word!)

5:47 am, November 15, 2005  
Blogger Paz said...

Ahhh! Looking at the photo of the eclair, I have to agree that it has to be enjoyed leisurely. No rushing to bite and swallow.

Paz

10:21 am, November 15, 2005  
Blogger The UnProfessional Chef said...

mmmn,these look really delicious and dainty! Very inspiring to my own efforts to bake something more complicated than pound cakes :)

12:53 pm, November 15, 2005  
Anonymous joey said...

Beautiful and inspiring as usual :) Visiting your site is like going into Chanel store!

12:52 am, November 16, 2005  
Blogger tara said...

How perfect for a rainy afternoon when a bit of pottering around in the kitchen is in order. Absolutely stunning, J, and I adore your description of the flavours.

2:11 am, November 16, 2005  
Blogger Amy said...

Your photo makes me want to try making these--unfortunately, I am rarely in an unharried frame of mind, LOL. I will have to just enjoy your gorgeous photo to compensate.

2:27 am, November 16, 2005  
Blogger eatdrinknbmerry said...

J, you never fail in making me salivate. i'd love to see some chines desserts some time.

3:29 am, November 16, 2005  
Blogger michelle said...

Gorgeous...and I truly love this description: "...the stuff of leisurely preoccupation on a rainy afternoon, the best possible kind of project when you're in an un-harried frame of mind..." my favorite kind of preoccupation!

7:48 am, November 16, 2005  
Blogger eatzycath said...

a delectable little bite, to be demolished in a single mouthful - so absolutely sinful!

10:35 am, November 16, 2005  
Blogger Santos said...

gorgeous job! you must have the magic touch that these can be made on a rainy afternoon. i can't make anything remotely meringue-like even on drizzly day, but i suppose it's just our subtropical humidity. 'course, it doesn't help that i live on a beach....

12:36 pm, November 17, 2005  
Blogger slurp! said...

i'm at least 20kg overweight and I'm trying to avoid sinful desserts like plague. but everytime I visit your blog, seems like i'm inching to the road of no return. arghh ..... i lost! I just have to linkup :( ... :D

great use of utensils & other objects. complements the dessert very well indeed. just wondering if you are using any external light source (e.g softbox) or was it done entirely on available light?? Thanks!!!

10:08 pm, November 17, 2005  
Blogger Skrat said...

Yummmmmmmmmmyyyy,
that looks devine! Combination of the pecan and coffee, who would resist!? Great job yet again!

4:46 pm, November 18, 2005  
Blogger pseudo chef said...

Heya J-

Now I'm going to have to pop over to the patisserie to get some eclairs :)

4:13 pm, November 19, 2005  
Blogger deborah said...

The plate is like the shoes to this eclair purse - matching! I love the idea of rainy day preoccupation with copius amounts of tea to follow :)

3:32 am, November 21, 2005  
Blogger J said...

hi reid, thanks for your lovely words. they did take a little bit more time to make, but sometimes, that extra bit of effort can be enjoyable in itself...

hi cenzina, thanks for visiting and your kind words...no recipes for several reasons - i always indicate the books from which i've taken or adapted the recipes; so if someone's keen, they can look the books up. then there's my sheer laziness ;)

hi ag, thanks so much for always being so kind...

hi ruth, thank you; you are always so encouraging...re:meme; will get round to it soonest, i hope...

hi nic, thanks! as they say, small is beautiful...

hi cathy, thanks so much for visiting...really glad you liked the pictures (and choice of words)!

hi paz, thanks...glad to see i'm not the only slow eater around ;)

hi the unprofessional chef, thanks for dropping by; i would hardly call your fabulous baked creations mere pound cakes ;) and in defense of the pound cake, nothing is more difficult to perfect given its utter simplicity...

hi joey, thank you; you are much too kind...

hi tara, thank you very much for your kind words...for some odd reason, i find rainy weather extra-conducive to a spot of calm-mannered baking...

hi amy, you could have fooled me ;) your posts always have me thinking your kitchen and home must be a veritable oasis of serenity...

hi dylan, i can only dream of the day i'm skilled enough to turn out a decent daan tart...

hi michelle, i must confess to not minding rainy afternoons...in fact, i rather like them...

hi cath, one-and-a-half bites, to be precise ;)

hi santos, thanks, you're very kind! i never knew extreme humidity affected meringue; thanks for the heads-up

hi slurp!, thanks...no external light source; i take the pictures in daylight

hi skrat, thanks!

hi pc, have an extra on my behalf ;)

hi saffron, there's nothing like a cup of comfort on a rainy day...

6:41 pm, November 22, 2005  

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