Or I could also call this post
“How to fail as a Food Blogger”
I don’t watch a lot of television, except when I’m ironing. A few days ago, while trying to tackle a mountain of newly laundered clothes, I was watching James Martin’s cooking show on BBC. He was demonstrating how to make chocolate eclairs and it looked so, so, so, so good and easy! So I thought to myself, that looks like something I could do.
So when I found some quiet time, instead of picking up my book, I decided that this was going to be a Chocolate eclair day and that I was going to document the whole process. You’ll never know, I may just be the next big Food Blogger (yeah right), so I grabbed my camera and set up my ingredients the way food bloggers would do it, except that I forgot to include one ingredient in the photo, but thankfully not while I was making it!
(Note: I only halved the ingredients since I only made do with what we had ready in our kitchen cupboard.)
Chocolate Eclairs: Ingredients
250ml/9fl oz water
200g/7oz plain flour
1 tsp caster sugar
4 free-range eggs
50g/2oz dark chocolate, chopped
150g/5½oz fondant icing sugar
2 tbsp dark cocoa powder
450ml/16fl oz double cream
– Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
– Heat the water and butter in a saucepan until the butter has melted.
– Beat in the flour, sugar, salt until the mixture is smooth, then continue to cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and beat in the eggs, one at a time, until smooth and glossy.
I know it doesn’t look glossy to me either. At this point I was seriously doubting myself already.
– Set aside to cool, then spoon the dough into a piping bag fitted with a medium size nozzle.
I used a medium-sized nozzle, but when I first piped out my line, it looked too thin. So I piped another line next to it, hoping it will look fatter. But nope, as you can see from the photo above, mine still looked starved! Nothing like the ones James Martin did on TV.
– Pipe 12.5cm/5in lines onto the baking tray and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until golden-brown and crisp.
Well, the recipe did say golden crisp and brown! When I first took it out of the oven, I muttered “Oh dear Lord, my eclairs look like turd!” But then I remembered the chocolate and cream and hoped that once it’s covered in that, it won’t look turd-like.
– Remove the éclairs from the oven and set aside to cool on a wire rack.Meanwhile, heat the dark chocolate and two tablespoons of water in a saucepan until the chocolate has melted.
– Sieve the icing sugar and cocoa into a bowl, then add the melted chocolate and water and beat until the mixture is smooth and thickened.
– Spoon the mixture into a piping bag.
– Whip the double cream in a bowl until stiff peaks just form when the whisk is removed. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a small nozzle. Carefully insert the nozzle into the base of the éclairs and fill with cream.
– Pipe the fondant chocolate on top of the éclairs and set aside until set.
Recipe source here.
I was wrong.
In spite the chocolate and cream on top, it still looked like turd.
I offered my turd looking chocolate eclairs to the husband.
He said they looked delicious.
He’s either biased or blind.
Then he tasted it.
He said it was definitely delicious.
Liar! I thought.
And went back to the kitchen and had a bite, then another. Then decided to have another eclair to go with my tea. Then ate another. I think I had about three. The husband had six.
Not bad I thought.
But it still looks like turd.
I sighed and checked the clock. It was time to pick up little T from school. She was whingy. Wanting to cheer her up, I said I had a surprise for her. She brightened up and immediately thought it was a new toy. I disappointed her by saying “Nope, mummy baked you something special!” And prayed that she won’t mention the similarity to something smelly.
Once home, I presented her with my turd-like chocolate eclairs. She said nothing. Phew. Took one bite and at this point, I’m going to change the title of this post to:
HOW TO EAT A CHOCOLATE ECLAIR IN LESS THAN A MINUTE:
1. Hold eclair in both hands as pictured above.
2. Take one small bite just to see if you like it.
3. Having established that the said eclair is indeed, yummy, take another bite. This time as big as you can possibly can without ramming it in your mouth in one go. That would be piggy!
4. Put the final bite in your mouth. Try not to gag.
5. Lastly, don’t forget to chew with your mouth shut.
I was so pleased that when she asked more. I actually gave in. She had nine in total. Yes, I know, bad mothering, and all this before dinner.
I guess my husband wasn’t lying after all even though it still looks like turd to me.
Do you think food bloggers also have this problem?
Their end product always looks perfect!
How on earth do they ever manage that?
They probably only post the perfect ones.
I guess I should stick to writing posts about life in the country then – oh well.