nearly vegan chocolate eclairs

24Feb13

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In preparation for an Oscars Party hosted by a lactose-intolerant friend, I have developed a recipe for nearly vegan chocolate eclairs. The dough for these fairly fancy pastries is surprisingly easy to make. The dough contains eggs. The filling has a silken tofu base and the ganache is made with almond milk.

Nearly Vegan Chocolate Eclairs

Ingredients:

Choux Pastry (inspired by Joy of Cooking)

  • 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup soy milk (I prefer Silk Plain)
  • 8 tablespoons margarine (I prefer Earth Balance unsalted)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs

Chocolate Filling

  • 12 oz. extra firm silken tofu (Mori Nu, in a shelf-stable package)
  • 1 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/8 cup espresso (or 1/4 cup strong coffee
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 cup rum
  • 1 tablespoons vanilla

Chocolate Ganache

  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup almond milk (unsweetened)

Instructions for pastry:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Bring the water, soy milk, margarine and salt to a boil over medium heat in a medium saucepan.
  3. Add the flour all at once and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan.
  4. Continue to cook and stir the mixture for about 1 minute, to eliminate excess moisture.
  5. Let cool for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring thoroughly after each egg.
  7. Make sure paste is smooth before adding each egg.
  8. Beat the dough till smooth and shiny.
  9. Using a pastry bag, pipe paste onto a greased cookie sheet using a 1/4 inch tip. Make each eclair 2-3 inches long.
  10. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.
  11. Reduce the heat to 350. Bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, depending on size of dough mounds. They should be quite firm, lightly browned, and puffed before removing them from the oven.
  12. Allow to cool completely before filling.

Instructions for filling:

  1. Place tofu in food processor.
  2. Melt chocolate chips in microwave on medium heat for 2 minutes.
  3. Heat espresso in a sauce pan over medium-high. Add sugar and stir until it is dissolved. If you are using coffee, reduce the coffee until it is 1 tablespoon.
  4. Add remaining ingredients to food processor and blend until smooth.
  5. Pour filling into bowl and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  6. Once chilled, put filling in a pastry bag with a 1/4 inch tip.

Instructions for ganache:

  1. Put almond milk and chocolate chips into a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Heat and stir until the chocolate is completely melted.
  3. Remove from heat and chill for 10 minutes.

Instructions for assembly:

  1. Cut a slit into each pastry along the long side. Leave one side attached, so that the eclairs can be opened but the tops are still attached.
  2. Pipe chocolate filling into each eclair, filling the cavity until it is about 75% full.
  3. Gently push the top back over the filling.
  4. Turn the eclair upside down and dip the top in the chilled ganache.
  5. Remove and place on a baking sheet.
  6. Let the ganache firm up.
  7. Makes 18-24 eclairs
  8. Enjoy!
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