Vegan Eclairs – August Daring Bakers Challenge

Vegan Chocolate EclairsHi Everyone, it's Jane writing as the August Daring Bakers Challenge is revealed today.  What was this month's challenge you ask?  Something different for me anyway... chocolate eclairs!  And while my eclairs may not win any beauty pageants, they tasted scrumptious!  I will make this recipe for company next time.

So, details... This month's challenge was issued by MeetaK and Tony Tahhan.  The original recipe comes from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Herme (visit Meeta or Tony for the challenge recipe). An eclair consists of a Pâte à Choux (dough), Pastry Cream (filling), and Chocolate Glaze.  The challenge recipe called for a chocolate filling, which is not how Lane and I remember eclairs, but I was making enough modifications to the recipe (and a little more chocolate is usually a good thing).

Vegan Cream Puff PastryOf course, the Pâte à Choux wasn't written as a vegan recipe, so I looked for a bit of help from the Alternative Daring Bakers.  The suggested recipe the ADBs can be found here.  I halved the recipe because we didn't want to wind up with a zillion eclairs, and wound up with 8 very  small eclairs, which was perfect for the 4 of us who were tasting my results.

I'd never done this type of baking before and really enjoyed how the dough worked up.

Here's the recipe for the cream puff/eclair dough I used, including my modifications (note, this is the full recipe):

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 tablespoons Earth Balance
2 tablespoon Ener-G Egg Replacer whipped until stiff with 1/3 cup water
1 cup almond milk

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheet with non-stick mat. Prepare egg-replacer. Stir together flour, sugar, salt, cream of tartar. In a non-stick sauce pan, bring the milk and margarine to a boil, stirring constantly. Add the flour mixture all at once, and reduce heat to low. Stir constantly until the dough forms a ball that pulls away from the pan and the spoon and is glossy and smooth.  Smooth the dough and stir together a few times.  Cooking time after flour is added should be about 3-5 minutes. Working quickly, remove from heat and add the egg replacer, about a third at a time, beating well after each addition until the dough is glossy, smooth, and pulls away from the pan.  (I used my mixer with dough hook attachment, but that didn't work so wel.)

Shape the dough as desired. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, then lower heat to 350 for another 20 minutes, then turn off oven and allow to cool, with door slightly cracked for another 30 minutes, then cool completely on wire racks before serving or filling.

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Some of the Daring Bakers had issues with their eclairs deflating.  The general consensus was that the pastries were undercooked.  Some of the ADBs used baking powder in place of the cream of tartar.  I didn't make that change but baked everything much longer than the original recipe called for.  None of my eclairs deflated and they were all cooked through and a light golden brown.

Also, I tried to pipe my eclairs, but that didn't work so well.  So after I piped them, I wound up rolling them around in my palms a bit.  Next time, I'll skip the piping.

Vegan EclaireAs for fillings.... I did a chocolate filling and chocolate glaze.  Hubby was very complimentary.  The crust was light and flaky and definitely tasted as we remembered an eclair to taste.  However, we both remember eclairs as having a custard-like filling, so the chocolate seemed a bit odd, but hey, it was chocolate and yummy anyway.  I'm not including my recipe for the filling and glaze as they didn't come out well enough to recommend.  But the original recipe is easy enough to veganize, if you're interested.

Bon Appetit!

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Comments

  1. I love that your eclairs are swimming in chocolate glaze!! Yum!!

  2. Great job, Jane! You did a fantastic job with this challenge!

  3. Your eclairs look wonderful! I never thought it would be possible to veganise choux pastry so well. Bravo!

  4. Great job! I did opt for a lemon custard for the filling, because I thought it would be too strange to have chocolate filling. I loved this challenge!

  5. Wow, I’m really impressed. Like really, really impressed. As much as I love to bake I never would have thought to try a Pâte à Choux. They are beautiful, I’m glad they tasted great as well.

  6. Hi Nicole,
    Thanks. I made much more glaze than needed and didn’t want it to go to waste. We had fun mopping it up when we were eating the eclairs.

    Hi Jennifer,
    Thanks. Fantastic? Not really, but they did taste great. And, they did rise!

    Hi Angela,
    Well, I can’t take credit for the recipe, but I didn’t expect it to turn out well either. But hey, as a Daring Baker, you have to try, right?
    Next time I’m going to try the coconut.

    Hi Shel,
    I thought about lemon… I was going to use the filling from the lemon meringue pie since Lane loved it so much last time… but then I didn’t complete my challenge until the night before we went away for Labor Day. So it was just easier to do this. And while I don’t think of eclairs as having a chocolate filling, it was really quite good.

    Hi Sue,
    I felt some trepidation as well when I first read the challenge. I was excited, but I didn’t have high hopes for the pastry. I was very pleased. Unfortunately, I need to improve my pastry finishing skills. Their appearance doesn’t do them justice.

  7. Yum, your vegan eclairs look delicious! :)

  8. I am impressed! This was a great challenge to develop pastry skills and to make the modifications on top of everything, you really deserve congratulations!

  9. Jane, thanks for stopping by my blog and the sweet compliment! Your eclairs look absolutely decadent!

    That said, I put up my old ‘standby’ pate a choux recipe in the comment section of the eclair DB entry, in response to your question. I have no doubt you’ll be able to make substitions and get the same or a similar result :)

  10. Umm..I meant ‘substitutions’..LOL

  11. hmmm, tried to comment and my computer freaked. Sorry if it’s a dupe.

    Your eclairs look great, so light and crispy. Hard to believe there aren’t eggs in the mix.

  12. wow, that looks delicious! never imagined a vegan version for eclairs, but gotta try these soon!:)

  13. Hi Sara,
    Thanks. They were delicious, but they didn’t win any beauty contests. :)

    Hi Penny,
    Well, I’m still waiting to develop the pastry skills…. but you learn a little more with every attempt.

    Hi Lisa,
    Thanks for sharing. I’ll let you know when I try your recipe. I’ve found that some things are really easy to veganize while others just don’t work, no matter how hard you try.

    Hi Michelle,
    Not an egg in sight. The egg replacer is a tapioca starch.

    Hi Mansi,
    I’d never thought about it either. But I’ve been surprized at the things I’ve been able to bake without butter and eggs.

  14. Your elcairs look absolutely scrumptious!

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