Photo by Graham Steinruck
Provenance of Dish
I absolutely love eclairs and especially when they are flavored with maple or vanilla inside with a nice dark chocolate glaze. I thought it would be fun to try infusing candy cap mushrooms into the pastry cream and adding reishi to the glaze to infuse fungi into this classic French recipe.
Candy Cap Creme Pattissiere (pastry creme)
1 tablespoon dried, crushed candy caps
2 cups milk
3 large egg yolks
1 whole large egg
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon bourbon vanilla extract (optional)
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup flour
4 oz dark chocolate
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon red reishi extract powder
1. To make the cremé pattissiere (pastry creme): Add dried candy caps and two cups of whole milk into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and allow to steep for a minimum of one hour, or overnight in the refrigerator in an airtight container for best results. In a separate bowl combine egg yolks, whole egg, corn starch, sugar and salt. Mix with a whisk just until combined. After the mushrooms have steeped, bring mixture to a simmer again. Make sure the milk doesn’t boil or it will scorch. Strain the hot milk into a container that you can pour with, like a Pyrex measuring cup. Pour a tablespoon or so of the hot milk into the egg mixture and whisk until combined. Continue to add the hot milk in small increments and mix until 2/3 of the milk mixture has been mixed in. You may now add the rest of the milk and mix until combined. Pour the mixture back into the sauce pan and bring to a simmer on medium heat, stirring continuously until the mixture starts to get quite thick. Lower the heat and continue to simmer and whisk for two minutes. Be careful not to burn the mixture to the bottom of the pan by stirring continuously. Turn of the heat and add the butter in small increments while stirring making sure each butter addition is completely emulsified before adding the next bit of butter. Whisk in vanilla if using. Pour into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap making sure the wrap contacts the surface of the mix so it does not form a skin. Cool in the refrigerator for at least one hour until proceeding to the next step. This can be done a day or three ahead of time. Note: Instead, you can use this mixture to fill the center of a cake or use it anywhere that pastry creme is used.
2. Prepare the pate choux. Combine the butter, milk, water, and salt in a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add all of the flour at once, and with a wooden spoon, stir vigorously. Once flour has been incorporated, continue to cook and stir over medium heat for about 2 minutes until the mixture forms a smooth ball and a thin film forms on the bottom of the pot. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and with the wooden spoon continue to beat the mixture for one minute to cool slightly. Add each egg, one at a time, making sure that each egg has fully incorporated before adding the next egg until all eggs have been added and the mixture forms a smooth dough and when pulled up away from the bowl, a tick ribbon in formed. Place mix into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2” round or star tip. Pipe eclairs on a baking sheet lined with silicone (4” long and 3/4” wide) making sure to leave 1 1/2” between each. Bake at 425 degrees F for 10 minutes. Reduce to 325 degrees and without opening the oven, continue to bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely before filling.
3. Fill a piping bag or pastry injection device (like a large syringe) with the pastry creme. Poke a hole on both ends of the eclair and fill with pastry cream until completely full. You can poke them with a chop stick to make sure there are no bubbles inside your pate choux that would make the pastry creme not be able to fill the pastry. Make sure they are completely full.
4. Prepare the reishi chocolate glaze. Add reishi extract powder and chocolate pieces to a bowl. Bring cream to a simmer in a small pot. Pour cream over chocolate and give the bowl a shake to make sure the chocolate is submerged in the hot cream. After 3 minutes, gently whisk until chocolate and cream are mixed and slightly glossy. Allow to cool slightly before dipping filled eclairs. Make sure to shake off excess glaze before placing the eclairs on the wire rack to allow the glaze to set.
5. Eclairs may be stored in the refrigerator for a few days or frozen and thawed for later enjoyment.