Who knew lemongrass and green apples would go together? I first discovered this combination from J's many tests and it has been till now one of my absolute favourites. Refreshing, light and surprising, I chose to make these for daddy's office. It was a frantic rush making 60 éclairs plus 50 over assorted macarons for an office of 80 people, especially since that annoying glaze was ridiculously difficult to work with and well, I felt like I was back in a production kitchen, just on a slightly smaller scale. I was, however, doing it all by myself so it was still a pretty massive quantity for me still and it just reminded of me why I hate production.
Once it was all completed though, I heaved the biggest sigh of relief and the feeling of satisfaction engulfed and filled me. There is literally no better feeling in this world.
I'm not so great at colours so I have to admit, J helped me obtain that perfect shade of green apple green. With a touch of more yellow to green in one single addition, he already got the right colour. It's insane how good he is, I need to learn so much more gosh. And for that, he didn't allow me to keep the colouring he made just so I will have to mix it by myself should I want or need to re-make that glaze.
That's the heaping of pre-garnished and dressed éclairs all fresh out from the oven! I'm not going to include those macarons because let's just say I used up leftover mint + champagne ganache so you can probably guess what I made (again) from my previous two posts.
This éclair has 6 components:
1. pâte à choux
3. lemongrass ganache
4. apple gélée with cubed granny smiths
5. green glaze
6. chocolate apple stems
Which was my favourite part? It was making those chocolate apple stems. It's strangely therapeutic; I could sit in silence and just roll them all day long. Piping the apple gélée was a slight nuisance job to do because even though I cubed those granny smiths really tiny-ly and folded them into the jelly, they always congregate and cluster at the tip of my piping bag and it was frustratingly difficult piping them out. That was tough. It, however, cannot beat that glaze. Imagine having to glaze 60 éclairs twice.
For example, I glaze 60 with a thin layer of that green goo for the first time, let it set in the freezer for a few minutes, take it out and glaze a second time round. That's like glazing 120 éclairs, all by myself. I was beat and I felt worse when I realize how crappy this recipe for the glaze is. Even when it's cold it is still really liquid so no matter how thick I got it to be, it kept flowing down the sides and I could not achieve a thicker top coating.
I got it somewhere to how it should look a third through so thank goodness for that. Simple it may look, but bloody challenging. Sticking those apple stems in was the best fun.
It was worth it though, because daddy's office loved it as well as the macarons. And if it makes them happy and my daddy proud, then I know I did my job right. But for now, I'm done baking for offices or anything that involves large quantities. Instead, I'm going to focus on my first cooking lesson! I just ran a test round for my Chaussons aux Pommes at the cooking school today and I'm so pleased with them! Stay tuned to see what they are, or if you're attending the lesson, what you'll be making! ;)
Cross-section featuring the lemongrass ganache with little chunks of Granny Smiths + apple gélée.