17-23: Mocha Éclairs

17-23: Mocha Éclairs

As part of my Mother’s Day brunch this year (MD2017), I wanted to push my limits by attempting some of the hardest pastry recipes in the book. I tested my skills not only with 17-44: Homemade Danish Pastries, but with this recipe as well, 17-23: Mocha Éclairs.  My mom always referred to éclairs as something that challenged her when she was learning to cook and bake, and that a well-executed one was something that really impressed her. With that in mind, I knew this recipe was a must-do.

I may have to make a few adjustments to Simply Delicious‘ version of the recipe–first of all, there’s no chocolate listed anywhere in this recipe, and it’s advertised as “mocha”, which is coffee AND chocolate. We may have to do something about this “slicing the tops off” idea as well.

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17-44: Homemade Danish Pastries

17-44: Homemade Danish Pastries

Strap in ladies and gents, this one’s a long one. As part of my Mother’s Day brunch this year (MD2017), I thought I’d raise the bar and attempt some of the harder ones in the book–nothing impresses your mother like showing her you can cook (and bake). My mom LOVES pastries, so I made her 17-44: Homemade Danish Pastries to nosh on while I worked on trying to serve up 5-4: Eggs Benedict. Luckily, these turned out better than my hollandaise sauce attempt did.

Obviously, mine look a bit different than what’s pictured on their card–we’ll get into all the decisions and pitfalls that led to that being the case after the jump.

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16-14: Orange-Almond Cake

16-14: Orange-Almond Cake

No, this isn’t a repeat of 16-47: Orange-Almond Pie–at least, not exactly. 16-14: Orange-Almond Cake uses almond paste while the pie version used almond meal (flour). This one also includes dark chocolate, which ALWAYS goes well with almond and orange flavors. 🍫

In the interest of not eating the whole cake at once (which is possible with something like this), I’m going to bake 12 individual cakes instead with a mini-Bundt pan that I have. That way, I can make them all, wrap and freeze them so that we can pull out a portioned piece for dessert without the temptation of eating the whole thing.

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14-16: Chocolate Nut Pudding

14-16: Chocolate Nut Pudding

We really enjoyed this dessert. 14-16: Chocolate Nut Pudding is a fancy version of “cake in a coffee mug” with additional toppings. ☕

14-16 Chocolate Nut Pudding_Page_1This dessert was awesome while still warm, still great while cold.

Editor’s note“If you don’t eat your meat, you can’t have any pudding, how can you have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat!” 

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17-24: Crispy Oatmeal Cookies

17-24: Crispy Oatmeal Cookies

I made 17-24: Crispy Oatmeal Cookies for a family get together and they went over very well. I didn’t serve mine in such an elaborate manner as shown on the card below, but they got a good reception because I dipped them in dark chocolate that I melted on a double boiler. 🍫

17-24 Crispy Oatmeal Cookies_Page_1We didn’t have an ice cream on hand, but these cookies make a great desert all on their own. 🍪

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