Simply Irresistible is a quirky rom-com with a touch of magic. Parts were a bit reminiscent of It’s a Wonderful Life, with an angel-like character intervening occasionally.
I have to admit that I found much of the plot confusing, and was wishing there was more explanation, for instance, how did the magic work, exactly? Was it the earrings? The crab? The angel character?
After watching the movie, I looked to see if it was a book first - my hope was that if it was originally a book, I could read it and the book would likely fill in the plot gaps. But alas, it was not a book, just a poorly written screenplay. So I am left only with questions and no answers.
But let’s talk foodie inspiration! Since the movie centers around a chef, there is no shortage of inspiration. One of the most memorable dishes, however, are Caramel Eclairs, which cause those who smell or eat them to become very...ummmm...passionate.
I’d never made eclairs before, so I thought it was the perfect opportunity to give these pastries a whirl, only I decided to make chocolate eclairs instead of caramel, because I love chocolate!
As with many pastries, eclairs are very time consuming (I whisked the custard for over 30 minutes, but it was so silky smooth and delicious, it was well worth the effort).
This made a huge batch, so much to my co-workers’ pleasure, I took the bulk of the eclairs to work and there it was reiterated - this was a delicious recipe!
Recipe from Laura in the Kitchen
1 cup water
2 cup all purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter
Vanilla Bean Custard Filling
2 ¼ cups whole milk
¼ cup cornstarch
¼ cup granulated sugar
4 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
Pinch of salt
4 ounces semi sweet chocolate, chopped
¼ cup heavy cream
Start by making the vanilla bean custard filling.
Place the custard ingredients in a bowl and whisk to mix. Transfer the mixture into the bowl of a double boiler. Whisk constantly until the mixture is heated through and thickened (you may be whisking for a very long time - mine took at least a half hour. Have faith and keep whisking! It’s worth it! Plus, this very slow heating will keep the eggs from scrambling.)
Once the custard is thickened, transfer it to a bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, making sure the wrap is in contact with the custard so it doesn’t dry out. Place the custard in the refrigerator to cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the dough.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking mats.
Place the water, butter and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the mixture begins to boil.
Remove from heat and whisk the flour in completely.
Return the pan to the heat and cook, whisking constantly, for 2 minutes.
Pour the dough into a bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time, and stir until the mixture is smooth and uniform.
Pour the dough into a large piping bag fitted with a large round tip (I used an Ateco 808) Pipe with dough into 6-inch logs, 2 inches apart, on the prepared baking sheets.
Brush the dough logs with water. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes. Then reduce heat to 350 and cook for another 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from oven. Immediately use a chopstick or skewer to poke a hole through the eclairs the long way. Cool completely.
Once the custard and eclairs are cooled, transfer the custard to a piping bag fitted with a medium sized round tip (I used a Wilton 7). Place the tip into the holes punched previously with the chopstick to fill the eclairs.
Next make the ganache.
Heat the cream to steaming. Add the chocolate and allow to sit for 1 minute. Whisk the mixture until smooth. Spread the ganache over the eclairs. Refrigerate until ready to enjoy.
Makes about 24 eclairs.