Most people who know me know that I love donuts. I am a bit of a donut connoisseur.
I think I have a new passion–cocolate éclairs. It’s been building slowly. I think I haven’t really understood how great these little things can be until recently. Part of the problem is that I live in the united states. Americans tend to make éclairs into dry, eggy poofs of tough dough filled with whipped cream, rather than the traditional custard filling.
A few times in my life I have had a really good éclair and thought this was a new passion. But then I would get a bad one and change my mind again. I’d think ‘no, I must have been mistaken, I really do not like these.’ So here I will note the two best éclair experiences I have had in the last year. The first was last year in London at the Spitalfield’s Sunday market. There’s a bakery that wheels a huge cart of baked goods into the open air market. I spied these huge, almost foot-long éclairs from over the heads of the crowds. The dough was deliciously craggy with dark, shiny chocolate dripping over them, and I could see the yellow blobs of custard oozing out of the end. I was not disappointed. The second ecstatic éclair I had yesterday. I was in Washington DC and walked innocently into a little market on DuPont Circle. Called the Marvelous Market, this little place was like a gastronomic jewelry store. Amazing cheeses, breads, baked goods, Parisian-style sandwiches. They even had Paris-style macaroons (I tried those too!). I spied the éclairs with caution. They were small, and I couldn’t tell what they were filled with. So I asked. Custard. Yum!