I like Tom and Jerry: The Movie. There, I said it. I watched this movie all the time when I was a kid. I can still remember the exact spot where it sat at the video store. And that’s because I love Tom and Jerry. (Who doesn’t love Tom and Jerry?) And it was fun for me seeing them break from the norm and talk and work together. (Which looking at it now, okay, I can see why everyone gets so cheesed off.) But I still enjoy Tom and Jerry getting thrown into a very not-so-Tom and Jerry story. There’s a little runaway “orphan” girl, an evil “aunt” and lawyer, an animal-napper, a strange carnival guy with a hand puppet, and a seriously fat doggy on a skateboard. (I’m going to come clean right here and admit that Ferdinand has always been my favorite.) These sound like the ingredients for a nice, adventurey movie. Throw in some corny song and dance numbers and we’re all set. Oh, and some food would be nice.
Aunt Figg is a horrible, rotten person, but I have to give the lady credit for surrounding herself with food. (That’s what I’d do with all my money.) It seems like she always has cupcakes nearby and her kitchen is filled with all kinds of treats. (I can see how Ferdinand got so tubby.) Despite there being such a vast amount of delectables in the house, when Tom and Jerry come to stay with them, the “something special” they’re given is a scary, dripping bowl of who knows what. But out of all the food in the movie, the one that calls to me the most is an éclair. There’s just always been something about the scene where Aunt Figg is scheming with Lickboot over the phone and she squeezes an éclair to death.
Recipe makes about 7 éclairs.
2 cups whole milk
4 egg yolks, room temperature
½ cup sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
Pinch of Salt
4 tablespoons butter, room temperature, and cut into chunks
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks
1 cup water
½ cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature, and cut into chunks
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup flour, sifted
4 eggs, room temperature, beaten
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and salt.
In a medium saucepan, heat the milk until it simmers. While whisking constantly, pour a little of the hot milk into the egg mixture. Slowly pour in the rest of the milk, whisking constantly. When the milk and egg mixture are fully combined, pour this mixture back into the saucepan.
Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and just comes to a boil. Pour the cream through a mesh strainer into a bowl. Stir in the butter and vanilla. Cover with plastic wrap, letting it touch the surface so the pastry cream won’t form a skin. Place in the refrigerator and chill completely, at least 2 hours. Fold the whipped cream into the pastry cream.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
In a medium saucepan, combine water, butter, sugar, and salt. Cook over medium heat until the butter is completely melted. As soon as the mixture comes to a boil, remove the pan from the heat and add all the flour at once. Stir until the flour is completely incorporated. Return the pan to the heat and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. When the dough comes together in a ball, remove from heat and cool slightly. (Enough so the eggs won’t cook when added.) Move the dough to a bowl or stand mixer. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. The dough should be smooth and paste-like and shouldn’t cling to a beater or spoon when lightly shaken.
Transfer the dough to a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip (3/4-1 inch). Pipe 6-inch lengths of dough onto a greased baking sheet sprinkled with just a little water, leaving plenty of room in between them. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375 degrees F. and bake for 30 minutes. (Don’t open the door.) Remove the tray from the oven and make a small hole in the end of each éclair to allow steam to escape. Bake an additional 5 minutes, or until the éclairs are crispy and golden. Remove the éclairs from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
Place chocolate in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream over medium heat until it just begins to boil. Pour the heavy cream over the chocolate and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir until the chocolate mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.
Putting It All Together:
Split each éclair in half lengthwise. Pipe or spoon filling into the bottom half of the éclairs. Dip the tops in the ganache. Close the éclairs and let the ganache set before serving. Enjoy!
Now I really feel like a million dollars here with my éclair. Yes, I’m trying my best to squeeze money talk in here somewhere. But hey, a delicious, fancy éclair definitely beats chunky tuna from a trashcan. (That stuff is green!) At least Tom and Jerry don’t have to worry anymore about eating off the streets because of bad owners. (What’s up with that? And Puggsy’s family too! There’s a greater chance of me getting left behind during a move than one of our pets.) Actually, Tom and Jerry don’t have to worry about anything anymore, which leaves them plenty of time to do what they do best: play cat and mouse games.
Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!