Steep jasmine flowers in milk and then use the floral-scented milk to make the custard that fills these chocolate-glazed pastries.
1. Tie jasmine in a square of cheesecloth, securing with cotton string. Place in a medium-size saucepan with milk. Bring milk just to boiling. Remove jasmine. Stir together cornstarch, sugar, eggs and salt in a small bowl. Stir a small amount of hot milk into cornstarch mixture; stir cornstarch mixture back into milk in saucepan. Over medium-low heat, cook, stirring until thickened, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat and strain into a medium bowl. Let cool slightly, then cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate.Shells:
2. Heat 1/2 cup water, butter, sugar and salt in small saucepan to a rolling boil.
3. Add flour all at once. Vigorously stir with wooden spoon until mixture forms a thick, smooth ball that leaves sides of pan clean, about 1 minute. Cook, stirring, another 2 minutes.
4. Transfer dough to a glass bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating with a wooden spoon for 30 seconds after each until dough is shiny and smooth.
5. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
6. Fit a 1/2-inch plain tip to pastry bag or have ready a bag with 1/2-inch opening and no tip; spoon dough into bag. Press dough out into 18-3-inch-long strips, 1/2 inch wide, on ungreased baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. Bake 400 degree oven for 30 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Transfer eclairs to rack to cool.
7. Split eclair shells lengthwise. Fit pastry bag with same 1/2-inch tip. Fill bag with custard filling, and pipe filling into shells. Replace tops.Glaze:
8. Melt frosting in microwave on high for 7 seconds. Stir until smooth. Dip tops of filled eclairs in melted frosting. Let set, refrigerated, 10 minutes. Makes 18 mini eclairs.Note:
9. Jasmine flowers are available at Adrianas Caravan, 800-316-0820 or www.adrianascaravan.com.