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An Eclairs recipe

 An Eclairs Recipe 

An Éclairs recipe

Ingredients 

Choux Pastry

  • 100g / 7 tbsp unsalted butter , cut into 1 cm / 1/2" cubes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup plain/all-purpose flour
  • Pinch cooking/kosher salt
  • 4 large eggs (55-60g/2oz each) , at room temperature (Note 1)

Shiny Chocolate Glaze

  • 100g/ 3.5 oz 70% cocoa dark chocolate block , finely chopped (Note 2)
  • 2/3 cup thickened/heavy cream (Note 3)
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons corn syrup or liquid glucose (Note 4)

Stabilised Chantilly Cream (Note 5)

  • 3 cups thickened/heavy cream or whipping cream (min 35% fat, Note 3)
  • 1 cup mascarpone (40%+ fat, Note 6)
  • 1 2/3 cups icing sugar/powdered sugar , sifted
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract or, 2 vanilla pods (Note 7)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F (160°C fan). Position one shelf in the top third of the oven and another in the lower third. Lightly spray 3 trays with canola oil and line with baking/parchment paper.

Choux Pastry

Simmer liquid – Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When the butter is almost melted, add water.

Flour – Once the liquid starts simmering, add flour and salt, and vigorously stir with a wooden spoon (while still on the stove). The mixture will turn pasty then in about 10 seconds it will transform into a sticky ball of dough that comes away from the walls of the saucepan. Once this happens, remove from the stove and leave to cool for 10 minutes (no longer).

Eggs – Add eggs one at a time, mixing vigorously with a wooden spoon after each addition, making sure each egg is incorporated before adding the next. At first, the mixture will look separated but when you keep stirring, it comes together. When finished the mixture should be a sticky, thick paste that holds its shape, not sloppy and loose (see video or photos).

Pipe – Transfer mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 15 mm star tip (Note 8). Pipe logs 12-14 cm long, 2.5 cm wide, 1.5 cm tall, 5 cm apart from each other. (5" long, 1" wide, 0.6" tall, 2" apart) Do not crowd the tray else they won’t go crispy. You should get around 20.

Bake:

Bake 2 trays on the shelves for 45 minutes. At the 30 minute mark, open the oven door for 2 seconds to release steam (makes them crispier), then again at 35 minutes and 40 minutes. Remove the tray at 45 minutes.

Cool – Remove choux buns from the oven and allow to fully cool on the trays. If you used 3 trays, bake the 3rd tray of choux pastry per above directions.

Split – Slice choux buns in half horizontally.

Shiny Chocolate Glaze:

Place chocolate in a bowl.

Pour over hot cream – Heat cream and glucose in a small saucepan over medium heat until just below boiling. Pour mixture over chocolate, shake so the chocolate is submerged. Let stand for 1 minute.

Mix with a rubber spatula until smooth (do not use a whisk, it creates bubbles). Transfer into a wide, shallow bowl large enough to dip the eclairs.

Assemble

Coat eclairs – Dip the lid of each éclair into the chocolate. Place on a tray and refrigerate for 30 minutes until the chocolate is firm to the touch.

Whip cream – Place all the Chantilly Cream ingredients in a bowl. Whip using an electric beater on medium high for 3 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Transfer into piping bag fitted with a star tip.

Fill eclairs – Pipe in cream using whatever pattern takes your fancy, generously thick. Place the lid on then serve!

Recipe Notes:

1. Eggs must be at room temperature, not fridge-cold. 55 – 60g/2oz each in the shell. If yours are much larger or smaller, crack the eggs into a jug, whisk, and measure out 200ml or 4/5 cup.

2. Chocolate – Use 70% cocoa baking chocolate (baking aisle) or 70% cocoa Lindt eating chocolate.

Adjustment for ordinary dark chocolate chips or melts, or semi-sweet chocolate chips: use 1 cup / 150g chocolate chips + 1/2 cup (125 ml) cream + corn syrup or glucose amount per recipe.

Reason: The chocolate is only 40 – 45% cocoa so it’s softer which means you don’t need as much cream to achieve same consistency.

3. Cream – You need to use cream that is at least 35% fat, for both the glaze and whipped cream. Higher fat = richer result = ok! Lower fat = no good. If the fat % is too low, the glaze will be too runny and the cream won’t whip properly. 

4. Glucose and corn syrup – Find glucose in the baking aisle and corn syrup in speciality shops. It makes the chocolate shiny, like éclairs at patisseries!

5. Stabilised cream has the same light mouthfeel as plain whipped cream, but it has more structure so it doesn’t squirt out as much when you bite into the éclair, and it won’t weep and collapse when stored overnight. There’s various ways to make stabilised cream. Using mascarpone is the most fitting method for eclairs, I feel. It will keep for 2 days without deflating or weeping like normal cream. 

6. Mascarpone is an Italian cheese/cream that tastes like a rich cream. It has a consistency like softened cream cheese, it’s not pourable. Be sure to get a reputable brand, not an economical house brand as cheap imitations are runny (pourable) so won’t work properly as a thickener to stabilise the Chantilly Cream. 

7. Vanilla pod – To scrape the seeds out of a vanilla pod, cut the pot in half lengthwise using a small sharp knife. Then scrape down the split pod using the blunt side of the knife to scrape the seeds out.

Substitute with: 2 tsp vanilla bean paste (best sub) or vanilla extract.

8. Piping nozzle – A star tip piping bag makes nicer shaped eclairs with little authentic ridges running down its length. However, plain round ones work just as well! Just snip the end of the piping bag (2.3 cm wide).

9. Making ahead – Store cooled whole choux pastry in an airtight container for 3 days. Re-crisp in a 180°C (160°C fan) oven for 5 minutes. Stabilised cream can be kept in an airtight container or piping bag for 48 hours, and it will be fluffy like freshly made! Follow recipe to assemble. Assembled éclairs will keep for 2-3 days in the fridge but the pastry softens over time. It does not stop me hoovering them down.

10Nutrition per éclair.

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