Sure to be devoured in a flash.
1 recipe Choux Pastry (recipe below)
1 recipe Chantilly Cream (recipe below)
7 oz good-quality milk or dark chocolate
4.3 oz all-purpose flour
8 oz water
2.1 oz butter
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp superfine sugar
a few drops of vanilla extract or rose water (optional)
Step 1: Sift the flour into a mixing bowl. Bring the water, butter, and salt to a boil in a large saucepan.
Step 2: Pour the flour into the saucepan in a steady stream.
Step 3: Keep whisking all the time until the mixture clings to the whisk.
Step 4: Swap the whisk for a wooden spoon and beat well over the heat for 2 - 3 minutes, until the mixture is glossy and comes away from the sides of the pan. This hard cooking dries off the batter and makes it ready to take the eggs.
Step 5: Because the mixture is quite hard to work by hand, use a stand mixer, if possible. Beat the mixture with the paddle attachment for 1 minute.
Step 6: Now start to add the eggs one at a time while keeping the motor running. Go carefully with the eggs as you might not need them all. You are aiming for a mixture that is smooth and glossy but that will hold its shape for piping. When you reach that point, it is ready to use.
Step 1: Whisk the cream, sugar, and vanilla together until thick. Be careful not to overwhisk or you will end up with butter rather than cream.
Step 2: Fill your third piping bag with the mixture.
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly grease a nonstick baking sheet or line it with a silicone mat.
Step 2: Fit a piping bag with a plain tip about 3/8" in diameter and fill with the choux batter. If making large éclairs, pipe 12 lines 5" - 6" long onto your prepared baking sheet. If making small éclairs, pipe 24 lines about 3 1/4" long.
Step 3: Bake large éclairs for 15 - 20 minutes, and small ones for 12 - 15 minutes, until golden and puffed up. For the last 4 minutes of baking, leave the oven door slightly ajar to allow the steam to escape and help the drying process. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and leave to cool.
Step 4: If you want to glaze the éclairs with chocolate, it needs to be done at different times, depending on which method of filling you are using. If you are planning to cut the éclairs in half and fill them with cream, dip the top halves in chocolate before filling them. If injecting the éclair filling, inject them first and then dip the éclairs in chocolate; otherwise, you can do it after you have injected the cream.
Step 5: Break the chocolate into chunks and put into a heatproof bowl. Place this over a pan of simmering water—you need enough water to come close to the bottom of the bowl but not actually touch it. Turn the heat very low so that you don’t get steam into the bowl, as this can make the chocolate stiffen and look dull. Let the chocolate melt slowly, stirring all the time. Remove from the heat.
Step 7: If you are halving the éclairs, take the upper halves one by one and dip the tops into the chocolate. Let the excess drain off into the bowl, then place on a wire rack until the chocolate has set. You can then pipe the cream into the cavities of the bottom halves and put the chocolate-dipped halves on top. If you are injecting cream inside the éclairs, you can do this before dipping them in the chocolate. Again, leave them on a rack until the chocolate sets.
You could also make the éclairs without the chocolate glaze on top and simply halve and fill them with chantilly cream and fresh fruit. If you want to do this, lightly glaze the top of the unbaked strips with 1 egg beaten with a pinch of salt, and run the tines of a fork along it for decoration before baking. When the éclairs are filled, dust with confectioners’ sugar.
See more recipes from Pastry.
Reprinted with permission from Pastry (2013, Raincoast Books).