Real home baking
Is there anything nicer than a freshly baked crisp, choux pastry chocolate eclair? Well, maybe TWO fresh cream chocolate eclairs. Filled with sweet Chantilly cream and smothered in chocolate fudge icing. Ok..., even I am salivating now, and I've not even had my breakfast yet, but there is something ever so slightly decadent about these dainty little pastries, which is why they feature on our spring afternoon tea menu. I just adore them..., they're light, crisp, so more-ish, and they don't seem too sinful , oh but they are!
My dear Mum taught me how to make eclairs - because our old Kenwood mixer was broken at the time and we still needed to bake for some reason. And choux pastry is not as complicated as people make out...i fact it's very simple [and you don't need a mixer.]
Ok, you do need a few kitchen essentials, like a strong piping bag and nozzle, plus I like to use an eclair baking tray from Lakeland, but that is only because I'm a bit of a neat freak with my eclair shapes. But if you're making them at home [and not for customers] you don't have to pipe them and also and lined baking tray will do.
I'm going to share my chocolate eclair recipe with you...
You will need: • 3oz of butter • 6 fluid oz of cold water • Pinch of salt • 4oz of plain flour • 2 large eggs • Double cream – about 300ml • Vanilla essence • Icing sugar • Cocoa powder • 8 cubes of White chocolate to decorate
And this is how you do it...
- Put the oven on at 200 degrees.
- Line two flat baking sheets with good baking parchment.
- Put the butter and water into a medium size pan and bring to the boil.
- As soon as the mixture is boiling shoot in the flour and salt and mix immediately until the mixture comes away from the side of the pan.
- Allow to cool for 2 minutes, then add one egg and beat hard until mixed.
- Add the other egg and beat hard until mixed.
- Put into a piping bag – I use disposable piping bags.
- Pipe into small ‘sausage’ shapes about 10 cm long and about 5cm apart on the baking trays.
- Place into oven for 20 to 22 minutes and do not open the oven door until they are golden brown and crispy.
- Remove the cooked éclairs and cut them open onto a cooling tray until totally cold.
- Meanwhile mix the cream and a dash of vanilla ess.
- Put the cream into a piping bag and pipe into each éclair.
- To make the icing, add a teaspoon of cocoa powder to approx 4oz of icing sugar and blend with just enough water to make a paste.
- Ice each éclair.
- Whilst these are beginning to set, melt the 8 cubes of white chocolate in the microwave for 2 minutes.
- Drizzle the white chocolate over the éclairs – I use a piping bag.
- Allow to set for one hour.
Then hide the eclairs from the children and enjoy them once your little darlings have gone to bed! x