Call it what you like .... éclairs, profiteroles, cream puffs .... 'éclairs' simply means 'filled pastry' ..... 'filled choux pastry' to be exact. And the filling varies from pastry cream, whipped cream, some other cream to even, ice cream!
This is just as fun to make as the iced cookies in the earlier post. And, as usual, I can't stick to just one shape or design .... hey, I like some variety.
I do like to make them small and bite-sized, a mini mouthful, just right to pop it into the mouth in one go, no gooey cream oozing out all over. Just don't try to talk til you've swallowed ... especially if you've dusted it with powdered sugar!
For this recipe, I've filled the éclairs with créme patissiére (pastry cream) but feel free to fill it with whatever suits your fancy.
INGREDIENTS : CHOUX PASTRY
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup full cream milk
4 ozs butter
1 tbs sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup plain flour
Preheat oven to 180˚C. Line a baking tray with parchment or a baking mat.
Combine water, milk, butter, sugar and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
Stir in flour quickly and cook over low heat, stirring constantly until
mixture pulls away from sides of pan cleanly and forms a ball.
Transfer dough into a mixing bowl and using an electric mixer, beat on low speed to cool slightly, about 3 mins.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 mins in the fridge. (Dough may be stored, covered, for up to 24 hours in the fridge.)
Remove dough from fridge and fill into a piping bag.
From this point on, you can pipe into rounds using a nozzle of your choice or cut a hole of about 1 1/2 cm at the tip of the piping bag and pipe little logs of about 5 cm in length ... or longer, if you want a bigger éclair or make the hole larger for a fatter éclair.
Or just simply place dollops of dough on the parchment.
Bake in preheated oven for about 20 - 25 mins or until golden brown.
Remove from oven and using the tip of a small knife (I used a chopstick), pierce a small hole to allow the steam to escape. This prevents the éclairs from going soggy on the inside. You can also do this step and then place them into the oven for another 2 mins to dry it out.
Remove and allow to cool on cooling rack.
INGREDIENTS: PASTRY CREAM
2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
6 egg yolks
2 tbs cornstarch
Place all ingredients into a saucepan and whisk until evenly combined.
Place saucepan over medium heat and bring to a slow boil, stirring continuously.
When mixture thickens to a paste, remove from heat. Transfer pastry cream into a clean, dry bowl and cover with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Allow to cool and then place in fridge until fully chilled.
When chilled, fill pastry cream into piping bag fitted with a tube nozzle and fill éclairs through the hole/slit you have made earlier.
Dip or drizzle top of filled éclairs with chocolate ganache.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.
INGREDIENTS: CHOCOLATE GANACHE
1/3 cup cream
50 g dark chocolate, chopped
Heat cream over medium heat in a small saucepan until just about boiling. DO NOT boil.
Remove from heat.
Mix in chocolate pieces and stir until all chocolate has melted. Leave to cool. (Ganache will thicken when cooled)
Can be stored in fridge. Remove and stand container in a bowl of warm water to soften before re-using.