Whilst catching up on The Great British Bake Off Comic Relief Special, I was inspired by one of the technical challenges- Fresh Cream Eclairs. Now I have never done these before as I heard the pastry is a bit tricky to get right, and I’m more of the quick and easy type of baker! However I was feeling brave today so I decided to give it a go! It’s not actually that hard if you break it down in stages and keep your cool. Here’s the recipe I used:
For the pastry:
- 65g of Flour
- 50g butter
- 2 eggs
For the filling:
- 200ml double cream
- 5tsp icing sugar
- 1tsp vanilla extract
And for the icing:
- 100g dark chocolate (can be milk if you fancy sweeter version)
- 50g white chocolate
Stage 1- Turn the oven to 200*C and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. In a pan boil 120ml water with the butter, as soon as it starts boiling take it of the heat and sift in the flour, then using a wooden spoon mix vigorously till the mix looks smooth and glossy. Return the pan on a low heat and carry on mixing for a minute or so. Once done, place in a mixing bowl and let it cool, before adding the eggs, otherwise they will cook and scramble!!!
Stage 2- Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs into the dough. This will look awful at first but gradually the mix will stiffen and turn into a thick, creamy like dough. Place the mix in a piping bag- I personally used a freezer bag with a corner cut off (works a treat). And on the tray pipe around 10 cm lines. Remember to leave gaps between the pastries as they will rise.
Stage 3- Bake the pastries for 15 minute at 200*C, make sure not to open the oven door as this will stop them growing. Then turn the oven to 175*c and bake for another 10 minutes. After this take the pastries out, at this point mine were done and crispy however if it’s still wet inside pop them back in for further 5 minutes. Then cool on a wire rack.
Stage 4- Whip the cream with the sugar and vanilla extract till it starts to stiffen and stays on the spoon, be careful not to overdo it as it will turn into butter and taste all dense and fatty. Fill the cream into the piping bag.
Stage 5- Cut the eclairs from one side and gently spread them open, then pipe the cream inside.
Stage 6- Melt the chocolate, I usually pop the broken chocolate in a bowl and microwave for 30 seconds, then stir and repeat till it’s melted. Using a teaspoon smother the chocolate over the eclairs. Then melt the white chocolate and using piping bag or a spoon drizzle it over the eclairs. Let the chocolate set and you’re done!