Sunday, 18 December 2011

Home Made Eclairs

As part of my cooking repertoire I have a very deep based Eclair Pan which makes 8 Eclairs, which I sourced from Lakeland.  I have had it a while and as OH is very partial to these little delicacies I have decided I am going to make him some for part of the Christmas baking.  This is the recipe on the back of the cardboard sleeve which I am going to have a go at.  I

Ingredients for the Choux Pastry

125ml of water
50g of butter
60g of plain flour
2 eggs beaten

For the icing

50g of dark chocolate or chocolate of your choice
1 tsp of butter
2 tablespoons of water
85g of icing sugar

For the filling

300ml double cream
3 drops vanilla extract
2 tso caster sugar
Optional fruit like oranges, strawberries, raspberries

To make

Pour the water into a medium saucepan and add the butter.  Place the pan over a medium heat and once the butter has melted turn up the heat abd bring to the boilt.  Add the flour and take the pan off the heat.

Stir briskly until the flour has blended with the liquid and the mixture leaves the sides of the pan and makes a soft ball.  Do not over beat as this will result in a heavy pastry.  Preheat the oven to gas mark 6 200 degrees C

Leave the mixture to cool slightly and when it is warm to the touch start to beat in the eggs a tablespoon at a time. Beat well between each addition.  For the best results use an electric mixer.  When you have added both the eggs the pastry should take on a glossy sheen and have a soft dropping consistency.

Spoon the paste into the eclair pan cups or place in a piping bag with a plain nozzle and then pipe into the tin.  Just before baking sprinkle the pan with a few drops of cold water as this will help the mixture rise well.

Bake the eclairs for about 20  minutes before turning down the gheat to 190 degrees C/Gas mark 5 for another 10 minutes.  The eclairs should be golden brown and well risen. Remove from the oven and pierce each eclair with a trussing needle or a knife to ensure that the steam escapes and does not make the eclair go soggy.  Leave to cool on a wire rack.

To decorate

Whip the cream with the vanilla and the sugar.

Slice pastries in half with a serrated knife and scoop out the doughy innards of both halves of the eclair with fingers or a small teaspoon.

Put 2 to 3 tablespoons of the filling in the bottom half of each pastry and loosely replace the top half or lid.

Tip the chocolate into a heatproof bowl and add the butter and water,  Place over a saucepan of simmering water and stir until melted.  Only a low heat as if the water boils it could splash into the chocoloate and make it go very hard.  Add the sieved icing sugar a little at a time.  Then with a palette knife smooth the icing over the top of each eclair and leave on one side until set.


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