Eclairs. I don’t care.

This week I’m going to show you how to make Ecliars! These are something you either love or hate (I hate!) but people are usually very impressed when you show them you can make them. Also, they add a certain sophistication to afternoon tea as they’re a break from cake – as if we’d need one! Either way, I know plenty of people who adore them and this recipe shows you how to make treat size ones in the hopes that it’s a bit healthier. I think it’s always  nice to have smaller sized treats when you’re expecting people over for tea anyways. They just look cuter. I made 5 mini ones with these quantities, but if you want to make more, simply double the recipe or even triple it if you want! 
This recipe does require a piping bag. I think mine was €9 but I would suggest you go get one, especially if you’re planning on baking over Christmas. In the next few weeks I’m going to start to show you how to make some different Christmas ideas and a piping bag will come in handy for some! You can buy piping bag sets as well which come with different nozzle widths and stuff so they’re probably the best bet!

Eclairs use Choux Pastry. This is the first pastry recipe I’ve shared on the  blog so am excited to get stuck in. Choux Pastry is another brilliant thing to learn as it is easily changed from Ecliars into Profiteroles – a firm Christmas Day favourite. The creme patissiere you learned last week in Baked Apples is perfect to fill Profiteroles as well, in case you want a break from the bog standard cream. Also, you have already learned how to make a Chocolate Ganache in  the Salty Caramel Chocco Cake, remember? This is used in this recipe for Eclairs as well as for the chocolate sauce for Profiteroles. See all the different things you’re learning to do? You’ll amaze even yourself on Christmas day.

Okay, so back to today’s recipe for Ecliars. You will need:

For the Pastry:

25g butter, cubed
2floz water
1 large egg (beaten!)
40g flour 

For the ganache:

100g dark chocolate
3fl oz cream (double)
Extra cream for filling

Here we go! Line your baking tray and preheat your oven to 220 degrees. Get your piping bag out and fix it for a 1 cm nozzle (you’ll need a bigger one if you want bigger Eclairs)

 Weigh out your butter and place into a saucepan with your water. Weigh out your flour and have it ready beside the hob. Also, beat your egg and grab a wooden spoon.

Heat your butter and water, just until the butter melts. Once it has, take it off the hob and add your flour beating it all the time. It’ll form into a kind of thick pasty dough.

Return this to the heat. You need to cook the flour. Make sure to constantly mix it – you don’t want it to burn or stick on your. This usually takes a few minutes, the pastry will be forming into a ball and coming away from the sides of the pan. Don’t let it stick to the  bottom anyways. 

Turn off you hob and move your saucepan to the counter. Allow it to cool for a  minute or so before you add your egg. You don’t want the egg to scramble in your pan – it would mean a complete disaster! After it’s cooled for a minute, gradually add the egg while continuously mixing with your wooden spoon. Once you’ve added in all your egg you should have a smooth, yellow paste.

You are aiming for this after you add your egg

Spoon your paste into a piping bag. Hold the bad tight and squeeze a line of pastry of about 3 or 4 inches out onto your baking tray. Repeat until you have no pastry left. Make sure to leave some space between each little pastry worm, they will puff up a good bit!

Place your baking tray into your oven for 10 minutes. Then you want to lower your temperature to 170 degrees and bake for another 20 minutes or until puffed up and golden brown. 

While your Eclairs are baking, make your chocolate ganache. Take your cream and put it into a milk pan to heat, just until boiling. Take off the heat and pour over your chocolate. Slowly stir and allow to cool completely, you want it to thicken slightly. Again, you’re meant to use double cream, I used single so it’d be less fattening.

Whip your cream for the center of your Eclairs now too. You can add some vanilla extract if you like to sweeten it.

Once your Eclairs are out of the oven, they’ll cool really quickly. Take a bread knife and cut them in half length ways. Leave them on your wire tray then to cool. Once cooled, spoon some cream onto one side of each Eclair. Tip the other side in your chocolate ganache and sandwich them lightly together. Repeat until all are done.

Place on a plate and drizzle the remaining chocolate over them. You could also dust them with icing sugar for a bit of extra sweetness. 

Make yourself a cup of coffee, tuck in and enjoy!

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