Chocolate Éclairs. Buy or not to buy? (Not to buy). These were surprisingly simple to make - not to mention cheap (especially when you can make a batch of 10). Chocolate and cream between a lovely classic, delicate Pate a Choux pastry. - Which by the way took exactly 5 minutes to make.
Mama Bee Reassurance - If you don't own a piping bag, simply use an ordinary plastic sandwich bag and cut the corner to pipe your Choux buns! - and perfection isn't vital if you like the rustic home-made look. - People will love this! (Alternative fillings) - Fresh cream and strawberry jam / strawberries thin cuts).
Basic ingredients for a classic Pate a Choux Pastry:
Half a cup of butter
4 eggs (whisked in separate bowl)
1 stick of butter (make sure it's butter)
Pinch of salt
1 cup 1/4 of Plain Flour
Vanilla Powder (or essence) - Powder is more expensive however stronger in taste.
Making this pastry shocked me how quick it was! All you have to do is add your water and butter in a medium pan - pop the lid on and wait until boiling point. As soon as it reaches boiling point, turn off the heat. Add your flour and salt and mix, mix, mix (using a WOODEN spoon!) This will eventually turn into a dough and your pan will look like you've not even used it once it's all combined! (wait about 3 - 4 minutes to cool, but not completely.
As I own a mixer, I have attached the whisk for the next step. I added my Choux dough and gently added my whisked eggs (setting my machine on medium-low). Once all my egg mixture was added I set my mixer on high for about 3-4 minutes. It may look curdled at the beginning however it eventually turns into a 'sticky' paste.
Preheat your oven to 200'C/400'F making sure you've add baking paper to a flat tray for the next step. Grab your piping bag/plastic sandwich bag (cut the corner) and add your mixture.
This step is fiddly so if you can have someone to hold the paper down (maybe your son/daughter or anyone else around you!) unless your an expert at piping :)
My Éclairs where about 4-5 inches long but you can do them however you like. - They rise and expand in the oven. - Neat or not neat- they will be delicious filled!
When your happy, put the Éclairs in the oven and let them cook for about 15-20 minutes. (Longer if they are really big).
Mama Bee Tip: Don't be tempted to open the oven halfway as this will only deflate your Éclairs!
Your Éclairs should be delicate and have risen nicely! I recommend letting them rest, don't touch them just let them cool and pop them in the fridge to make it easy to cut them!
Filling Recipe: Scroll down
For the filling of my Chocolate Éclairs, of course contain Chocolate & Cream. As mentioned before you can add whatever filling you like (great combination, strawberries and cream).
I removed my Éclairs out of the fridge and used a bread knife to cut them. Sideways or in the middle your choice! I then simply poured some double cream into my mixer and whisked for a good 3 minutes until stiff/fluffy but not overly done!
Once again I used a sandwich bag to pipe.
For the shiny chocolate topping and inspiration for this recipe please visit the following link:
No Biggie: Chocolate Eclair