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Chocolate Éclairs

Feb 16, 2012 by     No Comments    Posted under: A to Z of recipes, Desserts


A classic French pastry – light and crisp choux pastry filled with cream and covered in chocolate.

Makes 12 Preparation time 45 mins Cooking time 30 mins Cost per eclair £0.31

Choux Pastry Method
1. Pre heat the oven to 200˚C
2. Melt 50g of butter over a low heat in a large saucepan.
3. Sieve 75g of strong flour and keep it ready for later.
4. Add 125mls of water, ½ teaspoon of sugar and a pinch of salt to the melted butter and bring it to the boil.
5. As soon as the water has boiled take the pan off the heat and tip all the flour into the pan quickly in one go, stirring well with a wooden spoon at the same time – you should end up with a thick but smooth paste which forms a ball and leaves the sides of the pan clean – this should take less than a minute.
6. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and leave it to cool down for a couple of minutes.
7. Lightly grease a baking tray with some unsalted butter.
8. Beat 2 eggs lightly in a separate bowl, then add them gradually to the egg and flour paste, while whisking with an electric whisk. You should end up with a gloopy and shiny paste.
9. Transfer the paste to a piping bag with a 10mm plain nozzle, and pipe 8cm long strips onto the greased baking tray, making sure you leave plenty of space in between them as they will double in size.
10. Cook for 25 – 30 minutes at 200˚C – until the pastry is golden brown in colour and crisp on the outside. Remove them from the oven and as soon as they are cool enough to handle, split them across lengthways and discard any uncooked pastry from the insides. Leave them to cool completely before filling them.

Choux Pastry Ingredients
2 eggs
125 mls water
50g butter
½ teaspoon sugar
75g strong flour
Pinch of salt

Filling for éclairs: Method
1. Whisk together the cream, sugar and vanilla essence until it is at the floppy stage – i.e. thick but not stiff.
2. Put the whipped cream into a piping bag and fill the lower half of each éclair, then cover with the top half of the pastry.

Filling: Ingredients
300mls whipping cream
30g icing sugar
½ teaspoon pure vanilla essence

Chocolate Glaze:Method
1. Break the chocolate into pieces and put them with the cream into a saucepan over a very low heat.
2. When the chocolate is half melted, take the pan off the heat and continue stirring off the heat until all the chocolate has melted, then add the butter and stir that in as well.
3. Pour the chocolate sauce into a piping bag or use a spoon to spread the sauce on top of the éclairs.

Chocolate Glaze: Ingredients
100g dark chocolate
100g milk chocolate
100mls fresh whipping cream
30g butter

Additional information
Choux pastry is one of the easiest pastries to make and is best served fresh while it is still crisp.
Uncooked choux pastry keeps well in a piping bag for a day in the fridge, so you could make it ahead and bake it just before you need it. (The filling and the chocolate sauce can also be made ahead).
If the chocolate sauce is made ahead, warm it up very gently before spreading it on the éclairs – it should be warmed just until it is of a spreadable consistency, unless you actually want a hot chocolate sauce, in which case heat it up a tiny bit more and pour it on as the éclairs are being served.
Éclairs are classically topped with a fondant icing, but I think this chocolate glaze is much nicer and less sickly sweet than fondant.
If you prefer, crème Diplomate can be used to fill the éclairs, (crème Diplomate is a mixture of Crème Chantilly and Crème Pâtissière).

As with all recipes, the final product is only as good as the ingredients that go into it, and this is especially true when using chocolate – it really is worth using a very good quality chocolate as it makes a world of difference; I personally love the taste of Lindt dark and milk chocolate – I buy it in bulk when it’s on ‘special offer’ at any supermarket, and then I use it in all my chocolate recipes.

Nutrition Information

Nutrition per 100g per portion women men child
Polyunsaturates* 0.8 g 0.7 g
Mono Unsaturates* 7.3 g 6.3 g
Saturated Fat 18 g 16 g 78% 52% 78%
Total Sugars* 13 g 11 g 12% 9% 13%
Carbohydrate* 19 g 16 g 7% 5% 7%
Energy 362 kcal 312 kcal 16% 12% 17%
Protein* 4.7 g 4.0 g 9% 7% 17%
Fat 30 g 26 g 37% 27% 37%

* Percentage Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet for an average adult.
Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Allergens: Wheat, Gluten, Soya, Milk, Egg

Cost per recipe:£3.69
Cost per eclair:£0.31



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