Master the art of making eclairs with this fool-proof recipe!
- 1 hr 30 mins + cooling
- Makes 40
FOR THE ECLAIRS
- 250ml cake flour
- pinch salt
- 250ml water
- 115g butter
- 4 eggs, beaten
FOR THE CUSTARD
- 60ml custard powder
- 500ml milk
- 45ml sugar
FOR THE CHOCOLATE TOPPING
- 250ml icing sugar
- 60ml cocoa powder
- 15ml butter
- 45ml boiling water
FOR THE CHANTILLY CREAM
- 250ml cream
- 15ml icing sugar
- 5ml vanilla essence
- Preheat oven to 220°C and lightly grease a baking tray.
- For the eclairs, sift the flour and salt together. Bring the water and butter to a boil in a saucepan over medium. Add all the flour at once and stir quickly with a wooden spoon until it forms a ball (about 2-3 minutes). Cool to room temperature. Slowly add the eggs, stirring vigorously to incorporate (you might not need all of the egg – the pastry should be able to keep its shape when scooped into balls or piped).
- Place teaspoonfuls of the mixture onto the prepared tray, leaving enough space in between for them to rise. Alternatively, pipe 6cm-long strips, using a piping bag fitted with an open star nozzle.
- Sprinkle water over, to create steam. Place the eclairs in the oven, reduce heat to 200°C and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 180°C and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden, then reduce again to 160°C and bake for about 10 minutes, or until dried out. Prick the bases with a skewer for steam to escape, ensuring the eclairs stay crisp. Cool on wire racks.
- For the custard, mix the custard powder with some of the milk to form a smooth paste. Add the rest of the milk with the sugar. Pour into a microwave-safe container and heat for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly, until cooked through and thickened. Cool, beating regularly, to prevent a skin from forming.
- For the chocolate topping, sift the icing sugar and cocoa together. Heat the butter and water until melted. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together until smooth.
- For the Chantilly cream, beat the cream until soft peaks form. Add the icing sugar and vanilla and mix until
just combined. Don’t overmix. Cut the eclairs open and fill the bottom halves with the custard and the top halves with the Chantilly cream. Sandwich together and spoon the chocolate topping over them.
- Fill with Nestlé Caramel Treat mixed with mashed banana.
- Drizzle melted white chocolate on top.
- Fill with lemon curd and top with a dollop of whipped cream and lemon zest.
- Fill with smoked salmon cream cheese and grated cucumber.
FEATURE: MARGIE ELS-BURGER ASSISTED BY NOMVUSELELO MNCUBE PHOTOS: ROELENE PRINSLOO
The trick with eclairs is to have everything measured out and ready before you make them. Store cooled, unfilled eclairs in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks. If the unfilled eclairs start to go soft, heat them for 5-10 minutes at 160°C to crisp up again.
Magazine issue date: May, 2013