Eclairs! I had 50g of butter left and was looking for a good way to use up this 50g of butter so eclairs! Choux pastries are a nice way to use up small amounts of butter! This time round, I mixed a recipe from Paul Hollywood with a cream recipe from Women’s Weekly. The Paul Hollywood recipe promises a crispy pastry and boy was it really crispy.
The main difference between the Paul Hollywood recipe and the Women’s Weekly recipe is that Paul’s recipe calls for no sugar added. Also, the pastries are not egg-washed prior to baking. I really liked Paul’s recipe and the eclairs were much much tastier than those made using the Women’s Weekly recipe. So the next time I’ll be making choux pastries, I’ll definitely use Paul’s recipe!
For the cream, I did not try Paul’s recipe so I can’t say much about it. BUT the cream made from the Women’s Weekly recipe was really really really delicious! And it doesn’t require any type of cream like heavy cream or double cream or etc. Just yolks, milk, and corn flour!
Oh and one tip I learnt is to use a wet finger to smooth down any unsightly spikes before baking the pastries. My eclairs do look better but I think I baked them for too long and they got so crispy they just break when I tried to split them open (hence the mess and I thought it would look artistic and so I took a picture but it looks quite… and I just sprinkled cocoa powder on the eclairs because I was too lazy to glaze them and I was too lazy to properly sift the powder onto the eclair).
Pastry Recipe: (from http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/pauls_chocolate_clairs_59944 )
- 65g sifted plain flour
- pinch of salt
- 50g diced unsalted butter
- 120ml water
- 2 eggs
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Line baking tray with baking paper.
- Heat the water, butter, and salt in a medium-sized pan until the butter has completely melted. Do not let the mixture boil and evaporate.
- Quickly bring the mixture to the boil and tip in all the flour in one go. Remove the pan from the heat and beat furiously with a wooden spoon until a smooth heavy dough is formed.
- Put the pan back on a low heat and beat the dough for about a minute to slightly cook the dough – it should come away from the sides of the pan to make a smooth, glossy ball. Tip the dough into a large mixing bowl and leave to cool until lukewarm
- Beat the eggs in a bowl until combined, gradually beat enough of the eggs into the dough with wooden spoon, beating well after each addition. The dough should be very shiny and paste-like, and fall from a spoon when lightly shaken.
- Spoon the pastry into a piping bag fitted with a 1.25cm plain nozzle and pipe 10 cm lengths (I did mini ones at around 5 cm each).
- Sprinkle the tray, not the pastry, with a few drops of water and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Without opening the oven door, reduce the oven temperature to 170 degrees Celsius and bake for 10 more minutes, or until crisp.
- Remove the tray from the oven and carefully make a small hole in the side of each éclair to allow steam to escape. Return to the oven and bake for a further five minutes, or until the pastry is completely crisp. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Crème pâtissière recipe: (from Women’s Weekly Baking puffs and pastries)
- 250ml Milk
- 50g Caster sugar
- 1/3 tsp Vanilla extract
- 2 Egg yolks
- 18g Corn flour
- Combine milk, sugar and extract in medium saucepan. Bring to boil.
- Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks and corn flour in a medium heatproof bowl. Gradually whisk in hot milk mixture.
- Return the mixture to saucepan and stir over medium heat until mixture boils and thickens.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. (The cream might solidify and become pudding-like)
Makes 12 10cm eclairs or 24 mini 5cm eclairs.