Éclairs and Profiteroles

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Choux Pastry gets transformed when piped and baked into lovely elongated Éclairs or beautiful round Profiteroles. Before writing this, I made them enough times to know when they are royally messed up and then when they are absolutely great to look at and enjoy eating. I do not like to quit when things do not work out and it allows for improvement and to use your brain to think how to improve the recipe.

With this recipe I stuck to traditional with a cream filling and a chocolate topping. I have not made these for ages, at least 8 years ago. So I wanted to see if I can still make them.

Here is a honesty moment: I thought yeah, I made these before it will be a breeze…(dam dam dam… music in the background) famous last words. When I made these recently the Choux was fine (not all of them, most of them, some of them were so flat and then some were raised well) but my Créme Patissiere was runny. The second time I made them the Choux was all flat and my Créme Patissiere was perfect as I changed the measurements completely. 3rd time was the charm with my Choux as I also then change measurements and baking time. So the lesson is, don’t get discouraged when you mess up. When you experiment, make small batches so that you can afford to do it again. If you are like me and you are very hard on yourself, try and breathe for a moment and remember to enjoy yourself and not to take yourself too serious. It is just Pastry. 

So here it is! It is a good worked out recipe and most importantly it tastes amazing. Biggest note is patience. Do wait until they are set when they are decorated. It is worth the wait when they sit pretty on a serving tray ready for consumption.

Take note also, there are 3 ingredient parts to this recipe. 1st part is for the Créme Patissiere. 2nd Part is for the Choux Pastry. 3rd Part is for the Ganache and decoration options. Enjoy!

Ingredients for Créme Patissiere: (Small batch)

250ml whole milk

3 egg yolks

72.5ml caster sugar

25g plain flour

12.5g corn flour

½ tsp vanilla paste

Method:

  1. In a saucepan, bring milk to just under boiling point (it should be steaming but not boiling). Remove from heat.
  2. Mix together the flour and the corn flour and set aside.
  3. Add egg yolks in a mixing bowl with the caster sugar and whisk until light and fluffy. (When you lift your whisk and swirl it around in a ribbon figure when it disappears quickly, mix it a little longer, if it stays for a while, you can go on with the next stage.) Add the mixed flour and corn flour and mix together until well blended.
  4. Add the warm milk to your bowl off egg mixture and whisk until just blended together and add it back into your saucepan and heat it up until thick, add the vanilla paste, keep whisking until a thick and smooth mixture has been made.
  5. Scoop the mixture in a bowl with a large flat surface. Put some cling film on the top to stop a skin from forming and set aside to cool down.
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Créme Patissiere piped onto Choux cases.

Ingredients for Choux Pastry: (Small batch)

85g unsalted butter

225ml water

100g plain flour

Pinch of Salt

2 eggs, whisked together

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C/ 180°C fan. Prepare your baking tray and piping bag with a big round nozzle. You can either use an éclair tray or make lines or circles with a pencil on baking parchment and flip it over.
  2. In a pot add the butter and water together and heat up until butter has melted and when mixture comes to a quick boil. Take the pot off the heat.
  3. Sift the plain flour and salt. Add it to the butter mixture and mix until the mixture comes away from the sides and it forms a smooth ball.
  4. If you have a Kitchen Aid/ electric mixer, put the paste into the mixer and beat for about 10 seconds and put the mixer off and let the paste cool for a few seconds. The mixture must not be cool when adding the eggs but it must also not be scalding as it will cause the paste to curdle.
  5. Add the eggs little by little and mixing thoroughly between each addition until mixture is smooth.
  6. Pipe your Choux Paste on the baking parchments in desired lengths for Éclairs or rounds to make Profiteroles. Spray the dough when piped lightly with water.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes on 200°C/ 180°C fan. Then for 25 minutes on 180°C/ 160°C fan, until they are hollow when tapped and golden.
  8. When ready take them out of the oven and make a small incision on the sides to let steam escape and let it cool completely. (Careful not to burn your fingers. I held mine with some oven gloves.)
  9. When cooled completely you cut the Éclairs shapes open and then pipe some of the Créme Patissiere in them and close the lid. If making Profiteroles, with a small nozzle where you made your incision pipe them until they are fully filled.
  10. You can decorate these then with some Ganache or just plain old melted chocolate. Along with swirls off white chocolate for contrast. I also made some meringues with the left over egg white and you can crush those over for texture. I also used Pistachios before which also works for colour contrast and texture.

Ingredients for Ganache:

(I did not have double cream or any cream when I made this, which I normally would use. This however still works well. If making Ganache with cream, replace the butter with 284 ml double cream.)

200g good quality milk or dark chocolate

2 tablespoons of unsalted butter

½ cup of whole milk

Method:

  1. Chop up the chocolate into smaller pieces and add that to a heat resistant bowl.
  2. Heat up your milk and butter until the butter is melted, but making sure it is not boiling just steaming.
  3. Add the milk mixture to your chocolate and stir until well incorporated and leave to cool and thicken.
  4. Once cooled and thicken you can dip or spoon over the ganache over your Éclairs or Profiteroles.
  5. Leave them to set.
  6. If you have loads of ganache left over with making it with cream, you can either make more éclairs or makes some truffels with letting the mixture thicken and then rolled into balls and dusted with cocoa.

Hope you enjoy making these. If any questions, please feel free to ask away!

I will be making them again in the near future for different fillings and toppings. So keep an eye out.

Bianca x

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