Eclairs

Try these marvellously decadent choux pastries filled with a sweet vanilla cream
By Rachel Allen
Eclairs
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 25
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

For the pastry

  • 1 choux pastry
  • 1 egg, beaten

For the chocolate glacé icing

  • 200 g icing sugar
  • 25 g cocoa powder
  • 1-2 tbsp boiling water

For the crème chantilly filling

  • 50 g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 400 ml whipped cream, whipped volume

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 220C/gas 7. Line a baking tray with parchment paper (not greaseproof paper, as the éclairs may stick when cooked).

2. For the pastry: make the choux pastry as described on here. Place the dough into a piping bag fitted with the 5-8mm nozzle and pipe into lengths approximately 10cm long onto the prepared baking tray, spaced about 4cm apart to allow for expansion. Use a small wet knife to stop the dough coming out when you have finished piping each éclair.

3. Brush the éclairs gently with the beaten egg and bake in the oven for ten minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 200C/gas 6 and continue to cook for a further 1520 minutes, or until the éclairs are puffed up, golden and crisp.

4. Remove the éclairs from the oven and, using a skewer or the tip of a small sharp knife, make a hole in the side or the base of each éclair. Return to the oven and bake for a further five minutes to allow the steam to escape. Transfer the éclairs to a wire rack to cool.

5. For the icing: sift the icing sugar and cocoa powder into a bowl. Add the boiling water and stir to mix, adding a little more boiling water if necessary until the icing is spreadable but not too watery.

6. For the crème chantilly filling: fold the sifted icing sugar and vanilla extract into the whipped cream. Chill in the fridge until you are ready to use it.

7. When the éclairs are cool, spoon the crème chantilly into a clean piping bag fitted with the small, plain nozzle and pipe the cream into the éclairs through the hole made by the skewer or knife until they are well filled.

8. Using a small palette knife or table knife that has been standing in a jug of hot water (to make spreading the icing easier), spread the icing over the top of each éclair, dipping the knife into the hot water between each éclair. Serve.

Adapted from Rachel Allen, Bake (Collins)

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