After my overwhelming success with the Pork Pie Bakewell Tart, I set about thinking what other classic pastries I could mess about with and confuse people with. And then it hit me, it's just boring when you bite into an eclair and it's actually a cream filled eclair with a chocolate topping; where's the surprise in that? So I figured, what if it LOOKED like an eclair, but was in fact filled with many other surprising and delicious fillings!
So, onto google I hopped and typed in, wait for this...'eclair recipe' and got me the recipe from the woman we all know and love, Delia! Now, before you become angry and confused after clicking that link, it is in fact a link to Choux pastry which is what you make an eclair from!
Now, I've always thought this magical thing called 'Choux pastry' was some crazy hard pastry only French people could make. It is in fact the easiest pastry to make in the world; it can't go wrong! Well it can...but um, you'd have to be a very special kind of person to get it wrong :)
It's bizarre the way this pastry comes together, like ACTUAL magic in a pan! Its basically butter and water in a pan then once the water starts to boil you immediately turn it off, throw in some plain flour and sugar and stir with a wooden spoon like a maniac then before your very eyes it becomes a solid pastry! You then slooowly add some whisked eggs, keep stirring, and in about 3 minutes you have a smooth glossy pastry ready to be piped into pastry sausages! Even Harry Potter would be impressed.
You don't HAVE to pipe them into questionable looking 'sausages', Delia actually recommends little choux buns where you simply take a teaspoon of your pastry, plop it onto the baking sheet and cook 'em like that. But we're making eclairs here, not choux balls, that's just silly.
They rise a crazy amount which is always good. The high water content creates a lotta steam in them. Not because they're angry, it just makes them floaty light and ready to be filled with cream!
I used my special nozzle with a long pokey bit to fill my eclairs. Here's the special part; I whipped up some whipping cream, divided it into 3 and flavoured them! So I got me some orange flavoured cream, lemon and rosewater to fatten up my eclairs with. I did actually overfill them a little so they were a bit cream tastic; but whoever said that was a bad thing?!
Rosewater and Pistachio Eclair! (Rosewater cream topped with crushed Pistachios)
Now, I must confess I did also make up a load of eclairs with some orange flavoured cream and some lemon. However, whilst the fillings were all lovely jubly, the toppings looked a bit...rubbish, because I simply added the flavour to some icing sugar and it all dried clear on the eclairs so you just kinda ended up with a sad soggy eclair. SO, when I am next in an eclairy mood, the idea is to flavour some fondant to get a thicker icing that actually stays on my eclairs and looks the classic strip of chocolate we all know and love that sits upon an eclair. So until that happy day, I leave you with my Rosewater and Pistachio eclairs. Enjoy!