Yummy eclairs


It is never too early to make preps for the Chocolate Day celebrations. Though it falls on July 7, we won't judge you for going for a few yummy choco snacks now, like this classy chocolate eclairs.  

A) For the choux pastry
4 tbsp water
4 tbsp whole milk
50 g/2 oz unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp caster sugar
A pinch of sea salt
100 g/4 oz plain flour
4 medium free-range eggs, beaten
B) For the filling
20 g unsweetened chocolate, 100 per cent cocoa solids
450 g pastry cream at room temperature
1 tbsp strong cocoa powder
C) For the glaze
200 g/7 oz white fondant icing
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1-2 tsp water

Preheat the oven to 170C/325 F
A) For the choux pastry
Place water, milk, butter, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan over a high heat and bring the mixture to a boil.
Remove the pan from the heat and, using a wooden spoon, quickly beat in the flour until the mixture is completely smooth.
Turn the heat down to medium, return the pan to the hob and cook for about one minute, beating all the time, or until the mixture comes away from the edge of the pan.
Remove the pan from the heat and gradually beat in the eggs until you have a smooth, dropping consistency.
Transfer the paste to a large piping bag fitted with a fluted nozzle of 1.5 cm.
Let the mixture to cool for about five minutes in the bag to stiffen slightly.
Line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper.
Pipe on 12 eclairs, each about 15 cm long.
Alternatively, pipe out eclairs, each about 36 cm long, onto a non-stick tray and freeze.
Cut the frozen strips into three
Bake the éclairs in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until golden-brown.
Transfer to a rack and leave to cool.
B) For the filling
Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water.
Do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water or the chocolate will burn.
Pour the melted chocolate into the pastry cream, mix in the cocoa powder and whisk together to a smooth consistency.
You could chill the mixture at this point for 30 minutes, then whisk again before you fill the éclairs, to give a creamier mouth-feel to the filling.
When you are ready to fill the eclairs, transfer the filling to a piping bag fitted with a 0.5 cm nozzle.
Pierce the underside of each eclair four times with the tip of the nozzle, gently squirting a little of the filling into the éclair as you do so.
C) For the glaze
Gently warm the fondant in a small pan over a low heat until it reaches body temperature.
Stir in the cocoa powder and enough of the water to make a smooth paste, then transfer to a piping bag fitted with a 1.5c m nozzle.
Pipe the glaze onto the top of each eclair, removing any excess with the back of your finger.
Then place in the fridge for the glaze to set before serving.
(Recipe courtesy of Dhivya Rao, pastry chef at Courtyard by Marriott, Hebbal, Bengaluru)

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