Friday, 4 April 2014

Chocolate Eclairs

This was my first time making chocolate eclairs and to my surprise they weren't that difficult to make at all. However there are quite a few stages to making them with the pastry, filling and topping.

First melt 115g of butter in 250ml (9fl oz) of water in a saucepan before beating in 200g of plain flour, a pinch of salt and 1 tsp of caster sugar until the mixture is a smooth texture. Then leave this to cook for 2-3 minutes - make sure it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan and burn at this point. 

Then remove the pan from the heat and beat in 4 eggs, one at a time, until the mixture appears smooth and glossy.

Then spoon this mixture into a piping bag before piping it onto a tray which needs to be sprinkled with water beforehand to prevent them from sticky to the tray once baked. 

As you can see my piping skills leave much to be desired as mine turned out looking like bugs. These then need to go into the oven for 20-25 minutes but keep an eye on them as they will be done when they turn crisp and golden brown in colour.

To make the glossy chocolate topping, melt 50g of dark chocolate with two tablespoons of water in a saucepan - keep the heat low to prevent the chocolate also sticking and burning to the bottom of the pan. Then add this hot mixture to a bowl of 150g of icing sugar and 2 tbsp of cocoa powder to make a thick mixture.

Then for the cream filling, whip 450ml of double cream to form stiff peaks before spooning the mixture into a piping bag. If like me you forgot to put the nozzle on the end of the piping bag, or your nozzle is too big to make a small insertion, use the tip of a knife to insert the bag into the pasty. Then squeeze the cream into the pastry until it begins to come out back out of the little hole.

Then you can coat them in a thick layer of chocolate icing, if you're fancy enough you can show off your impressive piping skills...or like me you can spoon it on with the back of a spoon. 

Then all that is left to do is devour them!