Secrets of Eclairs
For 6 to 8 éclairs
PreParation time 1 hour 10 minutes (violet) or 45 minutes (rose) cooking time 1 hour / oven 150°c (300°F/gas 2)
Recipes and images taken from Secrets of Eclairs by Marianne Magnier-Moreno (£8.99), published by Murdoch Books.
© 2019 Marianne Magnier-Moreno / Murdoch Books · Reproduced with permission.
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You Will Need
Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F/Gas 2). Make the choux pastry dough and use it to fill a piping bag fitted with a plain 20 mm nozzle. Position it at a 45 degree angle in relation to the baking tray and push out the mixture while moving the bag in one clean movement to give the éclair a nice straight shape; apply an even pressure to the piping bag so that the tube of mixture that comes out of the nozzle has the same diameter as the nozzle. When the éclair is 14 cm (51?2 inches) long, cut off the mixture with a smooth-bladed knife. If necessary, smooth the éclairs with some of the beaten egg left over from making the pastry or else with water. For the rose éclairs, scatter over the pearl sugar, if using, then tip up the tray to remove the excess sugar. Bake for 55–60 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
Choose one of the following filling and decorating methods for each batch of 6 to 8 éclairs.
violet – Make a plain crème pâtissière. Once it has cooled, add violet essence and whisk vigorously until the mixture is soft and creamy. rose – Make a chantilly cream. Add, before starting to whisk, the rosewater and red food colouring to make a pale pink colour.
assembly and decoration
violet – When the éclairs are cool, use a piping bag fitted with a plain 8 mm nozzle to fill them with violet crème pâtissière. Over very low heat, heat the fondant to lukewarm with a few drops of water, stirring. When the mixture is about 35°C/95°F, add a little lukewarm water until you have a mixture that falls from the spatula without immediately merging with the rest of the fondant. Tint with food colouring to the desired colour, then remove from the heat. Dip the top of an éclair into the icing, hold it vertically and run a finger over it to remove the excess icing. Run a finger around the edge of the icing so you have a nice clean edge. rose – When the éclairs are cool, slice them in half lengthways using a serrated knife. Whisk the chantilly cream one last time so that it is quite firm and use it to fill a piping bag fitted with a 16 mm star nozzle. Fill the éclairs generously, then place the lids back on top and press lightly. Scatter with some crystallised rose petals, if desired.