An éclair is an oblong pastry made with choux dough filled with a cream and topped with icing. The éclair is supposed to have originated during the nineteenth century in France, where it was called “Pain à la duchesse”or “Petite duchesse” until 1850.(Courtesy: Wikipedia)
I was always under the impression that it was too tough to make pastries. The name “Choux Pastry” itself intimidated me. I assumed the process to be very cumbersome, till I read through the recipe. I must say that I was really relived to know that it was easily manageable and I thank BBC Food for the recipe. The only change I made in the recipe was to add a little bit of caster sugar into the whipping cream to give a mild sweetness to the filling.
For the éclairs
Unsalted butter- 150 gms
Water- 225 ml
Flour- 225 gms, extra for dusting
For the filling
Double cream- 300 ml (I used Amul cream)
Caster sugar- 2 tablespoons
For the sauce
Caster sugar- 100 gms
Water- 100 ml
Dark chocolate chopped- 50 gms
Butter- 25 gms
For the éclairs, place the butter and water into a pan and bring up to the boil. Once the butter has melted, take the pan off the heat and tip in all the flour. Beat well with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes away from the sides of the pan. Beat in the eggs one at a time until completely incorporated. Stir in the salt. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag and allow it to cool for a few minutes. Preheat the oven to 200C. Pipe 2″ lengths of pastry onto a floured baking sheet. The pastry will at least double in size as it cooks, so give the éclairs plenty of space to expand on the baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and bake the éclairs for about 30-40 minutes, or until golden-brown and firm. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool completely.
In a bowl, whip the cream until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed. Add the cater sugar and whisk till well blended. Slice the éclairs in half, lengthwise, and fill with cream on bottom half and replace the top half.
For the sauce, place the sugar and water into a pan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil and boil for 4-5 minutes, or until it thickens. Carefully coat the top half of the éclairs with the chocolate sauce. It’s ready to be served.