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Monday, 29 July 2013


The classic French chocolate éclair has been around for over 200 years and is loved the world over for its crisp, light as air pastry shell which is filled with crème patissiere or whipped cream and topped with chocolate fondant icing.  So why did I feel the need to mess with this classic recipe?  Because I'm a food blogger and I wanted something a bit different for this months Classic French challenge which is of course éclairs. 

The actual éclair was a success - lovely and crisp and hollow when opened up so don't be put off from using the following recipe.  Where I went wrong was with the cream filling.  Instead of using plain, whipped cream I tried to add some strawberry coulis to the cream and of course it wouldn't whip to the correct consistency.  I eventually whipped up another batch of cream and swirled some strawberry coulis through it but there wasn't really enough of the strawberry flavour for me.
 My next experiment was with the chocolate topping.  I had a small piece of this strawberry chocolate transfer left over from this previous bake and thought I could use it to pretty up my éclairs .   I tempered my chocolate and covered the transfer sheet with a thin layer of melted chocolate and placed it in the fridge to set.  I then cut into rectangles about the size needed for each éclair.  The trick then was to get the chocolate to soften enough so that it moulded over the éclair but not so much that the strawberry design completely melted.  I did this by placing the éclairs back in my still warm oven for a couple of minutes.  The result was not a complete success - more of a splodge of chocolate with some dodgy looking strawberries on it. I did however, enjoy the lovely crisp texture of the chocolate that you get from the tempering process.
I think I might stick to the classic version in future but would definitely add the crispy chocolate topping again (minus the chocolate transfer).

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 50 minutes
Yield: Enough for 6 eclairs
  • 60g butter
  • 125ml water
  • 75g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • Heat the butter and water in a saucepan until the butter melts and the mixture comes to a boil.
  • Add the flour and baking powder and stir well with a wooden spoon until the mixtures comes together in a ball and leaves the side of the pan completely clean.
  • Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool down slightly.
  • Once cool, add the eggs, 1 egg at a time, beating well with a wooden spoon until the dough is smooth and satiny.
  • Line a baking tray with baking paper and to make éclairs - pipe the dough onto the tray in 10 cm long oblong shapes or to make profiteroles - drop spoonfuls of the dough onto the baking tray.
  • Use your finger, moistened with some water to smooth off any points.
  • Bake at 190C (375F) for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and cut a small slit into each shape to remove any air.
  • Return to the oven for a further 5 minutes.
  • Cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Fill with sweetened, whipped cream.
  • Top with chocolate ganache or melted chocolate.

This month's Classic French challenge is hosted by Sarah over at the lovely Maison Cupcake blog.

 Written by : Angela Darroch

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At 29 July 2013 at 15:33 , Anonymous Camilla @FabFood4All said...

Your eclairs look beautiful! A shame about the cream not behaving. I made Strawberry Choux Buns last year and just used crushed strawberries in with the cream which worked well and strawberry juice in with the icing topping.

At 29 July 2013 at 20:29 , Blogger Unknown said...

These are so pretty! How did you get the strawberry designs on the chocolate?

At 30 July 2013 at 02:29 , Blogger Angie's Recipes said...

They look so pretty! Strawberry chocolate topping is just fun.

At 30 July 2013 at 04:36 , Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks Camilla - I think it was also too hot and humid for cream. Some days just don't go to plan.

At 30 July 2013 at 04:37 , Blogger Unknown said...

I used chocolate transfers but didn't think it was very successful.

At 30 July 2013 at 04:39 , Blogger Unknown said...

It was something different to try and they still tasted good.

At 30 July 2013 at 15:45 , Blogger Zoe said...

Hi Angela,

Love your French creation. Your eclairs with strawberry chocolate transfers look really cool!

Doreen has given me purple flowers ones (because the meaning of my Ethnic name is purple flower) but still have not use it yet. Maybe I should make lavender cream eclairs :D


At 31 July 2013 at 00:29 , Anonymous Suzanne Perazzini said...

I am impressed with your eclairs - I have never attempted to make them. And I love the transfer on top. I think it has come out well.

At 31 July 2013 at 01:45 , Blogger kitchen flavours said...

Hi Angela,
These are the pretties eclairs! I love the strawberries design on the chocolate!

At 1 August 2013 at 01:44 , Blogger Unknown said...

They're amazing! I just love that transfer. Thanks for taking part in the challenge!

At 1 August 2013 at 06:39 , Blogger underthebluegumtree said...

Just stunning! Clever you :-)

At 1 August 2013 at 15:30 , Blogger Unknown said...

I'd love to see what you could come up with - I'm sure they would be delicious.

At 1 August 2013 at 15:32 , Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks Suzanne - it was a bit messy but still very edible.

At 1 August 2013 at 15:36 , Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks Joyce - I think I might give them another go to see if I can perfect the chocoate topping.

At 1 August 2013 at 15:39 , Blogger Unknown said...

This chocolate transfer design is one of my favourites but they also have one with cherries which as my name on it :-)

At 3 August 2013 at 11:43 , Anonymous Jen @ Blue Kitchen Bakes said...

I think the transfer worked really well, it makes the eclairs look so pretty. Thanks so much for entering these fab summery eclairs into Classic French :)

At 4 August 2013 at 11:35 , Blogger Unknown said...

From someone who creates stunning food and photos that is praise indeed - thank you.

At 4 August 2013 at 11:38 , Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks Jen - I'm looking forward to this month's challenge.


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