A beautiful choux-pastry éclair will always impress guests – but did you know that they’re actually pretty easy to make yourself? There are a few different steps but none of them are complicated. In this version, crisp choux pastry is filled with Chantilly cream, made with Sugar and Crumbs Raspberry Ripple Icing Sugar, and topped with melted white chocolate, flaked almonds and fresh raspberries.
A quick note on equipment – you will need a piping bag for this recipe, with a couple of small round piping nozzles (one about 5mm and one about 1.5cm). Alternatively, use disposable piping bags and simply cut the ends off to size.
- Prep Time : 45 minutes
- Cook Time : 35 minutes
- Yield : 12
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan). To make the choux pastry, begin by measuring out the butter, water and salt into a small pan and warming gently on a low heat, until the butter has melted. Then turn the heat right up to bring it quickly to the boil, remove from the heat and add the plain flour all at once. Beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until it all comes together in a thick paste.
- Return the pan to the heat (turn it down to low again) and warm for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly, so that the dough cooks slightly. It should start to come away from the sides of the pan to form one smooth, glossy ball.
- Tip the dough into a clean mixing bowl and leave to cool to room temperature. Beat the eggs together in a jug, and then once the dough is cool, use an electric mixer to beat the eggs into the dough a bit at a time. You should end up with a good pipe-able consistency.
- Line a couple of baking trays with baking paper, and then using the 1.5cm piping nozzle, pipe the dough onto the paper in roughly 12cm lengths. Leave plenty of space between each one to allow for spreading & rising – that’s why I’ve suggested using two baking trays. Pop in the oven and set a timer for 15 minutes. You must not open the oven door during this time, or the eclairs might sink.
- After 15 minutes, open the oven door briefly to let any steam escape (don’t bang it shut, close it gently, again to avoid making the eclairs sink), and then turn the oven down to 180°C (160°C fan) and bake for a further 15 minutes. Finally, poke a little hole in the end of each éclair and bake for another 5 minutes, just to make sure the insides have dried out and are nicely crisp. Cool them on a wire rack. A quick note on serving: once you fill the eclairs with cream, the pastry will go soggy after about an hour, so don’t do the final two steps until you’re ready to serve.
- To decorate, simply melt the white chocolate in the microwave (use thirty second bursts, stirring each time, so it doesn’t burn) and whip the double cream together with the Sugar and Crumbs Raspberry Ripple Icing Sugar until soft peaks form, to make a Chantilly cream.
- On the underside of each éclair, make three small holes, neatly spaced apart. With the 5mm piping nozzle, pipe the Chantilly cream into the éclair using these three holes. Finally, spread a little white chocolate on the top of each éclair, and finish off with fresh raspberries and flaked almonds.