My beau adores éclairs, so yesterday I decided to whip up a batch, using a shockingly simple recipe for choux pastry (looks like it must take hours, when it’s really just minutes). Feeling smug, I liberally dolloped the pastry onto a baking sheet and popped it into the oven – only to be faced 25 minutes later with a platter of gargantuan over-puffed clouds. Tasted delish, looked embarrassingly like something out of Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds (alongside the tangerine trees and marmalade skies!) So I tried again, this time using an icing bag to pipe perfect little caterpillars of pastry. These turned out to be chic bite-size morsels (phew! I piped the choc on top too). Bon appetit mon cheries!
Deceptively fluffy eclairs:
2 1/2 oz plain flour
2 oz butter
1/4 pint water
Pinch of salt
2 eggs, beaten
70% cocoa dark chocolate
Double sift the flour and salt to make it light and airy.
Put the water and butter in a saucepan and heat until boiling.
Pour the boiling water into the flour and stir madly until it forms a ball of dough.
Add the eggs slowly, and continue to stir fast until the dough looks shiny.
Pipe the dough onto a greased baking sheet.
Cook at gas mark 7 for approx 25 minutes, or until lightly browned.
Remove from the oven, turn off the heat, slice open and put back into the oven, so the dough gently dries out.
Whip the cream and spoon into the pastry shells. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of steaming water, then drizzle over the eclairs.