Éclairs

Everyday Gourmet
Cook time 1 hour
Servings 32

Ingredients

Choux Pastry:
125ml Water
125ml Milk
5g     Salt
5g     Caster Sugar
100g Unsalted Butter
150g Plain Flour
5 Whole Eggs (250g approx)
50g   Flaked Almonds
Chantilly Cream:
300g Fresh Cream, 35% Fat
30g   Caster Sugar
1       Vanilla Bean
Finishing:
QS    Fresh Strawberries, Sliced
QS    Icing sugar

Éclairs

Method

Bring the water, milk, salt, caster sugar and butter to the boil in a saucepan, stirring occasionally. Add the sifted flour and mix thoroughly. Continue to stir over a low heat until the mixture dries out and no longer sticks to the sides of the saucepan. It should have an oily sheen on the surface.
Transfer the dough to a mixing bowl with a paddle attachment and gradually add the eggs to reach the desired consistency. The amount of eggs required may vary, dependent on the protein level in the flour.
Pipe tube éclair shapes using a 10mm star piping tube, approximately 10cm in length onto a Silpat® mat. Sprinkle the éclairs with flaked almonds before baking. You have an option here of placing the trays in the freezer until frozen to -20°C so they can be baked at a later date. Alternatively this freezing step can be omitted and move straight to baking.

Bake in an oven pre-heated at 170°C for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Open the oven door to release the steam and continue to bake for a further 15-20 minutes at 150°C to dry the choux pastry.

Whisk the cream on a mixer and add in the caster sugar and cut and scraped vanilla bean. Whisk till a firm peak.

Cut the finished éclair in half without slicing right through and with a 10mm star piping tube pipe the prepared Chantilly cream with a circular motion into the centre of the éclair. Garnish with sliced strawberries and dust with icing sugar.