Eclairs have got to be one of the tastiest sweets around. They can be a bit fiddly, but this elegant dessert is more achievable than you might think, and they are such a crowd-pleaser, they will be well worth your time!
Cooking / cooling time
For the choux pastry
60g chopped Watsonia butter
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2/3 cup plain flour
2/3 cup cold water
For the filling
300ml thickened cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp caster sugar
For the chocolate icing
100g dark chocolate
For the caramel icing
30g chopped butter
1/2 cup icing sugar, sifted
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
To Make the choux pastry
- Preheat the oven to 220°C and line two large baking trays with baking paper.
- Combine the butter and 2/3 cup cold water in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until butter has melted and mixture starts to boil.
- Reduce the heat and add the flour. Cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes or until mixture comes away from side of pan and forms a ball.
- Set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly.
- Set aside two teaspoons of the egg mixture. Using a wooden spoon, gradually beat in the remaining egg mixture until well combined and glossy.
- Spoon the dough into a piping bag. Pipe long logs, four fingers apart (or thereabouts) onto the trays and brush them with the reserved egg.
- Bake one tray of eclairs for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat to 180°C and bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden and puffed.
- Carefully cut the eclairs in half horizontally. Return to the oven, cut-side up. Bake for 5 minutes to dry out centres. Cool on tray.
- Increase temperature to 220°C and epeat with remaining tray.
To make the filling
- Beat the cream, vanilla and sugar with an electric mixer until firm peaks form.
- Pipe the cream over the bases and refrigerate.
To make the chocolate icing
- Melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave for 90 seconds, stirring every 30 seconds to form a smooth icing.
- Spread half of the 'tops' with the chocolate mixture. Refrigerate for 20 minutes or until chocolate has set.
To make the caramel icing
- Combine the butter and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes until the sugar has dissolved.
- Add the milk and bring the mixture to the boil.
- Stir in the vanilla and icing sugar to form a smooth icing.
- Spread the other half of the 'tops' with the caramel mixture. Refrigerate for 20 minutes or until caramel has set.
Fit your tops onto your bases, serve and enjoy!