Perfect for a summer party or picnic, the latest trendy pastry is the classic French eclair. They've recently been popping up all over Instagram in rainbow colours and posh patisseries are selling them for as much as £5 each!
But forget forking out a fiver, Juliet's here to show you how to make your own for a bargain 22p! From fillings to multi colours - prepare to impress your dinner guests with this twist on a 19th century favourite.
Serves: makes abut 24 Eclairs
For the choux pastry:
120ml whole milk
30g caster sugar
240g bread flour
350g beaten eggs (about 7 medium eggs)
For the custard filling: makes enough to fill about 18 – 20 eclairs
1 tsp Vanilla extract
3 egg yolks
40g plain flour
400ml double cream
For the fondant icing: *will ice 12
Lemon fondant icing: 200g fondant icing sugar, juice of a lemon (approx. 30ml), 25g lemon curd (mixed together in a bowl – if you want it more yellow add a touch of yellow food colouring)
Chocolate fondant icing: 200g fondant icing sugar, 25g cocoa powder, 40ml water (mixed together in a bowl)
Pink fondant icing: 200g fondant icing sugar, 30ml water, pink food colouring (mixed together in a bowl)
Preheat the oven to 190C.
For the choux pastry: Bring the water, milk, butter, sugar and salt to the boil in a pan.
Once boiling add in the flour, all in one go and beat well with a wooden spoon. Cook out this mixture for 1-2 minutes.
Place the mixture in a bowl or electric mixer and leave to cool for 5 minutes. Beat in the eggs bit by bit, until combined and a good dropping consistency - you don’t want the mix to runny so do not add all your egg at once.
Once ready transfer the mix into a piping bag and leave to sit for 5-10 minutes.
Pipe onto a lined tray (for more perfect eclairs you can draw lines at 12cm length with about 5cm gap in between each, so they are all the same size) then bake for 25 minutes until golden brown and dried out. (Top tip: If you put some boiling water in a shallow try into the bottom of the oven when you put the eclairs in, the steam will help them rise!)
Once baked, pierce each eclair with a cocktail stick at each end, to allow steam to escape so they stay crisp, pop back in the oven for a further couple of minutes before leaving on a wire rack to cool.
For the custard filling:
Heat the milk and vanilla in a pan until it comes to the boil.
In a separate bowl whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and flour.
Pour half of the milk over the egg mixture and mix well. Add this back into the pan and stir continuously on a low heat until it thickens.
Pour the mixture onto a tray and leave to cool making sure it is covered with a piece of Clingfilm touching the surface of the mix.
Once cooled place in a bowl, in a separate bowl whip up the cream to soft peaks and then fold into the custard mix.
Place in the fridge until ready to use.
You can of course fill your eclair with your choice of filling – simple whipped cream, custard filing or even buttercream. We chose the following: