I'm really giving my horn a good ol' toot today, aren't I? But I can't take all the credit for these suckers. The grand ol' dame of Australian cookery, Margaret Fulton, is responsible for the choux recipe. And Shannon Bennett, chef from Vue De Monde (do yourself an expensive favour), created the creme patisserie (I've modified it here). Pretty reliable stuff.
I had planned on posting about these a few months ago, but my piping technique was a little, shall we say, phallic. Bulbous on one end and peaked on the other, I had managed to whip up some crisp golden doodles for dessert. Not really suitable for the office.
It reminded me of a time growing up when we were served sausages and mash. As soon as Mum's back was turned, my brothers were plastering their food into an exact replica of David's most valuable assets. Bennetto's are a classy bunch.
On this occasion I managed to make a far less offensive dish. The eclairs are fairly uniform in shape and there'll be no awkwardness polishing them off in front of your colleagues.
The shining star of this is honestly the pastry cream. This is a new level of richness that just won't quit. The vanilla is so pronounced: it doesn't play second fiddle to the chocolate. It's a good idea to fill these as close to serving as possible. Sog reduction is key.
I've probably made about a thousand different chocolate sauces on this blog before, so at the risk of repeating myself, I've linked back to the crazy old baked cheesecake from a few months ago. You won't be sorry.
So I promise my next post will be far less bawdy. No more references to anatomy, puerile humour or titter-worthy gags. This is a once-off. I don't usually do this.
That's what she said...
1 cup water
1 cup flour
1 tsp sugar
1 pinch salt
Preheat oven to 200ºC. Line a baking sheet with baking paper.
Bring the water and butter to the boil slowly, melting butter. Reduce heat and add flour, stirring until the mixture comes together in a ball. Remove from heat and add the mixture to the bowl of your electric mixer. Mix on high, adding eggs one at a time. Make sure you mix thoroughly to ensure the dough does not split. Add the sugar and salt and mix until incorporated.
Place the dough in a piping bag. Pipe onto a lined baking sheet in 10cm lengths. Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 180ºC and bake for a further 10-15 minutes, or until golden.
1 cup milk
1 cup cream
1 tsp vanilla paste
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
4 tbsp cornflour
In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, cream and vanilla and bring to the boi slowly. In the meantime, whisk together the sugar and egg yolks until pale and fluffy. Add the cornflour and whisk to combine.
Add 1/2 cup of warmed milk to the yolk mixture and stir to combine. Add to the remaining milk in the saucepan and return to a low heat. Stir constantly until the mixture thickens. You may wish to whisk the mix if it thickens to quickly. Once the creme has thickened and just boiled, remove from heat and strain into a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and cool in the refrigerator.
To fill the eclairs, fill a piping bag with the creme patisserie. Poke a small hole in the ends of the eclairs and pipe in the creme.
Top with chocolate sauce.