A childhood favourite, which I still adore. I soon took over éclair duties from my mother as I didn't mind doing the hard work of beating. This was also one of the more popular efforts from the master of the dessert, Bernard Laevens. Although Bernard is French he prefers the name profiteroles - probably because his mother is Italian. This recipe makes 12 huge ones - like I made as a child - or 30 odd smaller ones.
Pre-heat oven to 200º C
1 cup water
100 grams butter
Put in a saucepan
Bring to boil
1 cup flour
Quickly add to the pan
Beat with a wooden spoon until it forms a ball
Remove from heat
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 teaspoons sugar
(for sweet éclairs; replace both with 1/4 teaspoon of salt for savoury)
Add gradually, beating well with a wooden spoon after each. For the first 2 eggs beat until the mixture forms a ball; this won’t be possible for the last one or two eggs. By the end you should have a nice smooth, glossy pastry.
Bake at 200º C for 30 minutes.
Slice the side of each.
Fill each with your choice of filling (see below)
[Optional Step] Bernard recommends keeping them in the fridge at least 1 hour before eating.
You've already sliced the side of the éclair, now fill it. You've a variety of choices for filling:
Fresh whipped cream - a classic when combined with chocolate icing.
Caramel sauce - the most popular of Bernard's fillings
Flavoured custard (add melted chocolate, coffee, Cointreau, butterscotch to custard)
Cream with vanilla instant pudding
125g of butter
3/4 cups of brown sugar
In a pot, melt butter and sugar.
Boil for three minutes, and don’t forget to mix continuously.
Remove from the heat.
1 tablespoons corn flour
1 cup of water
1 tablespoon of “golden” syrup
In a bowl, mix water, corn flour and “golden” syrup until you have a smooth mixture.
Add the mixture to the buttery sugar or sugary butter, and boil for 2 minutes (yes, you must stir).
Remove from the heat
1/2 cup of cream
Kahlúa (quantity varies with your alcoholic taste)
Add the cream and Kahlúa.
Let cool down before using it.
Cream with Vanilla Pudding
I always make eclairs for my mother-in-law when I'm in Israel. But I use instant pudding as the flavour for the filling.
1 x Packet Instant Pudding (Vanilla)
1 x 300ml whipping cream
1 x 100ml milk
- Add to bowl
- Beat until stiff