Salted Caramel Eclairs
I realise how food based this blog has become. I'm not sure how sorry I feel about that, it either evokes a fabulously idyllic picture of the heart of my home being the kitchen or, and most likely, it portrays nothing but a glamorous gluttony that I hope in vein comes off slightly Nigella like. Especially when you consider that there is only two of us in this house.
I decided to try making choux pastry. As the base of a large amount of patisserie, an area of food that is obsessing me more than any other right now, and being dubbed as one of the hardest pastries to make it was a challenge just begging to be taken on. It is also incredibly cheap to make which is an ideal incentive (in restaurants profiteroles are referred to as profit-rolls because of the mark up on them). Let me tell you kids, baking is an expensive hobby to have.
After contending with chocolate pastry before I was expecting this to be an unmitigated nightmare. But I've got to say I was impressed with the outcome! The hardest part is cooking the flour off in the pan, and that's mainly down to the combination of having to whisk like a madman while over heat.
Choux was made, éclairs were baked. These particular éclairs are filled with salted caramel and whipped vanilla cream. They are topped with swirled dark and milk chocolate. The next challenge; profiteroles inspired by The Daddy of all profiteroles.
65g Plain Flour, sifted
50g Butter (if using unsalted add a pinch of salt)
2 Beaten Eggs
300g Double Cream
150g Salted caramel
200g chocolate (which ever style you fancy)
Preheat your oven to 200°C
Put your water and butter into a pan, heat gently until the butter has melted.
Quickly bring the mix to the boil and add your flour.
Remove from heat and beat like your life depends on it.
Once you've got a smooth ball put your pan back on the heat and stir the dough for a minute.
Take the dough off heat and add to a bowl. Set aside to cool.
Once cooled to tepid add your eggs in bit at a time, stirring well after each addition.
The mix may not need all the egg, stop adding them once your mix falls from the spoon when shaken.
Spoon the mix into a piping bag and pipe your éclairs.
Sprinkle the tray with water and put in the oven for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes reduce your ovens temperature down to 170°C and bake for a further 10 minutes.
Once golden then take the éclairs out of the oven and pierce a hole in them to let steam escape.
Put them back in the oven for 5 minutes to crisp.
Once baked take out of the oven and allow to cool.
While that cools whip your cream with vanilla, melt your chocolate, and grab your caramel.
Slice your éclairs in half. Don't worry, slicing them is perfectly acceptable.
Drizzle a layer of salted caramel and top with cream.
With you having chopped your éclairs in half dipping them in chocolate is easier, take your lid and dip, hold upside down to allow the access chocolate to drip off (it is also perfectly acceptable to let it drop off into your face!).
Place your lid on your filled éclair and you're ready to go!