Sarah made some mini chocolate éclairs, filled with vanilla crème patissiere, and topped with chocolate ganache this week.They were so delicious – the choux pastry was light and filled with a creamy vanilla bean custard. They brought back memories of Paris.
Vanilla Crème Patissiere
1 vanilla bean
410 ml (14 1/2 fl oz) full cream milk
80 g (2 1/4 oz) sugar
5 egg yolks
20 g (1/4 oz) cornflour
large pinch of salt
Split the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds. Add the seeds as well the bean to the milk with half the sugar. Bring to the boil then remove from the heat. Cover and allow to infuse for 5-10 minutes.
Place the egg yolks in a bowl with the sugar and salt. Whisk vigorously. Add the flour and the cornflour, and combine.
Place the milk over high heat and just before it reaches boiling point, remove from the heat. Pour a ladleful over the egg yolk mixture and whisk vigorously. Pour the mixture into the saucepan and whisk until smooth. Put the saucepan back on the heat and bring to the boil while continuing to whisk. Once the mixture thickens and has reached the boiling point, allow it to boil until the mixture is thick but fluid (approx 1-2 minutes).
Transfer the crème to large plate and cover with plastic wrap placed in direct contact with the crème to prevent it forming a skin. Refrigerate as soon as it reaches lukewarm. Once it has cooled, whisk it vigorously to become soft and creamy again before use.
80 ml (2 1/2 fl oz) milk
80 ml (2 1/2 fl oz) water
70 g (2 1/2 oz) butter
large pinch of slat
10 g (1/4 oz) sugar
100 g (3 1/2 oz) plain (all purpose) flour
Preheat oven to 150 deg C (300 deg F). Pour milk and water into saucepan. Add butter, salt, and sugar. Place over high heat and stir until butter has melted. Bring to the boil and let it boil for 2-3 seconds. Remove from heat and add flour, Mix vigorously until flour is incorporated. Place the saucepan back on high heat and stir constantly until the mixture no longer sticks to the saucepan.
Beat the eggs with a folk and gradually incorporate half the eggs into the mixture. The mixture is ready if it adheres well to the spatula and drops off with a clean break.. If not add more egg a little at a time. If the mixture drops off the spatula straight away too much egg has been added.
Fill a piping bag fitted with a plain 20 mm nozzle. Pipe the eclairs onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Brush the pastry with lightly with egg. Cook for 50 – 60 minutes. Allow to cool on a wire rack.
Pipe the crème patissiere into the cooled éclairs. Spread top with chocolate ganache.
100g (3 1/2 oz) dark chocolate
120 g (4 oz) cream
Place the chocolate into a bowl. Stir the cream in a small saucepan and heat to just below boiling point. Remove from the heat and pour the cream over the chocolate. Gently combine with a flexible spatula until the chocolate is melted. Mix until nice and smooth. Allow to cool and thicken.
If you love everything French, check out our round-up of 20 of our favourite French inspired projects and recipes.