• Recipe by By Word of Mouth

    Almond éclairs and salted caramel éclairs

    Serves: 6 to 8 éclairs
    Cooking Time: 2 hours 15 minutes

    Ingredients

    • Choux pastry
    • 80ml milk
    • 80ml water
    • 70g butter, diced
    • large pinch salt
    • 10ml (2 tsp) castor sugar
    • 100g cake flour
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 egg, beaten, to brush
    • handful flaked almonds (for almond éclairs)
    • Crème patisserie
    • 160ml full-cream milk
    • 2 egg yolks
    • 20ml (4 tsp) castor sugar
    • 15ml (1 tbsp) cake flour
    • 15ml (1 tbsp) cornflour
    • small pinch salt
    • Almond cream (for almond éclairs)
    • 155g ground almonds
    • 155g butter, softened
    • 155g icing sugar, sifted
    • 5ml (1 tsp) vanilla extract
    • 5ml (1 tsp) dark rum
    • icing sugar, to dust
    • Salted caramel butter (for salted caramel éclairs)
    • 20ml (4 tsp) water
    • 70ml castor sugar
    • 55ml fresh cream
    • 10g salted butter

    Instructions

    1

    For the choux pastry, preheat the oven to 150°C. Pour the milk and water into a saucepan over high heat. Add the butter, salt and sugar, and stir with a spatula until the butter has melted. Bring to a boil (the butter must be melted before the liquid reaches boiling point), so that the whole surface of the liquid is boiling with large bubbles, 2 – 3 seconds. Remove from heat, add the flour all at once and start mixing gently. As the mixture comes together, mix vigorously until you can no longer see any dry flour. Cook the mixture over medium heat until it no longer sticks to the saucepan, spatula or your finger. Add the 2 eggs, one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Place the mixture into a piping bag with a 20mm-round nozzle.

    2

    Position the nozzle at a 45-degree angle in relation to a greased baking tray and push out the mixture, while moving the bag in one lean movement, to give the éclairs a nice straight shape. Apply an even pressure to the piping bag so the tube of mixture that comes out has the same diameters as the nozzle. When the éclair is 14cm long, cut off the mixture with a smooth-bladed knife. Smooth the shape using a finger, or a brush with beaten egg to give a regular shape to the éclairs. For almond éclairs you can now add sprinkle over flaked almonds before baking. Bake in the oven, 55 – 60 minutes. Remove and allow to cool on a wire rack.

    3

    For the crème patisserie, gently bring the mik to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. In a bowl, mix together the egg yolks, sugar, flour, corn flour and salt. Add the milk to the yolk mixture slowly, while mixing. Return the mixture to the heat and cook gently until it thickens and you can’t taste the flour any more, 5 – 7 minutes. Place cling film directly on top of the crème to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate until needed.

    4

    For the almond cream (if you are making almond éclairs), preheat the oven to 160°C. Toast the ground almonds on a baking tray, 10 minutes, then allow to cool. In a mixing bowl, combine the softened butter, 30ml (2 tbsp) icing sugar until the mixture is smooth. Add the rest of the icing sugar, the ground almonds, vanilla extract and rum and stir until combined.

    5

    To make almond éclairs, remove the crème patisserie from the fridge and whisk until it is smooth. Mix it into the almond cream. When the éclairs are cool, slice them in half lengthways using a serrated knife. Fill a piping bag fitted with a 12mm-nozzle with the almond mixture and fill the bottom half of each éclair generously. Place the top half back on, pressing lightly and dust the éclairs with icing sugar just before serving.

    6

    For the salted caramel butter (if you are making salted caramel éclairs), pour the water and sugar into a saucepan over medium heat. Wait until the sugar has absorbed into the water, a few seconds, cover and bring to a boil, monitoring the colour from time to time. In a separate saucepan over medium heat, heat the cream. When the caramel is dark enough, remove from heat and add the hot cream all at once. Whisk until smooth, incorporate the butter off the heat and set aside.

    7

    To make salted caramel éclairs, mix the crème patisserie with the salted caramel. Take some caramel with a spoon, place it on each éclair and spread it out using your finger. Serve.

    For related article click here. For chocolate cupcake recipe click here.

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