I have given a whipped cream alternative to the custard filling if preferred. MAKES 8
For The Choux Pastry
55gms unsalted butter
120 mls Water
65 gms Plain Flour
½ Teasp Caster Sugar
2 Large Eggs lightly beaten - room temperature.
To fill - Creme Pattisiere
2 Egg Yolks
55gms caster Sugar
1 Tablsp Cornflour
150mls Double Cream
1 Teasp Vanilla Extract.
To fill - Whipped Cream - Alternative
300mls Whipping Cream
7 tsp Sieved Icing Sugar
1½ Tsp Vanilla Extract - Whip the cream and add the icing sugar and extract.
120gms Good quality Milk Chocolate.
Set the oven to 200°C Fan
1. Line a baking tray tins with baking parchment and mark out on the underside some lines 4½ inches long and approx 1½ inches apart.
2. Make the choux pastry. Put the butter and water into a pan and heat gently until the butter is completely melted.
3. Bring to the boil and then remove from the heat and quickly tip in all of the flour, beat vigorously until a soft ball is formed.
4. Put back on medium heat and stir briskly with a wooden spoon for about a minute or so until the mixture just starts to stick to the bottom of the pan.
5. Remove from the heat, place in a cold bowl and leave to cool until lukewarm. You can speed up this process by beating for a minute with a hand whisk to remove the heat.
6. Gradually add the eggs beating well after each addition. It is much easier to use electric beaters for this. You must have a smooth shiny batter type mix and it should gently drop off the spoon leaving a 'V' hanging. You may not need to add all of the egg.
7. Spoon the dough into a piping bag fitted with a 1.5cm plain pipe and pipe 10 cm (4½ inch) lengths on to the baking trays. Spray a little water on to tray in between your éclairs, this will help crisp them up.
8. Place in the oven and bake for 15 mins then turn the oven down to 170°C and bake for a further 25 minutes. They should be golden brown. Remove from the oven and pierce 2 little holes under each one with a cocktail stick and place back in the oven (heat off) to dry out thoroughly.
9. While the éclairs are baking make the Crème Patissiere by beating together in a bowl the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour.
10. Heat the cream, milk and vanilla extract until just simmering and pour on to the egg mix beating all the time. Place back in the pan and heat gently until thickened. Leave to get cold.
11. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water
12. When the éclairs are cold, split one side and pipe in your crème pattisiere.
13. Spread the chocolate fairly thickly on the top of each one and leave to get cold.
14. Serve as soon as possible after making.