Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Chocolate eclairs

After seeing the great Mary Berry make chocolate eclairs on TV the other day I thought I just had to make them because they looked delish! I haven't made eclairs before, only profiteroles, and I know a lot of people think choux pastry is hard to make but it really isn't as difficult as people think and these treats are extremely tasty so it's worth the effort.

Makes 12 but you can make them as small or large as you want, just remember to adjust cooking times accordingly

150ml double cream (I used Elmlea but it does take a while to whip)
50g/ 1 3/4oz butter
75g/ 2 1/2oz plain flour
2 large eggs, beaten
120g chocolate (milk or dark whichever you prefer) melted 

1. Preheat the oven to 200 C fan oven and line a baking sheet with baking paper. Make the choux pastry by putting the butter along with 150ml of water into a saucepan, melt the butter and bring to the boil, take off the heat. Add the flour and beat vigorously until the mixture comes away from the sides and forms a ball shape. Allow to cool a little then gradually add the eggs, don't worry if the mixture is looking curdled at this point just keep stirring, until the mixture is smooth. Put the mixture into a piping bag with a 1cm nozzle.
2. Sprinkle the baking sheet with a little water, this will create steam when in the oven to puff up the pastry. Pipe the pastry mixture into 7.5cm strips with spaces between each to allow for spreading in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Then turn the temperature down to 170C fan oven and cook for a further 15-20 minutes until golden brown. 
3. Take the eclairs out of the oven, immediately slice them in half and put on a wire rack to cool completely. 
4. Fill your eclairs with as much, or little, cream as you want them dip one half in the melted chocolate, or drizzle the chocolate over with a spoon if it doesn't fit in the bowl which I found! Eat straight away so the pastry does not go soggy. 

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