These cream-filled wonders have a unique texture —join the professionals and learn how to make them.
Covered in chocolate, they are a world-class classic.
75 gm plain flour (maida) , a pinch of salt, 25 gm (2 tbsp) butter or
margarine ¾ cup (140 ml) water, 1 tsp sugar (optional), 2 eggs
200 gm cream, 4 tbsp icing sugar – sifted, 1/4 tsp vanilla essence
100 gm (½ cup) fresh cream
150 gm cooking chocolate or 3 slabs (40 gm each) of – Amul, Nestle or Cadburys dark chocolate
1 tsp butter
To prepare the choux pastry, sift flour and salt together.
Put butter, water and sugar into a sauce pan and heat gently until butter melts; then raise the heat and rapidly bring mixture to boil.
Remove the pan from fire and add all the flour at once. Stir quickly with a wooden spoon until flour absorbs all liquid. Return to heat and stir until a smooth ball is formed and it leaves the sides of the pan. Allow the mixture to cool a little.
Beat eggs till fluffy. Gradually mix eggs and beat till the eggs are well mixed. The choux pastry should be thick enough to hold its shape but not stiff.
Spoon pastry into a stiff (transparent) polythene bag. Cut one corner to pipe ½” thick fingers.
Pipe out 2” long fingers on a greased baking tray. Start piping with the cut end touching the tray and lifting it while pressing the mixture out, cut off the required length with a wet knife.
Place in a hot oven at 220C/425°F & bake for about 20 minutes, until crisp and golden brown. (If eclairs are not thoroughly dry, reduce the heat to 180°C/350°F and continue baking for further 10 minutes).
Remove from the oven. Slit them down on one side to let the steam escape and leave on a wire rack to cool.
Beat the chilled cream and sugar till it forms soft peaks. Add essence. Cool in the fridge.
When eclairs are cold, fill them with whipped cream using a piping bag and a nozzle. Keep in fridge.
To prepare the chocolate coating, break softened chocolate into small pieces. Heat the cream in a small heavy bottomed pan, on low heat (do not boil). Add chocolate pieces and heat stirring continuously, till chocolate melts and you get an almost smooth paste. Remove from fire and stir in butter gently till it turns smooth. Immediately pour over the eclairs to cover the top completely. Keep under refrigeration for 2-3 hours till the icinQ sets.