Eclair literally means ‘a flash of lightening’, and these little pastries are so-named as they will be gone in a flash! This dark chocolate and orange version that I have created is the stuff dreams are made of – so rich and flavourful, but small enough that you can kid yourself it’s perfectly fine to eat several!
These are not especially quick to make, sadly, but believe me that the payoff is worth every moment – you’ll not find eclairs like these in your local supermarket!
- CHOCOLATE ORANGE CREME PATISSIERE:
- 125ml milk
- 40g cocoa powder
- 130g dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 500ml milk
- 60g granulated sugar
- Finely grated zest of half an orange
- 5 egg yolks
- 60g granulated sugar
- 40g cornflour
- CANDIED ORANGE PEEL:
- 1 large orange
- 200g sugar
- 100g water
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 tsp fine salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 110g unsalted butter
- 140g bread flour, sifted
- 4 large eggs
- A little melted butter
- STABALISED WHIPPED CREAM:
- 1tsp powdered gelatine
- 4tsp cold water
- 300ml double cream, cold
- 30g icing sugar
- CHOCOLATE GLAZE:
- 125g double cream
- 125g dark chocolate callets
- 25g light corn syrup, or golden syrup
CHOCOLATE ORANGE CREME PATISSIERE:
Bring 125ml of milk to boil and remove from the heat.
Sift the cocoa powder into the milk, and add the finely chopped chocolate.
Stir together until smooth, and then set aside.
Place 500ml of milk, 60g of sugar and the orange zest into a pan, and bring to a boil.
Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks with the other 60g of sugar, then add cornflour.
Slowly pour in the hot milk mixture, stirring constantly.
Return everything to the saucepan, and heat until the sauce thickens and begins burping and spluttering. Cook for another minute, whisking continuously.
Remove from the heat, and stir in the chocolate mixture.
Pass through a sieve, and then cover with clingfilm touching the surface.
Cool completely in the fridge.
CANDIED ORANGE PEEL:
Cut the orange into quarters, and remove the pulp and any stringy pith from the inside. Cut the peel into thin strips, and place into a saucepan, covering with water.Bring the water to the boil, and then drain the peel.
Blanch the peel once or twice more with fresh water, depending on how bitter your orange is.
Heat the sugar and water together in the saucepan until the sugar is all dissolved.
Add the orange peel and simmer until translucent - about an hour.
Drain the orange peel and spread out on some parchment or a silicone mat, to dry out. This will take about 6 hours. If you need to use immediately, remove as much of the syrup as possible, and roll the peel in caster sugar.
The syrup can be saved for making drinks or used as flavouring in other recipes.
Place a pizza stone on the centre rack of the oven, and preheat to 190c
Place water, milk, salt, sugar, and butter into a saucepan, and set over a medium heat.
Bring the mixture to the boil.
In the meantime sift the bread flour, and crack your eggs into a jug and lightly whisk.
When the mixture reaches the boil, remove from the heat, and stir in the flour, all at once.
Incorporate completely and then return the pan to the heat, stirring continuously for 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes, put the dough into a clean bowl.
Do not scrape out any film on the pan.
Beat in the eggs gradually, either by hand, or by using the help of a machine.
The easiest method is to use a food processor and pour the eggs down the feeling tube.
Allow the pastry to cool to 25c-30c before piping.
Pipe 4 inch eclairs into a lined baking sheet using a french tip
Use a wet finger to smooth over any peaks.
Place the baking tray directly onto the pizza stone.
Once the oven door is closed, immediately lower the temperature to 175c
After 30 minutes, check if the eclairs are completely firm.
If not, continue baking a little longer.
STABALISED WHIPPED CREAM:
Mix the gelatine and cold water in a microwave safe jug, and leave to bloom.
Put about 3/4 of the cream into the bowl of a stand mixer, and whisk until just starting to hold it’s shape.
Warm the bloomed gelatine in the microwave until it is completely liquid.
Pour the remaining cream into the warmed gelatine, whisking continuously to avoid creating lumps.
This will temper the cream and help to avoid lumps of gelatine in the final product.
Start the stand mixer on a low speed, and pour in the gelatine mixture.
Return the mixer to a high speed, and whip until the cream forms firm peaks.
Heat the double cream in a saucepan until it starts to bubble around the edges.
Pour the heated cream over the chocolate chips and syrup, and leave to sit for 2 minutes.
Gently whisk the ganache until it becomes smooth and glossy.
Using a bismark tip, create two holes in the basse of the eclairs, about 1/3 in from each end.
Whisk the creme patissiere until it it smooth, then fold in the stabalised whipped cream. Transfer this creme diplomat to a pipng bad fitted with the bismark tip, and fill the eclairs.
Holding the eclairs as cloely to the base as possible, dip them into the ganache. Allow the excess to fall off, and then carefully turn them over and leave to set up. Add a decorative piece of candied peel to the top of each eclair.
Serve immediately, or store the in the fridge until ready to serve. Be aware that eclairs lose their crispness very quickly once filled.