This recipe for eclairs is absolutely foolproof, tried and tested more times than I can count. Follow this method for making pâte à choux and you’ll never have a bad result.
My least favourite part of making eclairs, is making the pastry cream. So lately I’ve been exploring many options for no-cook fillings. This one is my new favourite – as easy to make as it is delicious!
Lemon Cheesecake Eclairs
- 125 ml water
- 125 ml milk
- 1 tsp sea salt (or 1/2 tsp fine salt)
- 1 tsp sugar
- 110 g butter (unsalted)
- 140 g bread flour
- 4 large eggs
Lemon Cheesecake Filling
- 300 ml double cream
- 50 g icing sugar
- 250 g marscapone
- 100 g lemon curd
- 250 g fondant icing sugar
- yellow food colouring
- 2 digestive biscuits
- Place a baking stone on the centre rack of the oven, and preheat to 220c/200c fan.If you don’t have a baking stone, a baking sheet or two will also work.
- 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 3 minutes. After the 3 minutes are up, 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 10cm (4-inch) eclairs into a lined baking sheet using a french star tip. You’ll want the eclairs to be about 2cm (3/4 of an inch) wide.
- Brush with a little melted butter, and use the pastry brush to smooth over any peaks. You can also use the pastry brush to coax any wonky eclairs back into shape.
- Place the baking tray directly onto the baking stone.Once the oven door is closed, immediately lower the temperature to 200c/180c fan
- After 30 minutes, check if the eclairs are completely firm.If not, continue baking a little longer.
- Remove the eclairs from the oven, and turn the oven off. Use a skewer to poke two holes in the end of each eclair. Use the skewer to stir around inside a little, to help create a nice clean space for the filling.
- Use a bismark tip, or small french star tip, to create 2 larger holes in the base of each eclair, then place them back on the baking sheet, upside down.
- Place the eclairs back inside the still hot oven, to help dry out the inside of the eclairs – this will take about 5 minutes
- Transfer the eclairs onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
Lemon Cheesecake Filling
- In a bowl, whisk the double cream with the sifted icing sugar until it holds firm peaks.
- In another bowl, whisk the marsapone and lemon curd, until smooth.
- Take about 75% of the whipped cream, and fold it into the marsapone mixture.
The remaining whipped cream should be reserved for decoration later.
- Transfer the lemon cream filling to a pastry pan fitted with a small round tip.
- Pipe the lemon cream into the holes you created earlier, until the eclairs are full.
I like to refrigerate the eclairs briefly here, while I prepare the fondant icing.
- Mix the fondant icing sugar with some food colouring and a little water.
- Adjust the consistency to make ’20 second icing’; when the surface is disturbed, it should take 20 second to completely smooth over.
- Dip the top of the eclairs into the fondant icing, and shake off the excess.
Use your finger to smooth over the top of the icing, then leave on a wire rack to dry.
- When the fondant icing has set up, pipe some decoration suing the double cream.
Add a blueberry to each eclair, and a sprinkle of crushed digestive biscuit.