Ace art of making eclair

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New Delhi, June 23 (IANS) Love to eat eclair? Now, you can learn to make it at home for yourself and your family.

Dhivya Rao, Pastry Chef at Courtyard by Marriott Bengaluru Hebbal, and Shitiz Lambay, Pastry Chef, Le Meridien Goa, Calangute, tell how to make it:

Chocolate eclair recipe

* Ingredients

For the choux pastry

* 4 tablespoon water

* 4 tablespoon whole milk

* 50g/2oz unsalted butter, at room temperature

* 1 teaspoon caster sugar

* Pinch sea salt

* 100g/4oz plain flour

* 4 medium free-range eggs, beaten

For the filling

* 20g/¾oz unsweetened chocolate, 100 per cent cocoa solids

* 450g/1lb pastry cream (crème patissière), at room temperature

* One tablespoon strong cocoa powder

For the glaze

* 200g/7oz white fondant icing

* 1 tablespoon cocoa powder

* 1-2 teaspoon water

Method:

Preheat the oven to 170C/325 F. For the choux pastry, place the water, milk, butter, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan over a high heat and bring the mixture to a boil.

Remove the pan from the heat and, using a wooden spoon, quickly beat in the flour until the mixture is completely smooth. Turn the heat down to medium, return the pan to the hob and cook for about one minute, beating all the time, or until the mixture comes away from the edge of the pan.

Remove the pan from the heat and gradually beat in the eggs until you have a smooth, dropping consistency. Transfer the paste to a large piping bag fitted with a 1.5cm/½in fluted nozzle and let the mixture to cool for about five minutes in the bag to stiffen slightly.

Line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper and pipe on 12 éclairs, each about 15cm/6 inch long. Each about 36cm/14 inch long, onto a non-stick tray and freeze. Cut the frozen strips into three and either defrost and cook as below, or bake from frozen and add five minutes to the cooking time.

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Bake the éclairs in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until golden-brown, then transfer to a rack and leave to cool.

For the filling, melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water or the chocolate will burn. Pour the melted chocolate into the pastry cream, mix in the cocoa powder and whisk together to a smooth consistency. You could chill the mixture at this point for 30 minutes, then whisk again before you fill the éclairs, to give a creamier mouth-feel to the filling.

When you are ready to fill the éclairs, transfer the filling to a piping bag fitted with a 0.5cm/¼in nozzle. Pierce the underside of each éclair four times with the tip of the nozzle, gently squirting a little of the filling into the éclair as you do so.

For the glaze, gently warm the fondant in a small pan over a low heat until it reaches body temperature. Stir in the cocoa powder and enough of the water to make a smooth paste, then transfer to a piping bag fitted with a 1.5cm/½in nozzle. Pipe the glaze onto the top of each éclair, removing any excess with the back of your finger, then place in the fridge for the glaze to set before serving.

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Chocolate Eclair with vanilla beans recipe

Ingredients

Filling:

* 2 cups whole, 2 per cent fat, or 1 percent fat milk

* 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

* 6 egg yolks

* 2/3 cup sugar

* 1/4 cup cornstarch

* 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter

Pastry:

* 1 cup water

* 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter

* 1/2 teaspoon salt

* 1 – 1/2 teaspoons sugar

* 1 cup all-purpose flour

* 3 eggs, plus 1 extra, if needed

Egg Wash:

* 1 egg

* 1 1/2 teaspoons water

Chocolate Glaze:

* 1/2 cup heavy cream

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* 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Method:

Filling: In a medium saucepan, heat the milk and vanilla bean to a boil over medium heat. Immediately turn off the heat and set aside to infuse for 15 minutes. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the cornstarch and whisk vigorously until no lumps remain. Whisk in 1/4 cup of the hot milk mixture until incorporated. Whisk in the remaining hot milk mixture, reserving the saucepan. Pour the mixture through a strainer back into the saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until thickened and slowly boiling. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Let cool slightly. Cover with plastic wrap, lightly pressing the plastic against the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Chill at least 2 hours or until ready to serve. The custard can be made up to 24 hours in advance. Refrigerate until 1 hour before using.

Pastry: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. In a large saucepan, bring the water, butter, salt and sugar to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. When it boils, immediately take the pan off the heat. Stirring with a wooden spoon, add all the flour at once and stir hard until all the flour is incorporated, 30 to 60 seconds. Return to the heat and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Scrape the mixture into a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or use a hand mixer). Mix at medium speed. With the mixer running, add 3 eggs, 1 egg at a time. Stop mixing after each addition to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix until the dough is smooth and glossy and the eggs are completely incorporated. The dough should be thick, but should fall slowly and steadily from the beaters when you lift them out of the bowl. If the dough is still clinging to the beaters, add the remaining 1 egg and mix until incorporated.

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Using a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip, pipe fat lengths of dough (about the size and shape of a jumbo hot dog) onto the lined baking sheet, leaving 2 inches of space between them. You should have 8 to 10 lengths.

Egg Wash: In a bowl, whisk the egg and water together. Brush the surface of each eclair with the egg wash. Use your fingers to smooth out any bumps of points of dough that remain on the surface. Bake 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375 degrees and bake until puffed up and light golden brown, about 25 minutes more. Try not to open the oven door too often during the baking. Let cool on the baking sheet. Fit a medium-size plain pastry tip over your index finger and use it to make a hole in the end of each eclair (or just use your fingertip). Using a pastry bag fitted with a medium-size plain tip, gently pipe the custard into the eclairs, using only just enough to fill the inside (don’t stuff them full).

Glaze: In a small saucepan, heat the cream over medium heat just until it boils. Immediately turn off the heat. Put the chocolate in a medium bowl. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. Set aside and keep warm. The glaze can be made up to 48 hours in advance. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use, and rewarm in a microwave or over hot water when ready to use.

Dip the tops of the eclairs in the warm chocolate glaze and set on a sheet pan. Chill, uncovered, at least 1 hour to set the glaze. Serve chilled.

–IANS

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