Mini Vanilla Éclairs

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These luscious finger-sized éclairs filled with vanilla cream and topped with a dark chocolate glaze are perfect with an espresso.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Baking Time: 25 minutes
Makes 30 pieces

INGREDIENTS
FOR THE PATE A CHOUX (OR THE ÉCLAIR SHELL)
125 ml water
125 ml full cream milk
2 tablespoons white sugar
Pinch of salt
115 grams unsalted butter
140 grams all-purpose flour
4 pieces medium-sized eggs
2 tablespoons vanilla extract

FOR EGG WASH
1 free-range egg

PROCEDURE
1 Put the water, milk, sugar, salt, and butter in a pot and place it on the stove at medium heat. Stir all the ingredients and wait until it comes to a boil.
2 Remove pan from the heat and add in the flour; mix well using a wooden spoon. Put the pan back to the stove. Cook the mixture for about 5 minutes until it takes a rounded shape and until the consistency turns into dough.
3 Remove pan from the heat. Add the eggs one by one, including the two tablespoons of vanilla extract. Mix until well-incorporated.
4 Using a piping bag with a round- fitted tip, pipe the dough in a straight line of 5 centimeters on a tray covered in parchment paper.
5 To make the egg wash, beat the egg in a small bowl. Using a brush or your fingers, smooth out any bumps on the dough with the egg wash.
6 Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown at 180 °C. 5 minutes before the end of the cooking time, slightly open the oven to release the steam.

FOR THE VANILLA PASTRY CREAM
INGREDIENTS
250 ml full cream milk
60 grams white sugar
3 egg yolks
25 grams cornstarch
2 grams unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

PROCEDURE
1 In a medium-sized pot, bring the milk and 30 grams of sugar to a boil.
2 Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, mix the egg yolks with the remaining sugar as well as the cornstarch. Mix well.
3 Remove the milk from the heat and pour 1/3 of it into the egg mixture and mix using a wooden spoon. Pour the mixture into the remaining milk.
4 Return the pot on the stove on a low-medium heat and continuously mix until the texture turns thick and creamy, for approximately 5 minutes.
5 Add vanilla extract after taking it out of the heat and strain the mixture into a clean bowl. Secure the top of the bowl with a plastic wrap and refrigerate.

FOR THE GLAZE
INGREDIENT
250 grams of dark chocolate

PROCEDURE
In a double boiler, melt the dark chocolate.

TO ASSEMBLE
1 Put holes with the size of a pencil at the bottom of the pate a choux and using a piping bag fitted with a round tip, fill the shells with cream.
2 Top the éclairs with melted dark chocolate. Let cool and serve.

This recipe was originally published in the October-November 2015 issue of Breakfast Magazine.