I love eclairs, well I love choux pastry, I don’t really mind if it’s an eclair, a bun, a religiuese or a paris-brest. As long as it’s iced and filled with something tasty, I’m pretty happy. I knew that I had to make eclairs in my new steam oven as they are baked through the process of removing steam from the warm pastry. It was the perfect test for my AEG SteamBake oven.
For a while I’ve followed Maitre Choux online and lusted over their gorgeous eclairs and other choux pastries. The colours, decorations and flavour combinations always amaze me. I’ve tried to mimic their raspberry eclairs in this creation, whilst my decorations and piping is nowhere near as perfect as Maitre Choux, they still taste pretty delicious.
I was so impressed by the AEG SteamBake oven when I made these. They puffed up to a huge size and they almost touched each other despite how far apart I’d piped them. I needed to use a bigger pan than the ones I normally use. If you compare these eclairs to the other batch I made here. You can see that the cavities are much bigger meaning that you can fit more cream in them and also the shape when cooked was much more consistent.
I’ve filled the pastries with a raspberry cremeux, this is traditionally a fruit flavoured custard and unlike creme patissiere it uses gelatine instead of flour or cornflour to thicken it. This produces quite a light cream, however the raspberry was quite intense, so I lightened this with some lightly whipped cream.
The raspberry puree I used is one from Funkin’ Pro, their fruit purees are great and I’ve used them in so many of my desserts. They can also be portioned out and frozen, so that you always have puree to hand.
- First prepare the raspberry cremeux, place the gelatine in a bowl of cold water and leave to soften.
- Heat the raspberry puree in a saucepan until it comes to a boil.
- Whisk the eggs and sugar together until it becomes pale and creamy. Add the raspberry puree to the egg mixture and continue to whisk.
- Place the bowl containing the egg mixture over a bain marie and stir continuously until it reaches 95C.
- Remove the cremeux from the heat and squeeze the excess water from the gelatine and stir it into the cremeux. Add the butter and stir until it melts.
- Take an immersion or stick blender and use it to whip up the cremeux - this will help it to thicken.
- Place the cremeux in a bowl, cover it with a layer of cling-film (make sure it touches the surface of the cremeux) and place it in the fridge to cool.
- When cooled, stir the cremeux, whip the cream and fold this into the cremeux, mix evenly and return to the fridge to cool.
- Next prepare the craquelin (omitting the freeze-dried strawberry powder), when it's frozen, cut it into rectangles that are 1-1.5cm x 14cm. Return these to the freezer.
- Next make the choux pastry, preheat the oven to 180C (160C Fan) Gas 4 (if you're using a steam oven, wait until you are ready to begin baking and then add 100ml of water to the cavity of your oven and preheat the oven to 160C Fan) and line two baking trays with baking parchment, draw 6 lines 14cm long, evenly spaced apart on each tray and turn the paper over so the lines are on the reverse. Ensuring you have 12 lines in total.
- Make the choux pastry as per steps 2- 7 of this recipe. Take the craquelin out of the freezer and place a strip on top of each eclair.
- Bake the eclairs for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and crisp. Turn off the oven and leave the eclairs in the oven to cool for 30 minutes.
- Remove the eclairs from the oven and leave them to cool before icing and filling them.
- pierce three holes in the bottom each eclair, take the lightened cremeux from the fridge and stir it gently, place it in a piping bag.
- Fill the eclairs with the cremeux by piping it into each hole until the eclair is full.
- Next make the icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl wide enough to allow you to dunk the eclairs. Add the raspberry puree and stir, add more puree if necessary, but ensure you have icing of a thick consistency, so that it doesn't flow down the sides of the eclairs.
- Decorate the eclairs with fresh fruit, or any decorations of your choice.
Are you a big fan of choux pastry? Or do you not see the appeal? Let me know in the comments.
Thanks for reading.