Eclairs – Patisserie Maison Giveaway

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I have another new book! My collection of patisserie books is rapidly expanding and the list of things I want to bake is increasing faster than I can make them.

This new book is Patisserie Maison by Richard Bertinet, a well known French chef that is highly regarded for the bread and patisserie that he produces. Richard Bertinet runs his own cookery school in Bath, called the Bertinet Kitchen and I have been told by Annemarie Barrett from Miele, that the Patisserie Course he runs is definitely worth attending. Something else for me to save up for!

The layout and design of Patisserie Maison is visually appealing and the collection of recipes is exceptionally well thought out. There are basic recipes that would wow guests, and can be made quickly or prepared in advance, along with more technical recipes that are made up of a number of components. The base recipes for things like genoise, creams etc all feature a number of suggestions for different flavour combinations, inviting you to create your own recipes.

Why did I choose eclairs? Well, it’s been a while since I attempted choux, I’m always happy to try another chef’s recipe for my nemesis and I was also inspired by the eclairs produced at Fauchon.

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Fauchon is a French Patisserie known for their eclairs, every year they have an eclair week at their flagship store in Paris where they produce one off eclairs made to their exacting standards.

I decided to use Fauchon’s styling as the inspiration to decorate my eclairs, as you can see, they’re not as elegant as those made by Fauchon, but I did try my best.

This eclair recipe is the first thing I have attempted from Patisserie Maison, but I also have my eye on the blackcurrant mousse on the front cover. After struggling to get hold of any blackcurrants, I have managed to acquire some and I will be featuring the recipe soon on my blog.

The word eclair means ‘Flash of lightening’ in French which apparently is a reference to how quickly they are eaten, because they are gone in a flash. This choux recipe is one of the best I’ve used, it provided the perfect consistency and gave me plenty of pastry, the texture was very thick and it made the pastry much easier to pipe. Patisserie Maison has lots of pictures to accompany each stage of making the choux pastry and the other pastries featured in the book, so you can be sure that you have the correct texture, the pictures are very reassuring especially if you are new to any of these techniques.

The recipe in Patisserie Maison suggested filling the eclairs with chantilly cream, I added a little French brandy to the cream (this was a deviation from Bertinet’s recipe) to make it even more luxurious. The eclair is then topped with fondant icing that has been heated and had food colouring added.

I decided to decorate these eclairs further and a day before making the eclairs I used these daisy cutters to stamp out 24 medium and 24 small daisies from the leftover white royal icing. I used a mix of yellow powdered food colouring and alcohol (gin) to paint a dot inside the larger daisy.  I left these to air dry overnight so that they would harden. I also glazed some raspberries and blueberries with apricot jam, so that they would shine on top of the eclair.

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If you feel like making these eclairs yourself, here’s the recipe:

ECLAIRS
Author: 
Recipe type: Patisserie
Cuisine: French
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
 
This is a recipe for the classic eclair, topped with a fondant icing and decorated with glazed fruit.
Ingredients
  • CHOUX PASTRY
  • 225ml Water
  • 125g Flour
  • 4 Eggs
  • 60g Unsalted Butter
  • -------------------------------------
  • CHANTILLY CREAM
  • 300ml Whipping Cream
  • 4 Tbsp Icing Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1Tsp Rum
  • -------------------------------------
  • FONDANT TOPPING
  • 300g Royal/Fondant Icing
  • 2 Tbsp Water
  • Red Food Colouring
  • -------------------------------------
  • TO DECORATE
  • 100g Apricot Jam/Puree
  • 2 Tbsp Water
  • Raspberries and Blueberries to decorate
Instructions
  1. Begin by making the choux pastry, combine the water and butter in a pan and bring to a boil.
  2. Sift the flour into a bowl and tip this into the boiling water and butter.
  3. Take the pan off the heat and beat the flour, until it resembles scrambled eggs.
  4. Place the pan back on the heat and beat the paste for 2-3 minutes until the dough dries out.
  5. Tip the mixture into a food mixer and using the paddle attachment, add the eggs one at a time, until they are fully incorporated.
  6. The dough should be thick and sticky, this means it is ready for piping.
  7. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees and line two baking trays with greaseproof paper. To aid with the piping of the eclairs, you can draw 12 lines 8cm long on the greaseproof paper on each tray, make sure they are spaced well apart, turn the paper over and pipe on the reverse.
  8. Using a piping bag with a 1cm tip, fill it with the pastry and pipe 12 lines on each sheet of paper.
  9. Put the eclairs in the oven for 20 mins, then for a further 4 mins cook the eclairs with the door open a little to let out the moisture.
  10. The eclairs are done when they are a golden colour and feel hard to the touch.
  11. To make the chantilly cream, sift the icing sugar into the cream, add the vanilla extract and whip the cream until stiff enough to pipe it, then add the rum and give it a final whip. Place the cream in the fridge until you're ready to use it.
  12. Next combine the apricot jam and water in a pan and heat until the jam thins. Using a pastry brush, glaze 24 raspberries and 24 blueberries and lay them on a piece of greaseproof paper.
  13. Cut all of the eclairs in half lengthways and using a star shaped piping nozzle, pipe cream on to the bottom half of the eclairs.
  14. Add the fondant icing and water to a pan and heat gently, beat the mixture so that the icing and the water become mixed together. Then add some food colouring and stir so that the fondant becomes a nice shade of pink.
  15. Dip the tops of the eclair in the fondant icing and then place them on top of the cream. Sit a raspberry and a blueberry on top of each eclair.
  16. If the fondant in the pan starts to set, return it to the heat to loosen it again.
  17. The eclairs can be stored in the fridge, but they should be eaten as soon as possible because the cream will soften them.
I will be featuring more recipes from Patisserie Maison on the blog over the coming weeks, but if you’re looking to try patisserie using recipes that aren’t too daunting, I suggest you give this book a try and what better way to do that, than by entering my giveaway to win a copy of Patisserie Maison. This competition is open to entrants from outside of the UK.

Win Stuff

Thanks for reading.

Angela

83 Responses

  1. I would likely make profiteroles. I enjoy finding new flavoured fillings. Id love to try making these eclairs! but choux pastry is most definitely not my strong point 😀

    • I need to practice my choux! I want to get better at it. I’m definitely going to give these another try, with a different filling and icing combo. Keep practicing. I think eclairs are going to be big soon!

      • I hope so, i love eclairs 😀 My mum has choux down to a tea and makes a really nice lemon and honey eclair 🙂 Might give it another go with the kids at the weekend, ive got fudge brownies planned too 🙂

        • I love brownies! I want to make more eclairs now, I just worry that repeating things on the blog will get dull, but I can only eat so much cake. I’ll need to try them at some point though.

          • nooo can never have enough cake 😀 I’m sure people would love to see lots of filling varieties, all of which could go into other pastries so would make good posts 🙂

          • Michelle, you’re too kind. I’m thinking of doing a post of all things technical. I just need to take some decent pictures of different decorations, icings etc. Thanks again! x

  2. Lucy Parissi

    I have an eclair phobia! I made them once for my baking club and they were very tasty but certainly not great in the looks department. Unlike yours which look simply too pretty to eat. I suppose it is a fear I must conquer – baking club’s theme this month is Patisserie. Can I send you as me?

    • The biggest problem I find with choux is that once you’ve piped it, that’s it! It’ll cook in that shape, so you have to be really confident what size you want them etc. Also a lot of cookery books really underestimate the cooking time and they end up sinking. I read an interesting recipe in Edd Kimbers new book and he leave the choux in the oven (switched off) after the cooking time for 30 mins, this would help to dry it out. I’m going to give eclairs a go again trying that method.

      You’re in a baking club too? How do you do it? I’ve seen your macarons, you can do patisserie and you’ll be fine.

      • Lucy Parissi

        Yes the shape you pipe is exaggerated when baked so any flaws are magnified! I do believe Edd is actually meant to be coming to that baking club meet. I shall hide in a corner somewhere. But good idea about macarons – haven’t made any in ages.

        • The piping element does terrify me. You could make a giant macaron cake like I did, they’re pretty impressive looking. Wow Edd’s going to be there? I am so jealous! Don’t hide too much, pick his brains!

  3. Jodie Dodd

    I do love eclairs and these look amazing. You’re so creative with the decorating, the daisies are a nice touch. 🙂 So glad this choux recipe worked out for you Angela, you’ll be a complete pro at it one day.

    • Thanks Jodie. This giveaway is open worldwide, so you can enter this one 🙂 I intend to persevere with choux and after something I’ve learnt tonight, I need to trust my instincts, rather than follow the recipes to the letter!

  4. I’ve really enjoyed working with choux pastry lately (including a mid-sized croquembouche), but there’s lots of other French patisserie I’d like to get my teeth into (physically and metaphorically).

    • That looks beautiful Kate. Is it decorated with lavender or cacao nibs? Lovely photo.

      • Sorry – should have said! The choux buns are a mix of vanilla, chocolate and lavender crème patissière, with lavender over the top. A little messy, in hindsight, but it was delicious!

        • Wow, what was the lavender creme patissiere like? did you infuse the milk with real lavender? OR did you use an essence/extract?

          • It was the winner of the trio for me – so delicious. I infused the milk with real lavender – not for too long (trying to avoid the potential soapiness), only about three minutes after taking it off the heat.

          • I had the same concerns when I made something with rose a few weeks ago. As long as it’s delicate, it tastes amazing.

          • Absolutely agree!

  5. Claire Scott

    I would definitely give the eclairs my best try

  6. Katherine L

    I’ve never tried making anything with choux so I’d love to try to make some profiteroles! Or these eclairs!

    • choux is a temperamental beast (well it is for me), definitely give it a go though, it’s good to learn new things. Good Luck.

      • I made this last night- beautiful out of the pan, then I let it cool and put in a mason jar. I put it in the fridge and the next day it was totally crlzatlyised. Help!! What happened?

  7. Jo Glasspool

    All of them lol

  8. Felicity Smith

    I would like to try to make a croquembouche, it looks almost possible with this book

    • yes, it’s a sort of miniature croquembouche and it does look doable. I always think they look pretty decorated with a spun sugar nest and sprinkled rose petals.

  9. Hello,
    I have just found this post, when looking at all your great works on your blog. And because I cannot resist Patisserie books, I decided to enter your Give away. Even though the book is in english. 😛

    • Well your English seems very good to me. There are so many pictures in this book, as long as you can read the ingredients and you have some baking knowledge (which I know you do), you’ll be able to work from this. Good Luck!

  10. Anne Jenkins

    They just look amazing x I adore eclairs x

  11. Elaine Dale

    love the eclairs

  12. I’ve made salted caramel macarons! They are so good, you’re right. Thank you for the kind words about the eclairs, you make some pretty damn attractive food yourself! x

  13. Katie Skeoch

    Oh lots but I have been drooling over a Pistachio Macaron Cake lately, will have to get around to making that

  14. Maxine

    Everything, I want to make everything!!! i’d love to be able to make some new variations on profiteroles

  15. mark purdy

    Éclairs, one of the few sweet treats I like, if the book is anything like dough or crust then it will be a prize well with winning.

    • I will have to check these out, you’re the second person to recommend them. Good Luck!

      • Vicki du Plessis

        I have his ‘pastry’ book…also very good. 🙂

        • I got the ‘pastry’ book from the library and whilst it was good, there wasn’t much in it that I didn’t have in my other books. Not a criticism of the book, but I didn’t end up baking anything from it.

  16. Iris B.

    You had me at “Chantilly cream”. I’ve been wanting to make éclairs for a long time now, and this book looks like a great source to learn from 🙂

  17. Lee Dodge

    Richard Bertinet’s books are always excellent: thorough and very easy to follow. His kneading technique in “Crust” and “Dough” is unique. Can’t recommend them enough to anyone interested in baking.

    • I’ll have to check them out Lee, my bread is a bit hit and miss. I really recommend Dan Lepard as well for bread making.

      • Vicki du Plessis

        The river cottage handbook on bread is a good one for anyone starting out. All my sourdough antics have been from using that book. 🙂

  18. Vicki du Plessis

    Choux is my nemesis at the moment too, just so many slightly different recipes (I have 17+ different ones collected now) that it gets rather confusing. I’m determined to learn though. I think I’m even more in love with eclairs than macarons right now.

    • I think a lot of recipes have choux that ends up too wet and also the cooking time for a lot of them is way too short. Keep persevering Vicki, I intend to. x

      • Vicki du Plessis

        The variation in oven temp between recipes is another issue. From what I have guessed(not enough experimentation yet to confirm my theory) is that a drier choux batter, baked on a low temp to get a slow rise, gets you perfect looking pastry like you see in designer eclair shops like l’eclair de genie, whereas the wetter choux needs a higher temp to get the pastry to expand and hold its own weight but looks more ‘rustic’ which to be honest I kind of like…

        Of the eclairs I tried in Paris the ones at l’eclair de genie were ever so pretty but they fell down on flavour, the best tasting ones were from a little patisserie/boulangerie in the Latin quarter. It was plain and simple but tasted so good it stopped me in my tracks. Given a choice between making pretty or tasty eclairs I know what I choose…of course if both is possible that’s even better! 😉

        • I know just what you mean Vicki, the annoying thing about a blog is that it’s all about the visuals though, although for me it is taste that wins you over ever time.

          I’m still not done with choux, I need to practice it much more.

  19. Emma @ Fork & Good

    These are really pretty eclairs, seriously want to read this book, i bet it’s beautiful

  20. Melanie Edjourian

    the eclairs they look yummy

  21. DebEastofEdenCook

    I am always game to increase my pastry skills! Cronuts are on my to try list, perhaps for the upcoming holidays.

  22. Elizabeth Harrison

    Looks delicious! I’m keen to get baking…

  23. Liam Thatcher

    I would love to make a croquembouche! But I’ve not made much choux before, so I have a bit of practicing to do first!

  24. I’ve always wanted to make eclairs with some funky decoration …

  25. Becki Explorer

    I am seriously obsessed with eclairs at the moment! I’m positive they’re going to be the next big thing!!!

    B x

    • I totally agree Becki, choux is such a blank canvas, there is so much you can do with it. Fusion eclairs are the next big thing! Tiramisu eclair, lemon meringue eclair, paris brest eclair etc!

      • Becki Explorer

        I’m so excited by this!! There are so many flavour options! I like your tiramisu idea!!!

        B x

  26. Lucy - BakingQueen74

    Love your strawberry icing there. I would like to try to make a croquembouche!

  27. Tracy K Nixon

    I would love to create coffee eclaires or choux – filled with fresh whipped ceam and smothered in a coffee flavoured icing!

  28. Tracey Peach

    The Eclairs look delicious! I would love to be able to make cream horns xxx

    • Thanks Tracey. Yes cream horns, are they puff pastry? I only remember them from my childhood, you don’t really see them anymore, a bit like lardy cake.

      • Tracey Peach

        Yes I think they were puff pastry it’s a long time since I’ve eaten one. No have not seen a lardy cake for years xxx

  29. I’d definitely like to try eclairs. I had some really interesting tea flavoured eclairs in Paris recently and they were amazing. My favourite was gemaicha flavoured!

    • I have the new William & Suzue Curley patisserie book and there is so much green tea in there I am going to have to embrace it. I’m wary, because I’m not entirely sure I actually like green tea. I do like jasmine tea though. I think eclairs are where it’s at and I want to start perfecting them properly!

      • Green tea tastes completely different in patisserie then it does as a drink so you may be surprised. I’d love to read posts on green tea patisserie as I’d like to give it a go but I’m a bit nervous. Green tea and jasmine eclairs would be amazing! I love floral flavours too.

        • I’ll give it a go then Jaye. They seem to use a lot of Matcha.There is a recipe for Matcha Eclairs in the book too. I can’t remember what the filling is.

          • Matcha eclairs are lovely! You won’t need to get the top quality stuff as lower grades are good enough for cooking. They aren’t as bright green though. That way if you aren’t keen it’s not so bad as higher grades are quite pricey. I can’t wait to see what you make.

          • Thanks Jaye, that’s really helpful. I shall certainly be in touch when I need some buying advice.

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