The White Russian is a classic cocktail, often considered a softer option than some of the other cocktails out there. This is probably because of the inclusion of cream and Baileys with a Hint of Coffee, don’t be fooled though, the vodka is the King in this recipe and the familiar bite that you associate with good vodka is present in this delicious drink.
This is such a fabulous cocktail, it tastes like liquid dessert with a kick, you can find a great White Russian recipe here. The cocktail has evolved from the Black Russian, which is essentially the same drink but without the inclusion of cream. Neither of these drinks have any Russian connection, the Russian element comes from the vodka included in the recipe as the dominant flavour.
If you’re anything like me, you love cocktails but can never remember the recipes. I have a cupboard at home full of different spirits and there are so many options for the drinks I could make, however I always end up having a Gin and Tonic or Vodka and Diet Coke.
Thank goodness then that I found The Bar.com an online site, full of cocktail recipes. The site even links to your online supermarket of choice, so that you can add the alcohol directly to your shopping basket. The other thing that is really helpful, is a little tool which means you can say how many people you need to serve the cocktails for and then it will increase the recipe.
I’m always fiddling around with the calculator on my iPhone trying to work out how to increase or decrease quantities, so this is a huge timesaver.
Each month they feature different seasonal recipes and the White Russian is one of their September recipes. I chose to do something a bit different with the White Russian and turned it into the filling for an eclair. I have to say this is a very adult eclair, the filling really packs a punch, I certainly wouldn’t recommend sharing these with children. These are definitely for the grown ups.
If you think the filling might be a bit too strong for your liking, use the same amount of cream and just start with half the amount of Smirnoff No.21 Vodka and Baileys with a Hint of Coffee and add more until it meets your taste. However to get the authentic White Russian experience you really need to add all of the booze!
Choux pastry is the perfect accompaniment to this cocktail and I’ve included a chocolate fondant icing to mimic the grating of chocolate on the finished cocktail.
WHITE RUSSIAN ECLAIRS
- Choux Pastry:
- 60 g Unsalted Butter diced
- ¼ Tsp Salt
- 1 Tsp Caster Sugar
- 40 g Plain Flour
- 45 g Strong White Bread Flour
- 2-3 Large Eggs
- 120 ml Water
- White Russian Cream:
- 150 ml Double Cream
- 50 ml Baileys with a Hint of Coffee
- 50 ml Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka
- Chocolate Fondant Icing:
- 100 g 70% Cocoa Chocolate
- 2 Tsp Butter
- 5 Tbsp Water
- 170 g Fondant Icing Sugar
- White Fondant Icing:
- 75 g Fondant Icing Sugar
- 2 Tbsp Water
- Begin by making the choux pastry, preheat the oven to 180C (160C Fan) Gas 4 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.
- Put the butter, salt, sugar and 120ml water in a medium pan over a medium-high heat. Once the butter has melted and the mixture is at a rolling boil, add the flour and quickly stir together with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a dough.
- With the pan still on a low heat, stir vigorously for 2 minutes, then tip the dough into a bowl and beat for a few minutes until it stops steaming. These two actions help to cook the flour and dry out the dough, which in turn helps it to absorb more egg. This helps the choux pastry to expand properly as it bakes.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until fully absorbed before adding the next. Depending on the flour used and how much water evaporated as you made the dough, the choux pastry will need varying amounts of egg, so the above is given as a guide.
- With this recipe I usually add two eggs and then very slowly start adding the remaining egg, checking the texture of the dough after each addition. You are looking for a dough that has a shine and when it is lifted from the bowl, it should fall from the spatula in a ribbon that forms a "V" shape. If the dough doesn't contain enough egg, it won't expand properly and will be prone to cracking as it bakes; if there is too much egg, the dough won't hold its shape and will collapse as it bakes.
- To prevent the dough from drying out and forming a skin, immediately put the dough into a piping bag with a 1.5cm plain round piping tip fitted.
- Pipe lines of choux onto the prepared baking sheets, you want your eclairs to be pretty thin, the same width as the nozzle. They will puff up, if you make them too big you won't be able to make 12.
- Brush the eclairs with egg and bake 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.
- While the eclairs are cooking, make the filling. Whip the double cream to stiff peaks and add the vodka and baileys 25ml at a time. Taste and add more baileys and vodka if desired, I wouldn't recommend adding more than 50ml of each spirit though.
- Place the cream in a piping bag with a thin nozzle fitted and place it in the fridge to set.
- When the eclairs are cool, using a knife cut three small holes in the bottom of each eclair and fill the holes with the chilled cream.
- To make the chocolate fondant icing, put the chocolate, butter and water in a bowl and melt it over a pan of gently boiling water. When the chocolate is melted sift in the fondant icing sugar and mix until combined. Make sure you make the chocolate fondant in a bowl that is big enough to fit the eclairs, as you will be dipping the eclairs in the glaze.
- Make the white fondant by mixing the fondant icing sugar with the water, place it in a piping bag fitted with a very small piping nozzle 1-2mm.
- Take the filled eclairs, dip them in the chocolate glaze and place them back on the wire rack. Dip a few eclairs at a time and then using the white fondant icing pipe stripes across the eclair. Using a cocktail stick, lightly drag it through the lines in one direction and then in the other direction to create a feathered look.
- Do this with all of the eclairs, being careful not to leave it too long between coating and piping the stripes or the icing will set and the effect won't look as delicate.
- Leave the eclairs to set and then store in an airtight container in the fridge. These will keep for a couple of days, but should ideally be eaten on the day they're made to stop the choux becoming too soft.
If you try this recipe, let me know what you think, they would be perfect for a party buffet or an afternoon tea. I think they’d go pretty well with an Espresso Martini.
Thanks for reading.
This was a commissioned post by Diageo and https://uk.thebar.com/. All views are my own.
I have added this to Fabulous Foodie Fridays.