Makes: approx. 20 éclairs
Preparation time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Chilling time: 30 minutes

Homemade éclairs are a labour of love, but the reward will be a decadent mouthful of crisp pastry oozing yuzu cream.


Ingredients

For the choux pastry

  • 7 tbsp + 2 tsp (33/4 oz/110g) butter
  • 1/2 cup (41/3 oz/125g) mineral water
  • 1/2 cup (41/3 oz/125g) whole milk
  • 1 tsp (5g) superfine sugar
  • 1 tsp (5g) fleur de sel, preferably Guérande
  • 11/2 cups (5 oz/140g) flour
  • 1 cup (83/4 oz/250g) whole eggs

For the manjari chocolate and yuzu cream

  • 2 tsp (1/3 oz/8g) powdered gelatin, or 4 gelatin sheets of 2g
  • 13 1/4 oz (375g) Manjari 64% dark chocolate (Valrhona)
  • 1 cup (8 oz/225g) yuzu juice
  • 1 cup (8 oz/225g) egg yolks
  • 1 cup (8 oz/225g) superfine sugar
  • 2/3 cup (53/4 oz/165g) whole milk
  • 2 cups (161/3 oz/465g) liquid cream

For the chocolate glaze

  • 1/3 cup (3 oz/90g) mineral water
  • 1/2 cup (31/2 oz/100g) superfine sugar
  • 2 3/4 oz (80g) cocoa paste, or 100% cocoa dark chocolate
  • 17 2/3 oz (500g) fondant

For finishing

  • 80 small pieces candied yuzu rind

Directions

For the choux pastry

1Cut the butter into pieces. Combine the water, milk, sugar, fleur de sel and butter in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Add the flour all at once, stirring briskly for two or three minutes, until the mixture is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the pan. Turn the mixture into a bowl and add the eggs, little by little, stirring briskly to incorporate the eggs well after each addition.

2Preheat the oven on convection setting to 395°F (200°C/Gas Mark 6-7).

3Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a BF18 star pastry tip. Line a pastry sheet with cooking parchment and pipe the dough out into even tube shapes, about 6 in (15 cm) long, leaving space between each. Place in the preheated oven and turn off the heat immediately.

4After 10 minutes, turn the oven back on to 340°F (170°C/Gas Mark 5-6) and cook for an additional 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, open the oven door very slightly (slide a spoon into the door to keep it ajar if necessary) and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer the éclairs to a pastry rack to cool.

For the manjari chocolate and yuzu cream

1Sprinkle the powdered gelatin into a little warm water to soften. (If using sheet gelatin, place in a bowl of cold water for 15 minutes to soften, then squeeze between the palms of your hands to drain.) Chop the chocolate with a serrated knife and place it in a bowl.

2Heat the yuzu juice in a saucepan to 120°F (50°C). Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl. Bring the milk and cream to a boil in a saucepan and pour, whisking constantly, over the egg yolk and sugar mixture. Add the warm yuzu juice. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook, whisking constantly, to 185°F (85°C). Stir in the gelatin. Pour the mixture over the chopped chocolate, stirring. Mix with a hand blender. Press a sheet of plastic film directly on the surface of the mixture and refrigerate until cooled.

3With the point of a No. 6 plain pastry tip, pierce three holes spaced evenly along the bottom side of each éclair. Fill the pastry bag with the chocolate-yuzu cream, and pipe the cream evenly and generously into the three holes on the bottom of each éclair. Refrigerate.

For the chocolate glaze

1Combine the water and sugar in a saucepan, and bring to a boil to make a sugar syrup. Remove from the heat and let cool. Chop the cocoa paste with a serrated knife and melt in a bowl over a bain-marie of simmering water. Knead the fondant between the palms of your hands until softened. In a shallow bowl, combine the fondant with a few tbsp of sugar syrup and the melted cocoa paste. Add enough additional sugar syrup to obtain a supple, fluid texture.

2Place the glaze in a wide, shallow bowl. Glaze the éclairs, one at a time, holding each upside down over the glaze, and dipping the top quickly in the chocolate. Remove, turn the éclair right side up and run your index finger around the glaze to make a neat edge, removing any glaze that may have dripped down. Decorate the top of each éclair with four pieces of candied yuzu rind and refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.

This comes courtesy of Taste of France Issue Two. For more great recipes, food news and interviews with top chefs, buy your copy here!

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