Makes: 50
Cooking time: 30 – 40 minutes
Chilling time: 40 minutes
Storage: Up to 2 days in the refrigerator

This Ferrandi Cookery School sweet treat might be technically involved and time consuming but the results have a true wow factor!


For the choux pastry

  • ½ cup (125ml) water
  • ½ cup (125ml) whole milk
  • 1 tsp (5g) salt
  • 1 tsp (5g) sugar
  • 7 tbsp (3.5 oz./100g) butter, diced
  • 1 ¼ cups (5.25 oz./150g) flour, sifted
  • 1 cup (9 oz./250g) egg (about 5 eggs)

For the chocolate crémeux

  • Scant 1 cup (200ml) whole milk
  • Scant 1 cup (200ml) whipping cream, 35% butterfat
  • Scant ⅓ cup (2.75 oz./80g) egg yolk (about 4 ½ yolks)
  • Scant ¼ cup (1.5 oz./40g) sugar
  • 5.5 oz. (160g) bittersweet chocolate, 70% cacao, chopped

For the decoration

  • Bittersweet chocolate pouring fondant icing
  • Halved pistachios
  • Diced dried apricots
  • Chopped roasted hazelnuts


For the choux pastry

1Heat the water, milk, salt, sugar, and butter in a saucepan and, when the butter melts, bring to a fast boil.

2Remove from the heat and tip in all the flour, beating vigorously until smooth.

3Return the pan to a high heat and stir constantly to dry out the mixture.

4Remove from the heat and beat in the eggs, one at a time, with a spatula. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C/Gas mark 4).

5Spoon the pastry into the pastry bag with the ⅓-in. (10-mm) tip and pipe mini éclairs, 2 in. (5 cm) long and ⅝ in. (1.5 cm) wide, onto a non-stick baking sheet. Bake for 30–40 minutes.

For the chocolate crémeux

1Bring the milk and cream to a boil in a saucepan. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until pale and thickened.

2Whisk in a little of the hot milk and cream, pour back into the saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, to 180°F–184°F (82°C–84°C) until the mixture coats the back of a spoon.

3Strain the crémeux through a fine-mesh sieve onto the chopped chocolate and blend, keeping the arm of the stick blender immersed in the crémeux so as not to incorporate any air.

4Chill for 30–40 minutes.

Assembling the éclairs

1Melt the chocolate fondant icing over low heat in a saucepan. When the temperature reaches 95°F–99°F (35°C–37°C), remove from the heat. Adjust the texture with syrup or water.

2Spoon the chocolate crémeux into the pastry bag with the ¼-in. (6-mm) tip and fill the éclairs with it. To do this use a pointed metal icing tip to pierce 3 holes in the base of the éclairs, one at each end and one in the center – this ensures the éclairs can be filled evenly with the pastry cream.

3Pipe the chocolate crémeux into the éclairs through the holes. Dip the tops of the éclairs in the chocolate fondant icing and decorate with the pistachios, apricots, and hazelnuts before it sets.

Extract from French Pâtisserie: Master Recipes and Techniques from the Ferrandi School of Culinary Arts by Ferrandi (Published by Flammarion, £45). Photography © Rina Nurra 2017.


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