ECLAIRS WITH RASPBERRY CREAM AND DARK CHOCOLATE GANACHE RECIPE

Prep time - 35 mins | Cook time - 20 mins | Makes about 8
An elegant, lovely and delicious treat, these are great to make up as a big tray for desserts or afternoon teas. Swap the raspberry cream for pastry cream, mocha flavoured custard or even a lovely tart lemon curd. Let your imagination go wild!

Ingredients

For the choux pastry:

100 grams butter
200 grams (⅔ cup) plain flour
2 tbsp Sugars of the World French Caster Sugar
Pinch of salt
3 eggs plus one egg, whisked together with one tablespoon cream for the glaze

For the filling:

250 ml (1 cup) pouring cream
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
4 tablespoons CSR Soft Icing Mixture
1 cup raspberries (or any other berry)

For the chocolate topping:

190 grams (1 cup) dark chocolate, broken into pieces
Rose petals, optional

Optional: A few thinly sliced strawberries

Method

For the choux:

1.    Preheat the oven to 220°C (or 200°C fan forced) and line a baking tray with paper. Sift the flour, caster sugar and salt together then combine the butter and 200 ml water in a heavy-based saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the flour mixture and stir, briskly, with a wooden spoon for three minutes. The mixture should come together into a smooth yellow paste. Basically, here you want it to ‘dry up’ nicely, so cook over a medium-high heat, stirring all the time until it forms a ball and comes cleanly away from the sides of the bowl.

2.    Transfer this mixture into the bowl of your electric mixer (with a paddle attachment if possible). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition. You’ll want it to finish up as a glossy, golden and fairly sticky mixture. Spoon this into a piping bag (use a 3cm nozzle) or plastic snap-lock bag with the end snipped off.

3.    Pipe into thick lines, about 10cm long (try counting to five as you pipe each one, this which helps make them all consistent), brush with the egg wash and put the tray in the oven as soon as possible. Now at this point – don’t open the oven at least for the first 10 minutes of cooking as they’ll sag down. After 15 minutes in the hot oven, open the door and wedge a wooden spoon into the opening and cook for a further 10 minutes. Turn the oven off and let cool in there.

To assemble:

1.    For the filling; whisk the cream with the icing mixture and vanilla until soft peaks. Fold in the raspberries so they break up a little and colour the cream pale pink.

2.    Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water until completely smooth. Set aside and let cool for a few minutes.

3.    Cut the cool eclairs carefully in half lengthways. Spoon the melted chocolate over the eclair tops and fill the hollow bottoms with a few spoonfuls of cream. Sandwich together and serve decorated with rose petals.

Don’t be disheartened if the first batch doesn’t puff up as you’d hope. Maybe the oven wasn’t hot enough or they came out too soon?

You can also make this mixture into sweet little cream puffs (profiteroles) by spooning tablespoons of the mixture onto a baking tray (spaced apart) and baking as above. You can then either pipe in a thick custard, chocolate mousse or sweet cream as above. Or for an easier option, cut in half and fill the bottoms with cream, custard or mousse and then close with their ‘lids’. You can then gild the lily by drizzling over some caramel, chocolate or icing.

A few thinly sliced strawberries on top of the cream in the middle is also a nice touch.