French éclairs and lemon curd

Making the perfect éclairs is one of my biggest baking dream. I am quite pleased with the result of my latest batch made during Easter. 

I have at home to many different variation of the Choux dought ( basis for making éclairs) but for the moment I am quite happy with the recipe from Pascal´s French pastry book. For the past few months I have been absolutely obsessed with not only mastering the perfect consistence of the dough but also finding also a simple  but tasteful cream filling for those. 

The solution came from a magazine bought in town with a special edition on Easter theme. The cream filling recipe is from  chef Lise Finckenhagen. 

I hope you will enjoy making those as much as I did  !

First of all you will have to start with the Choux dough 

Ingredients :

for 60 pieces you will need

  • 125 grams of none skimmed milk
  • 125 grams of water
  • 5 grams of salt
  • 5 grams of sugar
  • 90 grams of non salted butter
  • 100 grams of wheat flour
  • 3 big eggs

Directions :

  1. heat up the water, milk, butter, salt and sugar.
  2. Take your sauce pan out of fire and add the flour and stir well. Put the saucepan back to the stove. Turn the heat to the maximum and stir for at least 1 minute. The dough will stick a bit to the saucepan but this is  completely normal normal.
  3. Put your dough in the kitchen aid and add an egg each minute.  Mix one last time and let is rest.
  4. Put your dough in the piping bag and make small heaps with 10 cm space between them. Spread the sugar on top of it and send it to the oven. Set your oven to 200 degrees celsius during 20 minutes.

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This is where I think everything gets tricky. After several batches and thinking I have getting an expert I have been disappointed to see the Choux flattening. After several researches on the internet and talked with fellow bloggers, I have understood that the heat difference between the hot oven and the kitchen bench is the reason of my recent failures. 

The solution is to leave the choux in the oven after the baking time so that they adapt to the decreasing temperature. 

What about the cream ?

The basis for the lemon cream from Lise  Finckenhagen is a lemon curd. You can off course buy one in the shop but I find them to buttery for my taste and not to difficult to make anyway 😉

Ingredients :

  • 1 dl of freshly quizzed lemon juice ( preferably organic)
  • 1 1/2 dl sugar
  • 1 spoon of corn starch
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolk
  • 2 spoons of butter
  • 2 dl heavy cream ( liquid cream)

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Direction :

  1. cook up the lemon juice and the sugar together in a casserole once it is bubbling, remove  the casserole from the heat.
  2. Whip the eggs, egg yolk and  corn starch together until it is lump free. Pour the warm lemon juice while still whipping the egg mix. Pour the egg and lemon mix back into a casserole and cook it up for a minute.
  3. Add the butter to the mix in the casserole away from the heat. Let it cool off.
  4. Whip the cream and add it to the egg+ lemon mix

The icing :

Ingredients

  • 200 grams of icing sugar
  • a tiny pinch of yellow colouring
  • a spoon of lemon juice ( no more !)

Directions

After mixing, you should obtain a thick icing.

Last but not least … Le  montage ( stuffing the éclairs with the cream and decoration)

I have seen many cutting open their éclairs.. I actually find it quite fun to use a syringe. I make me feel like the Dexter of the patisserie.

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My experience is that making three hole on the bottom of the éclairs works quite well. The only steps left when you have filled the éclairs is the decoration by dipping your éclairs into the icing.

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