Eclairs, profiteroles, Paris-Brest, cream puffs… whatever you like to call them and whatever shape, they are a go-to indulgence. Not too sweet and with opulent waves of fresh, whipped coffee cream in the middle and a chocolate ganache glaze on top.
By Martyna Candrick
Eclairs, profiteroles, Paris-Brest, cream puffs… whatever you like to call them and whatever shape, they are my go-to indulgence every time. Not too sweet and with opulent waves of fresh, whipped coffee cream in the middle and a chocolate ganache glaze on top.
The secret to this choux lies in simplicity. All that’s needed is water, butter, flour and eggs. No embellishments. No sugar. No anything else. I just have to remind myself from time to time that when an indulgent treat like this forms part of a fail-proof cooking repertoire, it must remain an occasional indulgence instead of daily dessert. The word occasional demystifies the French Paradox, doesn’t it? Best shared with friends.
- ½ cup water
- 40g butter, chopped
- ½ cup plain flour
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup fresh cream
- 2 tbsp unrefined icing sugar (10 stevia drops or 2 tablespoons Natvia)
- ¼ tsp vanilla powder or essence
- 1 tsp finely ground coffee (I used Nespresso's new Fortissio Lungo blend)
- 3 tbsp milk
- 40g 85% cocoa dark chocolate, chopped finely
- Preheat oven to 220C (425F, gas mark 7).
- In a small saucepan set over medium heat bring water and butter to a boil. Add flour and mix vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes away from the sides and forms a ball. This should only take a few seconds.Transfer dough to a mixing bowl and flatten to cool slightly. Add eggs and beat with an electric mixer or whisk until glossy and smooth (I use my Braun stick blender with a whisk attachment for single egg quantity like this).
- Using a 2cm round piping tip or a zip lock bag with a 1.5cm hole cut in it pipe dough into 4 inch long logs about 1 inch apart.
- Bake at 220C (425F, gas mark 7) for 8 minutes, 180C (350F, gas mark 4) for 10 minutes, plus 5 minutes standing with the oven off and door slightly ajar. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely before filling,
- For the glaze, place milk and chocolate in a small bowl and heat on medium high setting in the microwave for 20 seconds. Mix gently to melt and form a ganache.
- For the filling, beat cream with sugar (stevia or Natvia), vanilla and freshly ground coffee until firm peaks form. Store in the fridge until needed.
- Cut cooled eclairs in half horizontally. Fill each half with whipped cream, sandwich together and spread the top in chocolate icing. Place on a cool cookie tray and chill in the fridge for the icing to set. The eclairs should keep in the fridge for 2-3 days un-iced, or a day when iced.