Monday, May 30

Coffee Cream Eclairs

This bank holiday weekend has been a cracker hasn't it?
I'm not going to lie, I'm tired-er now than I was on Friday; but hey- it was worth it. 

Whilst I was out and about exploring even more of London this weekend, I did whip up some delicious treats yesterday...

Father's Day is right around the corner (19th of June to be precise.) 
Usually if I was at home I'd without a doubt by whipping up something special for my Dad. 
Considering that his favourite bakes are anything that involves coffee and/or chocolate- he's pretty easy to please. 

I rummaged through all of my recipes but wanted to make something a bit special, something more than just a classic coffee & walnut cake. 
I came cross my old recipe for éclairs, pitched it to the boys in my house for their thoughts, and within 5 minutes was out the front door and on my way to the shops. 
Eclairs are just so delectably naughty, last for a few days, and really aren't as difficult as people think they are.
Coffee & Cream éclairs it was!

With my new toy primed & ready, I made myself a steaming cup of coffee before whacking on my apron. I used to work in a coffee shop years ago, so working from bean to grinder to machine is something I treasure. There's nothing quite like the smell of freshly ground coffee in the morning.


For the choux pastry:

60g of salted butter
130ml of water
80g of plain flour, sifted
3 large free range eggs

For the condensed milk filling:

300ml of cold water
200g of condensed milk (1/2 a tin)
2 large free range eggs
2 tbsp of cornflour
1 tsp of good quality vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste

Vietnamese coffee glaze:
150g icing sugar
3 tbsp coffee 

Chocolate icing:

100g dark chocolate chips
30g butter

Preheat the oven 220˚C/425°F/Gas Mark 7 and a large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Place the butter and water in a saucepan and bring to a steady boil until the butter is melted. Remove from the heat and add the flour, beating with a wooden spoon until a dough comes together. Place back over the heat and beat the dough in the saucepan for about 40 seconds. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Beat one of the eggs into a separate small bowl. Add the the remaining two eggs to the warm dough, one at a time, beating thoroughly until completely incorporated after each addition. (Don't be afraid to give it a bit of welly!)
 Add the beaten egg, a small bit at a time, until you have a consistency that will hold it’s shape when piped. It should be smooth, shiny and just about to fall from the spoon.

Using a spatula, scoop the dough into a large piping bag fitted with a large round piping nozzle and pipe 10cm lines on the lined baking sheets, leaving about 4cm in between each line to allow for spreading. Brush each one with the little leftover beaten egg.

Place in the oven, reducing the heat to 190˚C/375°F/Gas Mark 5, for approximately 25 minutes until they have risen and are golden and crisp. Using a sharp knife pierce the bottom of the éclairs in three places and and allow to cool completely.

For the filling, place the condensed milk and water in a saucepan, whisk together and bring to the boil. 
In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, cornflour and vanilla extract. Pour in the hot condensed milk mixture and whisk constantly. Return the liquid to the sauce pan and place over a medium heat whisking continuously until thickened. (This should take a few minutes).
Pour into a bowl, dust with icing sugar and cover directly with cling film before allowing to cool completely until you are ready to fill the éclairs.

For the coffee glaze, whisk together the icing sugar, melted butter, and fresh coffee.
(I used a double espresso). 

Lastly, for the chocolate icing, add the chocolate and butter into a heatproof bowl and place over a pot with a little simmering water. Stir gently until melted. (Alternatively, warm in the microwave on a low heat for 20 seconds at a time, stirring after each session.) 
 Transfer the chocolate icing to a piping bag.

Fill a piping bag with the condensed milk filling and fill each éclair using the holes in the buns you created previously.

Spread the coffee glaze over each éclair with a spoon & pipe over the chocolate icing.
Allow to set for about 1 hour and then serve or the éclairs will keep for 1 or 2 days in the fridge.
A lot simpler than they sound aren't they?!

So there you have it.
A bake that looks impressive, will have your fathers (or to be honest any man) drooling, and that packs a delicious punch of coffee.
Who said delicious baking had to be difficult?!

Fancy a brand new toy? Or want some inspo for Father's Day?
(Big thank you to Debenhams for supplying the coffee machine- its fabulous!)


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