My girlfriend Lorraine was one of the busiest people I have ever known she was the type who had a clean house, attended to her large family needs, volunteered her help with a rugby club and worked full time nursing the elderly. How she ever got time to look so good was beyond me. But to make matters worse she would turn up with these amazing homemade chocolate eclairs or cream puffs. They were gigantic, squishy mouthfuls of absolute pleasure and she reckoned they were easy to make.
To my absolute surprise the ingredients and method was easy but getting them to her amazing size and beautiful standard was never going to be easy.
The ‘eclair originated in the 19th century in France and became popular all around the world.Food historians believe that chef Antonin Carem made the first eclair. The first known English-language recipe for éclairs appears in the Boston Cooking School Cook Book by Mrs. D.A. Lincoln, published in 1884.
Traditionally an ‘eclair is a choux dough baked until it is crisp and hollow on the inside, the miniature version of these is the profiteroles. Kiwi’s will be familiar with New Zealand Master Chef competition when contestants had to make a Croquembouche from profiteroles. eeek run for the hills as fast you can from that recipe.
Anyway here is a recipe from the Edmonds Cookery Book. Let me know how your’s work out hopefully like my friend’s.
1oo grams of butter
1 cup of water
1 cup of flour
Combine butter and water in a pot. Bring to a rolling boil. Remove from the heat and quickly add flour. Beat with a wooden spoon until mixture leaves the sides of the pot. Allow to cool for 5 mins. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition until mixture is glossy. Pipe 7 cm strips of the mixture on to greased oven trays. Bake at 200 degrees for 30 mins or until ‘eclairs are puffy and golden. Lower heat to 120 degrees and continue baking for another 15 mins until dry. Cool thoroughly. Cut slits into the sides with a sharp knife. Fill with whipped cream. Ice the tops with chocolate icing.
For cream puffs spoon small teaspoonfuls of the same mixture onto greased oven trays. Bake as above. Cool thoroughly. Fill with whipped cream. I would suggest some homemade lemon honey (see my recipe on this blog) and whipped cream. Dust with icing sugar.