“For years I’ve avoided making choux pastry for no good reason. It is, in fact, very easy and versatile. You can fill it with a sweet or savoury custard – in this case, I’ve used cream. I’ve chosen coffee because it’s Sarah’s favourite!” Poh Ling Yeow, Poh & Co. 2
- 40 g dark chocolate, melted
- 75 g unsalted butter
- 180 ml (¾ cup) water
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 110 g (¾ cup) plain flour
- 3 eggs
- 250 ml thickened cream
- 2 tbsp icing sugar, sifted
- 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 2 tsp instant coffee
- 2 tbsp hot water
- 160–240 g (1–1½) cups icing sugar, sifted
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Resting time 15 minutes
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
To make the choux pastry, heat the butter, water and salt in a heavy-based non-stick saucepan over medium heat for 2 minutes or until the butter has just melted; do not allow it to come to a boil. Add the flour and cook, stirring continuously, for 6–8 minutes or until the mixture leaves the sides of the pan and gathers into a ball. Cook for another 1 minute to cook the flour a bit further.
Transfer the pastry to a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, then, with the motor running, whisk in 1 egg at a time, beating well after adding each one, until the mixture is smooth and glossy.
Transfer the pastry to a piping bag fitted with a 1 cm plain nozzle (or a plain piping bag, then cut a 1 cm hole in the bottom). Pipe 16 x 12 cm-long lines of the choux pastry onto the lined tray, leaving a 4 cm gap between each pastry line. Use a finger dipped in water to smooth any rough edges.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the éclairs are puffed and golden. Immediately use a piping bag nozzle to pierce 1 cm holes at the bottom ends of each éclair to let the steam escape, or cut in half lengthways. Leave to cool completely before assembling.
Meanwhile, to make the crème Chantilly, using a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk the cream, icing sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Transfer the cream to a piping bag fitted with an 8–10 mm nozzle.
To make the coffee icing, place the coffee and hot water in a bowl and stir to dissolve, then whisk in the icing sugar until a smooth and thick icing forms.
To assemble the éclairs, dip the top of each éclair into the coffee icing, wiping away any excess with your finger. Fill the centres of the éclairs with the crème Chantilly, then drizzle lines of melted chocolate over the top of each éclair. Serve immediately.
Photography, styling and food preparation by china squirrel.
Poh & Co. 2 Thursdays at 8.30pm on SBS.
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