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Monday, 4 February 2013

Chocolate Éclairs

I always love a balanced weekend. A night in with the boyfriend... girlie time... family time... me time. Well, some quality baking time with my sister (who happens to be a girlie) was just what the doctor ordered. Well, ok, when you see what we made perhaps the doctor wouldn't have ordered this particular treat... 
After watching a spot of Comic Relief Great British Bake Off, we couldn't resist trying out these calorie-laden-but-who-cares-anyway beauties. Chocolate éclairs.
This was the 'technical challenge' on GBBO, but we were optimistic and plunged straight in. I would advise they were quite time consuming, and ended up being a bit squidey (I wouldn't have attempted to bring them into the office for everyone). More suited as a 'bake and eat straight away' sort of thing (lucky really...)

For the pastry: (Makes about 10 10cm profiteroles)

2½ oz (60 g) of strong plain flour - the strong plain flour is important as ours weren't as crisp as they could have been
5 fl oz (150 ml) of cold water
2 oz (50 g) of butter
2 large eggs - beaten
2 tsp castor sugar 
Baking parchment - 1 sheet, folded in half to make a little "shoot" for your flour (it basically helps you tip the flour in quickly to the butter). 

To fill: 
2 x Piping bags/sandwich bags
Double cream for whipping - 1 large pot
Icing sugar - 2 tblsp 

To ice:
Nutella (1 jar)

Preheat your oven to 200°c
Grease and line a flat baking sheet

Cut up your butter into little cubes and put in the cold water in a pan. 
Sieve the flour and sugar onto your baking parchment, ready to tip into the pan. 
Bring the water and butter to the boil, then switch off immediately and tip all your flour and sugar in. 
Stir like mad until the pastry forms a dough-like ball and cleans off the sides. Mix your beaten eggs in a bit at a time, stirring thoroughly between each bit. 
Your pastry should look nice and glossy and like very thick gloopy semolina. 
Pop into a piping bag or use a sandwich bag and snip off a tiny corner and begin piping! Remember the mixture gets much bigger so you want it about half the size of your final éclair. Space them out a lot to give them room to puff up. 
Pop them in the oven for 10 minutes, and without opening the door whack up the heat to 220°c and leave for another 10 minutes. (Our oven needed an extra 5 minutes so they were as crisp as possible). 
Once baked, remove and pop onto a wire rack. Unfortunately they will sink a bit, but don't be disheartened - you just stuff a load of cream into them! 

Now the fun part! Once your babies are cool, cut a slit down one side and fill with lots of whipped cream sweetened with lovely sugar. We used another piping bag for this. 

Delia suggests making an icing for the top, but we decided to smear with lashings of Nutella. It makes them taste amazing. I swear I don't work for Nutella... but the stuff just tastes so damn good. 

Serve with a massive cup of tea and on a pretty plate

Have you been doing any baking lately? I'd love to hear about it! 

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  1. Love this! Especially the idea of smothering them with Nutella! Definitely giving these beauties a go :) xxx