A perfect treat for afternoon tea.
I recently made these éclairs for a charity fundraising event. As I carried them into the room, I was met with lots of “ooohs and aahhs” even though there was a table full of delicious looking cakes.
Made simply from fresh double cream and plain choux pastry, the sweetness comes from the delectable coffee glacé icing.
And I am someone who doesn’t like drinking coffee! Yet I love coffee flavoured desserts, cakes and liqueurs.
65g plain flour
2 slightly beaten eggs
300ml fresh double cream
200g icing sugar
2 tsp instant coffee powder
tiny amount of oil for greasing
Score a crease down the middle of the baking paper then put flour onto it.
In a pan melt the butter with 140ml water. When melted rapidly bring to the boil then turn off the heat.
Immediately pour in the flour then beat together. (It is best to use baking paper as the flour tends to stick to plastic and ceramic bowls).
Mix thoroughly until it forms a ball of dough then leave to cool.
Gradually add the eggs, a little at a time, to the dough and mix thoroughly until it forms a paste. It is a good idea to use a food mixer to get as much air in as possible.
Transfer to a piping bag and a nozzle with a hole about 1/2 cm diameter. Use a cup or glass to steady the bag.
Place the baking paper on a baking sheet and brush with a small amount of oil to stop the éclairs from sticking.
Pipe lines of pastry about 6 cm long.
Bake in the oven on 200 °C for about 25 minutes.
When cool cut in half with a fine serrated knife then pop back in the oven for a few more minutes to ensure the inside is done.
Whilst the pastry is in the oven prepare the cream and glacé icing.
To whip the cream, pour it into a bowl then whisk like mad until the cream just starts to go stiff. You’ll know it’s done if you can tip the bowl upside down over your head and it doesn’t fall out (although not recommended, just in case!).
Alternatively if you don’t want really aching arms, use a food mixer. Be careful not to over whisk the cream otherwise it will become grainy and eventually turn to butter.
Although it is more laborious, you have more control if done by hand.
That said, as you will see in the next photo, the cream has gone slightly grainy, even though I whisked by hand. That’s because I wasn’t properly concentrating as my daughter was ‘helping’.
Next, place cream in a piping bag and using a star shaped nozzle, pipe cream onto the éclairs.
To prepare the glacé icing, put two teaspoons of instant coffee powder into a bowl and add two tablespoons of boiling water.
Add icing sugar and mix until forms a smooth paste. You may need to add a little more icing sugar or water to get the correct consistency. The icing should form a slight ‘skin’ if left undisturbed for a couple of minutes.
Finally, carefully spoon the icing along the top of the éclair.
Right, I now challenge you to eat one without having to lick your lips!