Mini eclairs

Prep: 45 mins Cook: 1 hr

More effort

Makes about 30
Afternoon tea goes glam with these Paris patisserie-style choux pastry fingers with berry liqueur cream filling

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freeze unfilled and un-iced

Nutrition: per eclair

  • kcal182
  • fat8g
  • saturates4g
  • carbs25g
  • sugars20g
  • fibre0g
  • protein2g
  • salt0.1g
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Ingredients

    For the buns

    • 150ml milk

      Milk

      mill-k

      One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…

    • 100g butter, diced
      Butter

      Butter

      butt-err

      Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

    • 200g plain flour, sieved
    • 4 large egg, beaten

    For the filling

    • 200ml milk

      Milk

      mill-k

      One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…

    • 1 tsp vanilla paste, or 1 vanilla pod, split down the middle
      Vanilla

      Vanilla

      van-ill-ah

      The sun-dried seed pod of a type of climbing orchid, vanilla has an inimitable soft, sweet…

    • 2 large egg yolk
    • 4 tbsp caster sugar
    • 1 tbsp plain flour
    • 1 tsp cornflour
    • 200ml double cream

    To decorate

    • 2 tbsp berry liqueur, such as cassis, framboise or sloe gin (optional)
    • 500g pack fondant icing sugar, sifted
    • food colouring (use pinks and purples if you flavour with a berry liqueur)
    • sprinkles and edible cake decoration (we used Smarties and Mini Smarties)

    Method

    1. To make the buns, heat the milk, butter and 150ml water very gently in a medium-sized saucepan until all the butter has melted. Get the flour and some salt ready, then increase the heat and bring the liquid to the boil. As soon as it is boiling, remove from the heat and beat in the flour and a pinch of salt with a wooden spoon. Keep beating until the mixture is smooth and comes away from the sides of the pan. Cool for 5 mins.

    2. Beat in the eggs, a little at a time, to a smooth, shiny dough. Spoon into a piping bag with a 1.5-2cm plain nozzle and set aside until ready to bake.

    3. To make the filling, bring the milk just to the boil in a saucepan with the vanilla paste or split pod. Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and flours in a mixing bowl. Pour on the hot milk while continuously whisking the egg mixture. Discard the pod (if using) and return the mix to a wiped-out saucepan. Cook over a gentle heat, stirring, until the mix is thicker than a custard – it will get lumpy, but just carry on stirring and beat out the lumps. Transfer to another mixing bowl and lay cling film directly on the surface. Leave to cool, then chill.

    4. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Line a couple of baking sheets with baking parchment. Pipe on 8-10cm long lengths of the dough, about 2cm wide – leaving space to expand between each one. Put in the oven for 5 mins, then reduce heat to 200C/200C fan/gas 6 and bake for 10 mins more until golden, puffed and crisp. Using a skewer, poke 3 small holes along the base of each bun. Put back on the baking sheets, base up, and return to the oven for a further 8-10 mins until slightly crisper. Cool. Can be frozen for up to a month, or stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days – just crisp up in a hot oven again when ready to fill.

    5. Add the cream to the thick custard filling and beat with an electric whisk until it holds its own shape again. Put into a piping bag with a tiny nozzle, then pipe some filling into the bottom of the buns using the skewer holes you made before (see Secrets of success, below). When it squirts back out, that bit is probably full.

    6. Stir the liqueur, if using, into the icing sugar, plus just enough water to make a pretty thick icing. Divide among as many bowls as you want colours, and colour each batch as you like. (Depending on your colouring, you may need to add a drop more water to icings so that they are thick but runny.)

    7. Dip the top of each eclair in icing to cover, or use a teaspoon to spread a little on – use less at first and wait for it to spread and settle. Add sprinkles and decorations, then gently sit on wire racks to set. Eclairs are best eaten on the day they are filled and decorated, before they go soggy.

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    Comments (7)

    no2603's picture
    5

    Made these for work but with a chocolate ganache and flaked almonds on top. They went down really well and there was even a bit of a fight over the last one! I used the recipe exactly as it's written and had no problems considering it was my first time making choux pastry.

    no2603's picture
    5

    These were a lot easier to make than I thought they'd be, I'm so pleased with results! It was my first time making choux pastry and, by following the instructions exactly, it was a success. The only downside is some of the buns didn't puff up as much which meant the filling didn't reach as far inside. But this was properly my piping technique rather than the recipe. I made a chocolate ganache instead of the icing by melting a bar of dark chocolate with 100ml of double cream- the resulting eclairs looked like the real thing!

    tracy2012's picture
    4

    Made these for a baby shower and everyone loved them. Hardest thing was piping the dough to correct size. Fillng the custard was so fiddly so ended up piping into one end. Would only make again for a special occasion as they were very time consuming, hence the 4 stars!

    tracy2012's picture
    4

    Made these for a baby shower and everyone loved them. Hardest thing was piping the dough to correct size. Fillng the custard was so fiddly so ended up piping into one end. Would only make again for a special occasion as they were very time consuming, hence the 4 stars!

    itscaz's picture

    please put ingrediant amounts in amounts for the americans enjoying these recipes but we go by cup measurementshere and i dont have a converion chart

    thanks carole rogers

    alienqueen's picture

    To defend the european metric system, with a delicate cake as eclair, to measure flour with volume instead of grams may effect the dough as volume is not as exact of a measure as grams. Conversion calculators for ml to cups can be found online, just write in google ml to cup and you get a conversion calculator.

    call-me-flame-boy's picture
    5

    Delicious, made them for a recent party and went down a treat!

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