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dessert recipes | makes 12 small éclairs
“Eclairs are my favourite treat in the world," says Violet Cake's, Claire Ptak who kindly gave Jamie Magazine this recipe. "A French friend introduced me to the coffee version, now I’m utterly, totally converted.”
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4 and line a baking tray with paper. Place the milk, butter, sugar, 65ml water and a pinch of salt in a saucepan, and bring to the boil over a high heat. Remove from the heat, add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until smooth. Return to a medium heat and cook for 1 minute, until the mixture comes away from the sides and a little skin forms on the bottom of the pan.
2. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the eggs till you have a smooth batter that just drops off the spoon. Cover with clingfilm and leave the mixture to cool.
3. Fit a large piping bag with a 1cm plain nozzle, fill with the cooled mixture and pipe 12 éclairs onto the baking tray, spaced 5cm apart. Brush with egg wash and bake for 25–30 minutes, till golden brown and puffed. Transfer to a wire rack and pierce each pastry with a skewer so the steam can escape. Leave to cool.
4. Meanwhile for the custard filling, place the milk, coffee beans, sugar, vanilla pod and seeds, and a pinch of salt in a saucepan and heat to just under the boil. Remove the milk mixture from the heat, cover, and leave to steep for 10–15 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together the egg and cornflour in a small bowl and set aside.
5. Strain the milk mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl. Return the mixtureto the pan and heat again to just under the boil, then whisk 2 tablespoonsful into the egg mixture. Pour this back into the pan and whisk constantly over a low heat until you have a thick custard.
6. Strain the custard, then stir to release the steam. Stir in the butter cubes, one by one. Place a sheet of clingfilm on the custard’s surface so a skin doesn’t form, and leave to cool.
7. Using the tip of a 5mm nozzle, pierce the underside of the éclairs in 4 places along their length, then gently fill each éclair with coffee custard. If you don’t have a 5mm nozzle, split the éclairs and fill using a regular nozzle.
8. For the coffee glaze, sift the icing sugar into a small bowl, then gradually whisk in the espresso. When smooth and glossy, spoon the glaze over the éclairs. Place on a board or rack and allow to set before serving.
Per éclair 152 cals, 6.1g fat (3.8g saturated), 3.2g protein, 21g carbs, 14.6g sugars
Recipe Claire Ptak
Photo Laura Edwards
from Issue 18
ingredients• 65ml milk
• 50g unsalted butter, softened
• ½ tsp sugar
• 75g flour
• 2 eggs, beaten, plus egg wash
Coffee custard filling
• 250ml whole milk
• 2 tbsp whole coffee beans
• 60g sugar
• ½ vanilla pod, split lengthways, seeds scraped
• 1 egg
• 2 tbsp cornflour
• 25g butter, diced into small cubes
• 100g icing sugar
• 2 tbsp espresso or strong coffee