Chocolate and wattleseed éclairs

Chocolate and wattleseed éclairs

By
From
The Tivoli Road Baker
Photographer
Bonnie Savage and Alan Benson

Éclairs can be truly awful or truly sublime, and the difference is often in the precision and patience of the cook. Measuring so precisely may sound like a lot of work, but the proof will be in the pudding.

This is our English chef Charlie’s Aussie twist on a classic French pastry. The wattleseed provides a bitter chicory flavour to counter the sweetness of the chocolate ganache.

Éclair crunch

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
50g butter, softened
100g caster (superfine) sugar
20g cocoa powder, sifted
20g ground almonds
20g plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
40g orange juice

Method

  1. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar for a couple of minutes, until slightly pale. Slowly incorporate the cocoa powder, ground almonds and plain flour, and mix until just combined. With the paddle still mixing slowly, gradually add the orange juice and mix until just combined. Place the mix in a small bowl and refrigerate, covered, for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 175°C (350°F) and line a tray with baking paper. Drop teaspoon-sized dots of the mix onto the paper, leaving a 3 cm (1¼ in) gap between them to allow for spread.
  3. Bake for 8–10 minutes. The mix will bubble up slightly like a brandy snap, and then settle. Leave the crunch until it has set hard and cooled completely, then crush in a mortar and pestle until you have coarse pebbles. The crunch will store in an airtight container for up to five days.

Biscuit

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
75g butter, softened
90g soft brown sugar
20g cocoa powder
75g plain (all-purpose) flour

Method

  1. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, lightly cream the butter and sugar until it forms a paste. Gently mix in the cocoa powder and flour until the mixture forms a soft dough. Divide the dough in two and press each piece into a disc roughly 1 cm (½ in) thick. The shape is not important, as it can be re-rolled and used again. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Place one piece of dough between two sheets of baking paper and roll it out into a sheet 2 mm (1⁄10 in) thick. Leaving the baking paper in place, put the dough on a flat tray and freeze for about an hour, until frozen solid. Repeat for the other piece of dough.
  3. Once the dough is frozen, loosen the baking paper by peeling it off the top and placing it loosely back over the dough. Flip the dough sheet over and remove the other piece of paper. Using a sharp knife and a ruler, cut the pastry into rectangles 12.5 cm × 3 cm (5 in × 1¼ in), being careful to avoid cutting through the baking paper underneath. Cover it again with the paper and return to the freezer until you are ready to bake your éclairs. Any excess dough can be re-rolled and used again. Alternatively, it will keep in the freezer for up to two weeks.

Wattleseed ganache

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
150 g + 150 g 35% fat cream
15g ground wattle seed
1 gold gelatine leaf
90g 60% dark chocolate, roughly chopped
15g soft brown sugar
15g glucose syrup

Method

  1. Put 150 g (5½ oz) of the cream in a small saucepan along with the wattleseed and bring to a simmer over a low heat, stirring to combine. Remove from the heat and cover with a lid, then leave to infuse for half an hour.
  2. Meanwhile, soak the gelatine in cold water for 10 minutes. Place the chocolate into a medium sized bowl.
  3. Strain the wattleseed-infused cream through a fine sieve and re-weigh it to 150 g (5½ oz). Return it to the pan and add the brown sugar and glucose syrup. Bring this to a simmer, then remove it from the heat.
  4. Squeeze the water off the gelatine and add it to the cream and sugar mixture, stirring to dissolve it thoroughly. Pour this mixture over the chocolate and stir until thoroughly combined.
  5. Add the remaining 150 g (5½ oz) of cream and mix well. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until well chilled. Remove from the fridge and whisk until aerated and thick, then place in a piping (icing) bag fitted with a fine-tipped nozzle and refrigerate until you are ready to assemble your éclairs.

Éclairs

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 quantity see method for ingredients, chilled

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F). Take your choux pastry out of the fridge and put it in a piping (icing) bag fitted with a French star nozzle. On a tray lined with baking paper, pipe fingers of choux pastry 12.5 cm (5 in) long and 2 cm (¾ in) wide, leaving 5 cm (2 in) between each one.
  2. Take the portioned biscuits from the freezer and sit one on top of each choux pastry finger.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 160°C (5½ oz) and continue baking for a further 20 minutes, until golden. The éclairs should feel light and hollow when done, with a light crust. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

Chocolate glaze

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
8 gold gelatine leaves
270g 35% fat cream
55g caster (superfine) sugar
65g cocoa powder, sifted
25g dark chocolate, at least 60%, roughly chopped

Method

  1. Soak the gelatine in cold water for 5 minutes. Heat the cream and sugar in a medium saucepan over a low heat and bring to a simmer.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the cocoa powder. Squeeze off the water from the gelatine and mix it into the cream until dissolved. Add the chocolate and whisk to emulsify.
  3. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a tall container, then blend using a stick blender for 2–3 minutes. This will give the glaze a nice gloss.

Assembly

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
see method for ingredients

Method

  1. At this point you want the glaze to be around 35°C (95°F) and the consistency of thick honey, so if you made it ahead of time, gently warm it over a very low heat and then allow it to cool slightly.
  2. Using a skewer, make two small holes in the base of each éclair, just in from each end and about 5 cm (2 in) apart. Take the piping (icing) bag filled with the wattleseed cream and gently insert the tip into one of the holes. Fill the éclair until it feels heavy. You should be able to pipe from one end and fill until the cream comes out the other hole, but if it appears blocked or still feels light, place the tip of the nozzle in the second hole and try filling the éclair from the other end. Repeat for the remaining éclairs.
  3. Dip the top of each éclair into the chocolate glaze, shaking gently to allow any excess to drip off, then place upright on a tray.
  4. Sprinkle each éclair with the éclair crunch to finish.

Bakery Notes

  • You need to use strong flour with a high protein content for the choux pastry, so that it holds the structure when baking, resulting in a crisp shell and a hollow centre. A good trick when piping out the choux pastry is to draw an outline on the paper first. Just make sure that the template is on the underside of the paper, so you don’t get ink on your pastry.

    There are a lot of components in this recipe, so it’s a good idea to make the crunch and the biscuit the day before. The assembled éclairs are best eaten on the day they are baked and filled.

    You may need to look around a bit to find wattleseed. Suppliers such as Herbie’s Spices or the Essential Ingredient stock it, and it is also available online at bushtuckershop.com.au or bushfoodshop.com.au.
Tags:
Back to top
    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again