This is a little twist on the classic and it makes for a show-stopping dessert. The pistachios add a welcome crunch.
Yield: Makes 6 éclairs
For the choux pastry
- 60ml whole milk
- 60ml water
- 45g butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 80g strong flour
- 20g cocoa powder
- 2-3 eggs, beaten together
For the filling
- 50g ground pistachios
- 400ml double cream
- 2 tablespoons icing sugar
For the glaze
- 1 leaf gelatine
- 120g caster sugar
- 60ml water
- 1 tablespoon golden syrup
- 75g cocoa powder
- Pistachio nuts to decorate, toasted
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
- For the choux pastry, place the milk, water, butter and salt into a pan over a medium heat. Fold a piece of baking paper in half, open it again and sieve the flour and cocoa powder onto it (this makes it easier to slide it into the pan). When the liquid has come to the boil, remove from the heat and beat in the flour. Return to the heat, stirring constantly until the mixture becomes a smooth, glossy ball that pulls away from the sides of the pan. Transfer to a mixing bowl and let cool.
- Beat in a little of the eggs at a time. The mixture will look as if it has come apart but don’t lose heart, keep beating and it will come back. You may not need all of the eggs, only add enough until you have a thick paste that only drops from a wooden spoon when lightly shaken.
- Transfer to a piping bag and pipe 6cm sausages onto the prepared tray. Use a wet finger to press down any peaks and sprinkle the tray with water. Bake for 20 minutes, open the door and close it to release steam, then bake for a further five minutes. Turn the oven off and leave the door ajar with the éclairs still in to dry out completely.
- For the filling, whisk together all ingredients until firm peaks form. Transfer to a piping bag and refrigerate until needed.
- For the glaze, soak the gelatine in cold water for 10 minutes. Dissolve the sugar with the water in a pan over a high heat and boil for one minute. Mix in the golden syrup and remove from the heat. When cooled to body temperature, sift in the cocoa powder followed by the squeezed out gelatine and stir to combine. Leave to firm up slightly.
- To assemble, slice each éclair in half. Pipe a line of the cream along the bottom half of each. Dip the tops into the glaze and sprinkle with the pistachio nuts, then place on top of their other halves again.
Tip: It’s best to glaze the éclairs while the glaze is still warm. Otherwise, heat it up gently first.
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