Baking: Chocolate Eclairs

I've watched The Great British Bake Off from the very beginning and this week my love has been rekindled with The Great Comic Relief Bake Off.

One of the tasks Paul and Mary set the celebrities this week were chocolate eclairs. I've always wanted to try out making choux pastry and I love chocolate eclairs, so I headed for the kitchen.

I found this recipe by Raymond Blanc, I'm normally a bit dubious about online recipes but as it's Raymond Blanc I decided there's no chance it could fail.

First up was making the choux pastry. This was no were near as hard as I thought it would be, choux seems to have gained a reputation for being difficult but don't let that put you off!

It's simply a case of putting the water, milk, butter, sugar and salt into a saucepan and stirring it over a high heat until it comes to the boil. Once it's come to the boil, quickly remove from the heat and immediately add in the flour and stir until it's smooth.

You should end up with something like this, ta-da!

Next up, just gradually pour the four eggs, which you should have already beaten, into your mix and once again whisk together until it's smooth. 

Easy so far! Wait for this to cool and then scoop your mixture into a piping bag with a 1.5cm nozzle. Pipe your mixture, roughly 15cm long in length, onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Make sure you leave enough space between each as they're going to grow! 

25-30 minutes later in the oven and they'll look a bit like this....

This is your chance to take a break and make a cup of tea whilst they cool. Then it's time to make them taste yummy.

The recipe said to fill them with creme patissiere, but as I had some cream which needed using and being short of time I just filled them with cream.
Apologies for the dreadful picture.

Personally, I don't like it when they're cut down the side as it makes them super messy to eat. Therefore I cut a line down the topside and filled them using another piping bag. The plan being I can then cover the cut with chocolate!

Now this was the part of the recipe I was a bit dubious about as it involves melting fondant. Although once again Raymond Blanc pulled through and it all went well.

Once again really easy, just melting the fondant in a pan and then adding the cocoa powder and water. As you can see from the picture, be careful because the chocolate can catch, so I'd advise taking it off the heat when you add the chocolate. 

Next up, dunk the eclair into the chocolate and you're done! You might want to heat up the chocolate mix a bit if you're a slow worker like me, as it does start to set. 

Here's the result! 

Also, don't forget to buy your Emma Bridgewater Comic Relief apron!
Currently sold out online, but available from TK Maxx and Homesense stores.


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