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Pâtisserie

Chocolate Eclairs with Cranberry and Pistachio 

My latest bake and my entry this month into Perfecting Patisserie is my festive chocolate eclairs topped with cranberry and pistachio. Who says you can’t have an eclair at Christmas time! If you are looking for an alternative to a traditional Christmas pudding or a special dessert for the Christmas period, these could be ideal.

Chocolate Eclairs with Cranberry and Pistachio from BakingQueen74

This is the first time I have made eclairs, though I have made choux pastry before, for choux buns. I decided to play it safe and follow a proven recipe for the eclairs, so I first tried using an eclair recipe from BBC Good Food. Unfortunately these turned out completely flat and too big, the choux pastry didn’t have the right consistency when ready for piping. Not sure what happened there! Next, I tried a different recipe, this time one of Paul Hollywood’s. These worked much better. The choux pastry had the right texture when piping, and they puffed up very well and kept their shape.

Chocolate Eclairs with Cranberry and Pistachio from BakingQueen74

For the filling I used whipped double cream, and topped the eclairs with melted Amedei milk chocolate. I was sent this by King’s Fine Foods and have been waiting to make a recipe that would be worthy of such a good quality chocolate. On top of this I added chopped dried cranberries and chopped pistachio kernels for a festive flavour and look. The Christmassy colours of the cranberries and pistachios look like little jewels and the flavours come through in each bite.

Recipe:

  • 65 g plain flour, sifted
  • Pinch of salt
  • 50 g unsalted butter, diced
  • 2 medium free-range eggs, beaten
  • 120 ml water
  • 300 ml fresh double cream
  • 100 g milk chocolate (I used Amedei)
  • A handful of dried sweetened cranberries
  • A handful of pistachio kernels

Method:

  1. First make the eclairs. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees.
  2. Put the butter in a saucepan with the water and salt and melt on a low heat.
  3. When all the butter has completely melted, bring the mixture to the boil quickly and add all of the flour.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and beat with a wooden spoon.
  5. Once the dough has come together, place the pan back on a low heat for a minute, still beating, to cook the dough a little.
  6. Then put the dough in a large mixing bowl and leave it to cool for about five minutes.
  7. Beat the eggs in a small bowl, then gradually add them to the dough, bit by bit, beating well after each addition.
  8. Spoon the dough into a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle and pipe 10 cm lengths onto an oiled baking tray.
  9. Bake for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 170 and bake for another ten minutes.
  10. Remove the tray from the oven and make a small hole in the side of each eclair, to allow the steam to escape. I used a cake tester to do this, which made a very small hole. Put the eclairs back in the oven for another five minutes.
  11. Remove from the oven, leave to cool, then cut each eclair open along one side and pipe in the cream.
  12. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of hot water.
  13. Dip the top of each eclair in the melted chocolate and smooth it over with a spoon.
  14. Chop the cranberries and pistachios into small pieces.
  15. Decorate the top of each eclair with the chopped cranberries and pistachios.
  16. Serve and enjoy!

Chocolate Eclairs with Cranberry and Pistachio from BakingQueen74

For more choux pastry ideas, how about:

I am sending this recipe into my Perfecting Patisserie challenge. Do visit and see the other delicious entries for more patisserie baking inspiration. If you are a blogger, why not join in?

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 Casa Costello

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I am also linking up with Festive Food Friday.

36 Comment

  1. These really do look superb Lucy and so very festive too. I’ve never made eclairs and haven’t made choux for years either, but I really ought to try they are CT’s favourite. I’m so envious of your amedai chocolate, but glad you saved it for something special.

    1. Thanks very much Choclette! I broke it down into parts, first pastry, then filling (easy option: cream) and then topping and it wasn’t too time-consuming in the end. If you do you must send them over to Perfecting Patisserie!

  2. I doubt I could make gorgeous pastries like yours, but I do love the addition of my favourite Christmas flavour combination of pistachio and cranberries YUM……

  3. Cranberries and pistachios are a lovely touch. It has been years since I tried choux pastry, but had been thinking recently that I should – you’ve inspired me to give these a go!

  4. Who says you can’t have eclairs at Christmas? I’d happily eat one at any time of year. Definitely a good idea to try a different choux recipe as the ones in the pictures looks as though they turned out perfectly.

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