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Serves: 12 large éclairs
For the pastry
60g butter, cubed
1 tsp caster sugar
90g plain flour
3 British Blacktail Large Free Range Eggs
For the filling and icing
300ml double cream
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
150g icing sugar
2 tbsp strong brewed coffee
1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC, gas mark 6. Line a large baking tray with baking parchment. Put the butter and sugar in a medium saucepan with 125ml water and a pinch of salt. Place over a medium heat and bring to a rolling boil. When all the butter has melted, add the flour and vigorously beat the mixture with a wooden spoon until a smooth ball of dough forms.
2. Keep the pan on the heat and stir rapidly for a further minute. This will cook the flour and help dry out the dough so it absorbs more egg. Tip the dough into a bowl and leave to cool slightly, or until it has stopped steaming.
3. Beat the eggs together in a small jug. Add the eggs to the cooled dough, a little at a time, mixing well after each addition. You probably won’t need all the egg, but see how it goes. You want a shiny dough that falls in a V shape when lifted up with a spatula. Be careful not to add too much egg, as you’ll end up with a runny dough that you can’t pipe.
4. Spoon the dough into a piping bag and pipe 12 x 10cm éclairs onto the prepared tray, leaving space for them to expand in the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp. Once they reach this point, turn the oven off, flip each éclair over and allow them to cool in the oven for at least 30 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Whip the cream and vanilla to soft peaks, then spoon into a clean piping bag. When the éclairs are cool,
use a skewer to pierce a hole at each end, then fill with the whipped cream.
6. In a shallow bowl large enough to fit an éclair, stir together the icing sugar with enough coffee to make a thick, dippable icing. Dip or spread each filled éclair with the icing, then leave to set for at least 30 minutes before tucking in. These éclairs will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days but are best enjoyed immediately.
Martha’s tip Don’t worry if your pastry comes out of the oven with holes in it, or you don’t fancy piping the cream. Just split each éclair with a serrated knife and spoon the cream inside instead!
Typical values per serving:
This recipe was first published in February 2021.