Chocolate Share Eclair Flower individual choux pastry petals, filled with chantily cream and covered in chocolate, surround a filled chocolate profiterole.
During the nine weeks that the Great British Bake Off is aired, Renshaw Baking have been holding various competitions, to encourage bakers to get baking. For my part, as a blogger, I chose to take part in the blind, technical challenge. The result being my Chocolate Share Eclair Flower.
True to the ‘technical challenge’ on the programme, I was given a list of ingredients and vague instructions on what to do with said ingredients!
I immediately recognised the recipe as being that for choux pastry, however, when making choux pastry you add water or milk and Renshaw had kindly left that part out!
Fortunately I have baked quite a few profiteroles and eclairs over the years and remembered the 2:1:1:2 rule – that is double liquid and egg to flour and butter. All good except the recipe called for differing amounts of flour and butter.
Aargh. Stay calm Sammie.
It does me good to have a good talking to myself and remember to relax and enjoy the process.
After a couple of trial bakes, both of which produced 8 even, straight eclairs, I knew I wanted to play.
I came up with the idea of creating flower petals, of two different sizes. The larger petals sitting on the base surrounding the central, single profiterole, whilst the five smaller petals sit on top and between the lower petals, creating a 3D flower, made from choux pastry.
Whilst making and baking my Chocolate Share Eclair Flower I stuck rigidly to the recipe, as they would have to do on the television programme. It was so hard not to add sprinkles, glitter, piped contrasting chocolate, but I didn’t. The instructions asked for our inventive interpretations of the recipe – I took that to mean design!
Below is the recipe and method. Written in bold is where I had to fill the gaps!
Recipe: Chocolate Share Eclair Flower
65g/2.5oz Plain White Flour sifted
Pinch of Salt – I use Maldon
50g/2oz Unsalted Butter – cut into cubes
2 Large Free Range Eggs – beaten and weighed = 110g
1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey
5tsp Icing Sugar sifted
200mls/7fl oz Whipping Cream
100g/4oz Milk Chocolate chopped
Method: Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan, gas mark 6
Note: This recipe will yield 8 straight chocolate eclairs. Baking time is the same, simply pipe 8 even straight lines.
- Line 2 large baking trays with baking parchment, set to one side.
- In a large saucepan add the butter, salt and water. Place over a high heat.
- When the liquid boils, turn the heat down to medium and add all of the flour.
- Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon for 3 minutes, keeping the pan on the heat. The mixture should be completely lump free and the flour will have had a chance to cook slightly – this needs to happen to ensure a good structure for the eclair.
- Pull the saucepan off the heat and keep stirring to cool down the mixture.
- Add 1/2tsp vanilla extract to the beaten eggs.
- Add the eggs to the flour mixture and beat thoroughly to incorporate them into the mix, it can take a little time, just keep stirring with the wooden spoon and eventually everything will come together to form a thick, sticky choux pastry.
- Spoon the choux pastry into a large disposable piping bag.
- Cut approx 1cm off the end of the bag.
- On one baking sheet pipe 5 tear drop shapes, approximately 10cm/4″ in length.
- On a separate baking sheet pipe 5 more tear drop shapes, approximately half the size of the larger ones. Pipe one single profiterole, using a damp finger to press down any tip.
- Place both trays, evenly spaced in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
- Do not open the oven during the first 25 minutes of baking as this could cause your piped choux petals to collapse!
- After 30 minutes remove the trays from the oven and place the choux pastry petals and the profiterole on to a cooling rack.
- Leave until cold.
- Whilst the pastry is cooling pour the whipping cream, 1/2tsp vanilla extract and 4tsp icing sugar into a medium bowl.
- Whisk until the cream holds a stiff peak.
- Spoon the cream into a large disposable piping bag.
- Starting with the largest petals, using a serrated knife cut the petal in half, so that the cream can be piped onto the bottom half. Lay each petal down so that the bottom is cut side up and the top is cut side down.
- Do the same for the smaller petals and make a small incision in the side of the profiterole.
- Cut approx 0.5cm off of the piping bag and proceed to pipe cream, following the shape of the petal. As each petal is filled replace the top. When all the petals have been piped with cream, push the piping bag into the incision in the profiterole and fill with cream.
- Place the chopped milk chocolate into a heatproof, microwaveable bowl and zap on medium, in the microwave for 30 seconds, stirring after each zap. When the chocolate is fully melted pour into a disposable piping bag (or alternately you could dunk the petals in the chocolate).
- Pipe chocolate around the choux petals and cover the top half of the profiterole in chocolate.
- Use a butter knife to spread the molten chocolate on the choux petals.
- Whilst the chocolate is still warm assemble your Chocolate Share Eclair Flower.
- On a large flat plate or board place the profiterole in the centre. Evenly space the 5 larger petals around the profiterole. Carefully place the smaller petals inbetween and on top of the larger petals.
Dust the centre of the choux flower with the remaining icing sugar and your Chocolate Share Eclair Flower is complete.
Place in the fridge to allow the chocolate to set.
Serve with friends and family, who will no doubt be impressed with your artistic flair. As the flower has now been submitted I have embellished it a little using some sparkles.
I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like profiteroles or eclairs, so this is the perfect way to make them into something different, that can then be shared and enjoyed.
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I hope I’ve shown you how easy it is to make and bake choux pastry?
It really is one of the easiest pastries to master and as you have seen can be piped into regular profiteroles, eclairs, or be more adventurous, it really makes beautiful hearts.
Whatever you are making, have fun. Let your creativeness flow and if you make a mistake, well bake it, eat it and try, try, try again. For me the fun is in the learning!
Sammie xxFollow Us