They’re a choux in

Secret’s in the choux pastry.Eclairs have outlasted many boutique food trends, but have never quite made it to first place, playing second fiddle to macarons, friands or tartelettes. That is, until now. With eclairs sporting their luminous fondant coats and bold-flavoured fillings, they are enjoying the front row window of many boutique patisseries in Paris.
Nanjing Night Net

Fauchon, the Parisian specialty food store at Place de la Madeleine, uses eclairs as a whimsical background for its creativity. Don’t be surprised to see the doleful eyes of Mona Lisa following you from her sweet pastry canvas.

Other notable Paris patisseries, such as L’Eclair de Genie and L’Atelier de l’Eclair have savoury eclairs in their repertoire.

But the traditional eclair, and incidentally my favourite from my 1960s school tuckshop, is a simple affair. The case is made with choux pastry dough, piped from a pastry bag in a log shape, and baked until it is crisp and hollow inside.

You fill it by piping the filling in or splitting the eclair lengthwise. The classic filling is a vanilla pastry cream.

If you want to be adventurous, I have included some creative fillings – cumquat, lime, strawberry and chocolate. If you’re using a fruit paste, prepare it and the chocolate ganache first, then the pastry cream, then the choux pastry, and finally the coloured fondant icing.

For the best flavour, chill the finished eclairs for an hour or so before serving. Use a large pastry bag with a size 13 or a 1.5-centimetre piping nozzle to pipe the pastry.

Debbie Skelton is a Canberra food writer, debsravingrecipes.blogspot南京夜网Chocolate ganache

125g dark chocolate, broken into pieces

25g butter

125g pure cream

Place the chocolate and butter into a medium-sized heatproof bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan and bring to a rolling boil. Pour the scalded cream over the chocolate, stirring until the chocolate is melted and the cream is incorporated. Cool in the fridge.Silky fruit pastes

You can use whatever fruit you like. I used six cumquats, halved; three limes, two of them juiced and one chopped up; and a punnet of strawberries, sliced.

For each fruit paste, place the fruit and four tablespoons of sugar in a saucepan. Add at least three tablespoons of water for the kumquats and lime pastes. The strawberries need less water.

Bring to a boil, with the lid on, then reduce the heat. Stir occasionally to ensure it doesn’t burn and add the water as needed to loosen the mixture. Cook the fruit down until you have a jammy sauce. This will only take three to five minutes.

Push each paste through a fine sieve to extract a silky fruit gel. Cool in the fridge.

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