This recipe from Raymond Blanc is almost foolproof for making éclairs and profiteroles. I have used it and had great success
For the choux pastry:
65ml whole milk
55g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp caster sugar
pinch of fine sea salt
100g plain flour
4 organic/free-range medium eggs, beaten
Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4. Put the water, milk², butter, sugar and salt into a small saucepan and bring to the boil over a high heat. Take off the heat, immediately tip in the flour and quickly stir with a wooden spoon until completely smooth.
Return to a medium heat and cook for about 1 minute until the mixture comes away from the side of the pan. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the beaten eggs until you have a smooth, dropping consistency.
To pipe and bake the éclairs – Spoon the mixture into a large piping bag fitted with a 1.5cm plain nozzle and leave to cool and stiffen slightly, for about 5 minutes; this will make it easier to pipe.
Line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper. Pipe 10 large éclairs, each about 15cm long, onto the paper, spacing them well apart to allow them room to expand. If making profiteroles, pipe or spoon rounds on to the paper – approx 30.
Bake in the oven for 25–30 minutes until golden brown, then transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool.
For the filling, I used whipped cream with a dash of vanilla essence. Fill a piping bag with the whipped cream, and use the nozzle to make 3-4 holes in the base of the éclairs and fill with cream.
For the topping, I used 100g dark chocolate, melted with 25g butter
Melt butter and chocolate in a double saucepan. Either dip or spread the top of each éclair with chocolate. Allow to cool.
It is customary to use all water in a choux pastry, but adding some milk gives a softer texture, which Raymond and I prefer. Using all water will give you a drier, crustier finish.
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