So my love for éclairs and coffee-desserts made it easy to fall in love with these caramel-colored cuties. The recipe was easy to follow, except for the cream puff dough which failed on me. The dough seemed underbaked, and comparing it to other pâte à choux recipes, the baking time seems way too little (20 minutes vs. 40 minutes in other recipes). Other than the dough-hiccup, it all went very smoothly. Rating: 4 out of 5.
Coffee Éclairs: Dorie Greenspan - Paris Sweets, adapted from Fauchon
Ingredients for cream puff dough: (this recipe for cream puff dough failed on me, so I made this recipe)
- ½ cup whole milk (125g)
- ½ cup water (125g)
- 1 stick unsalted butter (115g)
- Pinch of sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (140g)
- 5 large eggs, at room temperature
Ingredients for pastry cream:
- ⅓ cup espresso, cooled (80g)
- Vanilla Pastry Cream, chilled → click here for the recipe
Ingredients for coffee fondant: (I made half this recipe, it was well enough)
- ¼ cup espresso, cooled (60g)
- 3 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted (600g)
- Squirt of lemon juice
To make and bake the cream puff dough: Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 375˚F (190˚C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Fit a pastry bag with a large round tip and keep nearby.
- Bring the milk, water, butter, sugar and salt to a rapid boil in a heavy bottomed medium saucepan over high heat. Add the flour all at once, lower the heat to medium low and quickly start stirring with a wooden spoon, until a light crust forms on the bottom of the pan. Keep stirring for a couple more minutes to dry the dough and until smooth. Take off heat. Add eggs one by one while beating the dough until it is shiny and thick. Once all the eggs have been incorporated, the still-warm dough should be used immediately.
- Spoon half of the dough into the pastry bag and pipe out thin fingers of dough that are each about 5 inches (12 cm) long and about 1 inch (2,5 cm) wide onto the lined baking sheets, making sure to leave about 2 inches (5 cm) puff space between them. Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Bake for 8 minutes before slipping the handle of a wooden spoon into the oven to keep the door slightly ajar. When the éclairs have baked for 12 minutes, rotate pans front to back and top to bottom. Continue baking for another 8 minutes (total baking time is 20 minutes) until the eclairs are golden, firm and puffed (adjust cooking time accordingly). Transfer the eclairs to a rack and let cool to room temperature.
To fill the éclairs: Lightly whisk the espresso into the pastry cream. Carefully cut the éclairs horizontally in half; lift off the tops. Spoon the pastry cream into a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip and fill each éclair base with cream, or do this with a spoon. You will have pastry cream left over. Tuck the filled bases into the refrigerator.
To make the fondant: Pour the espresso into a small bowl, then add about 2 cups of the powdered sugar little by little, stirring constantly with a whisk and trying not to create bubbles. Stir in lemon juice, then add in as much additional powdered sugar as needed to produce a fondant that evenly coats the top of an éclair and stays where it's spread.
To finish: One by one, hold the éclair tops over the bowl of fondant and working with a small icing spatula, spread them with fondant. Settle each éclair top on a filled base and refrigerate the éclairs for at least 1 hour upon serving.