Choux paste is magical stuff. It’s a simple mix of eggs, flour, butter and milk, but the result is glorious. Mix some cheese into it and once it’s baked it becomes gougeres. Boil small pieces of it and it’s Parisienne gnocchi. Add some apples to the mix and fry it and it’s a fritter. Pipe it into little balls and your nearly at a profiterole, or cream puff. Pipe it a bit longer and you’ve nearly made an eclair.
Seriously, there is little that choux paste can’t do. It’s pretty amazing. You should learn how to make it. Stat.
I don’t know if this happens to everyone, but people always make professional jokes about me, the most common is calling me eclair. This is the lame joke that every man over the age of 65 says when I say I’m a baker
“Oh, really? Should we call you Eclair?” No dude, Claire will do just fine.
But to avoid being bitter and I’ve decided I just need to get crazy good at making eclairs. Somehow this feels like retaliation, even if almost no one knows how good I am at them but me. This way I can chuckle to myself and think at how awesome my eclairs are when old men say this to me.
It’s silly, I know it. But it makes me feel better.
This eclairs are pretty fantastic, if I may. They are super fresh tasting, filled with a whip cream that’s spiked with crushed strawberries, and a bit of vanilla. Then they are carefully dipped into fondant that’s scented with rosewater.
These are kind of ridiculously good. I ate an astonishing number of them.
So many in fact, that I lied to my boyfriend about how many I made. And then I felt no guilt. About the eating or the lying. They were that good.
Adapted from the Bouchon Bakery Cookbook
1 1/4 c AP Flour
1 tsp Salt
1 cup Whipping Cream
1 cup Strawberries
2 tbsp Icing Sugar.
1 cup White Fondant
1 tsp Rosewater, or as needed.
In a medium pot, melt the butter.
Add in the water and bring to a boil.
Mix in the salt and flour and stir for about 4 minutes, until it is very thick and the flour is cooked.
Put the flour mixture into the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
Start beating on medium speed. Add in one egg.
Wait until it is fully combined before adding the next, continueing this until all the eggs are combined and the mixture is soft, shiny and smooth. This is your choux paste!
Fit a piping bag with a large star tip, and transfer the choux paste into it. Pipe the shape of an eclair onto your prepared trays, being as careful as you can to make them the same sizes.
Bake for about 25 minutes, rotating the tray half way through baking.
Allow to cool.
Meanwhile make the filling:
Mash up strawberries as finely as you can- this can be done in the food processor or simply with a fork. Strain them through a fine seive.
Whip the cream to stiff peaks, mix in the icing sugar.
Fold the strawberry puree in. Transfer to a piping bag with a thin round tip and move to the fridge until ready to use.
In a double boiler melt the fondant.
Add in the rosewater and stir to combine. Check for taste.