I’ve had a few attempts at these and find that they work best with Dove’s Farm White Bread Flour, it gives a good structure to the choux pastry and has the advantage of being available in most supermarkets.  I have also used Squires Kitchen fondant icing sugar, to be honest I haven’t tried any other because I read reviews and Squires came out on top and it didn’t disappoint but it is not readily available on the high street so you may want to plump for what is on the shelves or do what I did and send off for a job lot.  It stores well and is great on so many cakes.

Serves:   6 – 8

Active time: 1 hour

INGREDIENTS

Choux pastry

  • 150ml Water
  • 55g Unsalted butter (use salted if you prefer)
  • 75g Dove’s farm White Gluten Free Bread Flour
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Caster sugar
  • 2 Large Eggs

Filling

  • 300ml Double cream
  • 1 tbs Caster sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract

 

Icing

  • 150g Fondant icing sugar
  • 1 tbs Cocoa powder
  • 1-2 tbs Water

2 Baking trays lined with greaseproof paper

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 200C Fan
  2. Place water and butter in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
  3. Mix together flour, salt and sugar, you don’t need to sieve it just ensure they are combined.
  4. When all the butter has melted remove from the heat and tip in all the flour mix in one go, beat until smooth and mixtures comes away from the sides of the pan, I find it is fine to do this just with a wooden spoon. Allow to cool slightly.
  5. Beat in the eggs one at a time until smooth and quite glossy. I use an electric hand whisk but be careful the mixture can fly everywhere.
  6. Place mix in a piping bag with a large plain nozzle and pipe onto the lined baking sheets in lengths of approx. 10 cm (you can make them bigger if you prefer), this mix will make 6 – 8.
  7. Bake for about 25 minutes until well risen and lightly coloured. Do not open the oven door in the early stages or the mixture may sink.
  8. Remove from the oven and make a slit in each éclair to allow the steam to escape, I cut along one long length and then put them back in the turned off oven with the door propped open with a wooden spoon for about 10 minutes so they are dry and crisp.
  9. When choux buns are cool, mix cream with sugar and vanilla, whip until firm enough to pipe, don’t over do it. Put into a piping bag and fill the eclairs.
  10. Combine fondant icing sugar with cocoa powder and make up as per manufacturer’s instructions. Add a layer of icing to the top of the éclair and leave to set.  The beauty of fondant is that it sets very quickly so you don’t have to wait too long to enjoy these delicious treats.
  11. If you don’t want to use all the unfilled and un-iced buns then put them in a freezer bag or airtight container and freeze. When you want to use them just crisp in the oven for 5 minutes then fill and ice.