My visit to France made me think about a simple and tasty dessert.  Eclairs were my choice. I love the creamy filling and puffy outside. My recipe comes from Dorota’s blog and here. Enjoy!

Eclair dough (makes around 18 pieces):

1 cup water

125 g cooking butter

1 cup plain flour

4 average size eggs

In a pot, mix water and butter. Bring to boil. Once butter has completely melted, add flour and stir constantly with a wooden spoon. Continue stirring and kneading with spoon until the dough stops sticking to the sides of the pot. Take off heat and cool it down (important, if the dough will be warm while adding the eggs, éclairs won’t rise in the oven).

Add eggs one by one to the chilled dough and mix it till well combined. Fill a piping bag with eclair dough (you can also do it with a spoon), spread baking paper on your baking tray and squeeze out 2 cm wide and 10 cm long éclairs, well- spaced.

Bake 20-30 minutes (25 in my case) at 200 Celsius. Cool it down and slice in half.

Vanilla crème patissiere:

600 ml milk

Vanilla bean split lengthwise or vanilla sugar and vanilla essence

6 big egg yolks

100 g sugar

40 g of plain flour

40 g of cornstarch

20 ml liqueur (not necessary)

In a bowl, mix the sugar and egg yolks together. Sift the flour and cornstarch together and add to the egg mixture, mixing until you get a smooth paste.

Meanwhile in a pot combine the milk and vanilla on medium heat until boiling. Remove from heat and add slowly the egg mixture, whisking constantly to prevent curdling.

Place the pot with the egg mixture on the heat and boil, whisking constantly. When it boils, whisk for another 30-60 seconds until it becomes very thick.

Remove from heat and whisk in the liqueur (if using). Set it aside to cool it down preferably in the closed box to prevent a crust from forming (you can also stir it from time to time). Covered cream can be refrigerated up to 3 days. Beat before using to get rid of lumps which may have formed.

Put the cream in the piping bag (or use a spoon) and pour it onto one part of the éclairs, covering it with the other part. Decorate with melted chocolate or fine sugar.

Worth to try:

Chocolate creme patissiere:

Add 100 g melted chocolate to the milk before adding the egg mixture.

Coffee crème patissiere:

Add 2 tbsp of instant coffee to the milk before adding the egg mixture.

For light crème patissiere:

Add 1/2 cup (115 ml) heavy cream, softly whipped (optional)