At the weekend, all the girls in my family met up for afternoon tea. Everyone made something sweet or savoury so it was really easy for my Mam who was hosting it. I have been looking forward to making éclairs for a while now and this was the perfect opportunity. I experimented with a cardamom flavoured crème patissiere and decorated the éclairs with white chocolate and pistachio. They were delicious.
Little did I know this afternoon tea was actually a surprise baby shower :) My family had the dining room decorated beautifully with blue balloons and I was spoilt with presents.
Like any get together my family has, there was far too much food, but these cardamom, white chocolate and pistachio éclairs went down a treat.
For the Choux Pastry
- 55g butter, cut into small cubes
- 150ml cold water
- 70g strong plain flour, sifted
- 2 eggs
For the Crème Patissiere
- 2 egg yolks
- 30g caster sugar
- 10g plain flour
- 5g corn flour
- 150ml milk
- 1 cardamom pod
- 100g White chocolate
- 20g roasted chopped pistachios
Start by making the choux pastry. Add the water and butter to a saucepan over medium heat and stir with a wooden spoon. Once the mixture has come to the boil and the butter has melted, remove from the heat.
Beat in the flour until you have a smooth paste that has left the sides of the saucepan.
Beat the eggs and add to the mixture a little at a time, mixing in each addition well before adding the next.
Lightly grease a baking tray and preheat the oven to 220°C.
Add the pastry to a piping bag with a 1.5cm piping nozzle and pipe 8cm lengths onto the baking tray.
Bake in the oven for 8 minutes and then reduce the heat to 200°C and bake for a further 10 to 15 minutes, or until crisp and golden.
Remove from the oven and pierce either end of the éclair to allow the steam to escape, transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
While the éclairs are baking you can prepare the crème patissiere.
In a bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar together until paler in colour and then whisk in the flours.
Add the milk and cardamom pod to a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer.
Slowly pour the hot milk into the egg mixture, making sure to whisk continuously.
Return the whole lot to the saucepan, bring back to a simmer and stir until the mixture has thickened. Then remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Once the choux buns and crème patissiere have cooled you can begin to assemble the éclairs.
Melt the white chocolate over a bain maire and set aside to cool slightly.
Add the crème patissiere to a piping bag (make sure you remove the cardamom pod first) with a plain tip filling nozzle. Push the nozzle into either end of the éclair and gently pipe in the crème patissiere. Only pipe in enough to fill the éclairs, do not over fill.
Once they have been filled, spoon over the melted white chocolate and scatter each one with the chopped pistachios.
This recipe for cardamom, white chocolate and pistachio éclairs will make approximately 12 to 14 mini éclairs.