These éclairs – with the great flavours of raspberry and rose – are made with a cheat’s mousse and are topped with raspberry fondant. A sweet treat that is bound to please!
I made these using raspberries that I have just started to pick on the allotment, but I have made these using frozen raspberries that are left to defrost before puréeing.
The rose flavour goes so well with raspberries, but a little rose essence goes a long way, so add a small amount before tasting. If you want Isaphan éclairs – the wonderful flavours of raspberry, rose and lychee – you can add pieces of lychees to the filling or on top.
A cheat’s filling
You can make a classic crème pâtissière (pastry cream), but a good shop-bought custard – from the chiller rather than in a tin – works very well.
To this, you simply beat in melted white chocolate, a few drops of rose essence and then fold in whipped cream. This gives a rich, creamy filling that holds it shape nicely and has more substance – and flavour- than just whipped cream.
Choux pastry tips
There are a few tips to ensure choux pastry perfection:
(1) Ensure the water and milk boils before you add the flour to form the paste.
(2) Cook out the paste for a few minutes over a medium heat, beating all the time with a wooden spoon.
(3) Cool the paste for a few minutes before beating in the eggs (otherwise the eggs will scramble)
(4) Bake in a preheated hot oven.
Recipe for raspberry and rose éclairs – makes about 25 small éclairs or 15 larger ones
- 1 batch of choux pastry: made, piped and baked (see recipe here)
- 200g good quality custard, very slightly warmed*
- a few drops of rose essence
- 150g melted white chocolate
- 200ml whipped double cream (whipped to soft peaks)
*the warmed custard ensures that when the chocolate is beaten in, it will blend perfectly. If the custard is too cold, some of the chocoalte might immediately set and give shards of chocolate inside.
- about 300g fondant icing sugar
- a few tablespoons of raspberry purée or raspberry juice to mix
- a couple of drops of rose essence
- a few freeze-dried raspberries
(1) Make the filling by beating the custard, rose essence and white chocolate together. Taste and add a little more rose essence if you think it needs it: be careful though, as it can easily become over-powering! Chill.
(2) Fold the whipped cream into the custard mixture, cover and chill until needed, by which time the chocolate will have set and you have a pipeable mousse-like filling.
(3) For the topping, mix the icing sugar and a couple of drops of rose essence and a little of the raspberry purée, adding more purée until you get a smooth icing. You can have it thick (for piping the icing on top: as I have done with this batch of éclairs) or runnier if you want to dunk the tops of the éclairs into it.
NB: my earlier post on Tips for neat glazes gives further ideas for topping éclairs.
(4) Make a hole in each end of each éclair and using a fairly small nozzle, pipe the filling inside one end. Repeat with the other end (I just find it easier piping into both ends rather than from one end).
Alternatively, you can slice the cooled pastry horizontally and spoon or pipe the filling on the bottom half of each – as I did with the blackcurrant éclairs and the chocolate éclairs in the photos below.
(5) Top with the fondant icing: either dunking or poping on top (see note with stage 3 above). Sprinkle over dried raspberries and chill until you want to eat them.