The ultimate grown-up éclair, with a dash of pistachio and Grand Marnier – slightly boozy and just enough for two bites
- 50g (2oz) unsalted butter
- 60g (2½oz) plain flour, sifted
- 2 large free-range eggs
- 250ml (9fl oz) double cream
- 2tsp Grand Marnier (optional)
- 150g (5oz) white chocolate, chopped
- 50g (2oz) shelled pistachios, finely chopped
- disposable piping bags, a nozzle
- and 2 baking sheets, oiled
COOK'S NOTE Eclairs are best eaten on the day they are filled and topped, although you can freeze the baked choux pastry until required.
- Heat the oven to 200C, 180C fan, 400F, gas 6. Bring the butter and 150ml (¼pt) water to the boil in a pan. Add the flour and a pinch of salt and beat well, using a wooden spoon. Once the mixture starts to come away from the sides, remove from the heat and leave to cool for 2 minutes.
- Now gradually beat in the eggs until the mixture is smooth. Transfer this to a piping bag and snip off the end, leaving a 2.5cm (1in) hole across. Pipe pastry lengths of 7cm (2¾in) on to the prepared baking sheet, then bake for 15 minutes or until golden. You may need to do this in batches. Remove from the oven and, using a fine skewer, make a hole from end to end, lengthways. Place back in the oven for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool on a wire rack.
- To assemble, whip 150ml (¼pt) of the cream with the Grand Marnier until just stiff. Set aside. Prepare a piping bag with a small nozzle, and fill with the whipped cream. Make a small hole in the base of the éclair and pipe in the cream until full.
- To decorate, place the chocolate pieces in a bowl and set aside. Heat the remaining cream in a medium saucepan until it just reaches boiling point, remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Leave to melt for a few minutes, then mix with a wire whisk. Dip the top halves of the éclairs into the chocolate and sprinkle with the chopped pistachios. Leave on a wire rack for about 30 minutes before serving.
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