- 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
- you will need
- disposable piping bags, a nozzle
- and 2 baking sheets, oiled
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.
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.