I have been left to my own devices, can you tell? I got a rare day at home on my own. Did I take the opportunity to watch a chick flick, read a book, browse magazines or take a nap? No, I embarked on my own private bake-a-thon. Yep, that's right. A whole day to indulge my inner pastry chef. What a treat. Speaking of treats, I baked these Coffee Cream Éclairs amongst other things. I think I spent my "me-time" wisely - no arguments from my family and friends either about what I did with my "day off" - funny that!
Coffee Cream Éclairs
from Annabel Langbein's The Free Range Cook
1/2 cup water
60g butter, diced
3/4 cup plain flour, sifted
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups cream
4 tablespoons Kahlua
2 teaspoons instant coffee powder
2 tablespoons boiling water
2 cups icing sugar
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup shelled, unsalted pistachio nuts, chopped
Make the Pastry:
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C (it's important to use the fanforced function) and line an oven tray with baking paper.
Place the water and the butter in a medium pot and heat to a rolling boil. Once the butter is fully melted, add the flour all at once and beat over the heat with a wooden spoon until the mixture leaves the sides of the saucepan and starts to crust a little in the base of the pan - about 1 minute.
Remove from the heat and transfer the batter to an elective mixer. Add sugar and vanilla and beat for 20 seconds before beating in the eggs one at a time. The mixture should be thick enough to drop from a spoon in clumps, rather than falling freely.
Fit a large piping bag with a 2cm nozzle and pipe the choux mixture onto the baking paper in 8 sausage shapes, each about 12cm long.
Bake the éclairs for 30 minutes until puffed and golden brown. Remove from the oven, slit the side of each éclair to release the steam, then allow to cool.
Make the Filling:
Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks then stir in the Kahlua. Cut the éclair shells in half with a serrated knife and gently spoon the flavoured cream inside.
Make the Icing:
Stir the instant coffee into the boiling water to dissolve. Sift the icing sugar into a medium bowl. Add the coffee mixture and the vanilla and stir until smooth. Glide the icing onto the éclairs using a knife the has been dipped in warm water.
Garnish with chopped pistachio nuts.