For the pastry
- 75 g (3oz) butter
- 100 g (3½oz) plain flour
- 2 medium eggs, lightly beaten
- A little oil, to grease
For the filling
- 400 ml (13fl oz) double cream
- 40 g (1½oz) icing sugar, sifted
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1-2tbsp coffee liqueur, optional
For the icing
- 1 tsp instant-coffee granules
- 100 g (3½oz) icing sugar
- 15 g (½oz) chopped toasted hazelnuts
- Preheat oven to 200°C (180°C fan) mark 6. Melt butter in a large pan, then add 225ml (8fl oz) water. Bring to the boil then, as soon as the mixture is bubbling rapidly, take the pan off the heat and stir in flour. Continue stirring until the mixture comes away from the sides of the pan.
- Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Start to beat with an electric hand whisk, then gradually add the eggs, whisking constantly. The final pastry should be thick and smooth.
- Lightly grease a piping bag fitted with a 12mm plain nozzle. Spoon the pastry into the piping bag. Pipe a 7cm (2¾in) straight line of the mixture on to a non-stick baking tray (you may need two), then pipe over the line to double it in height. Repeat with the remaining mixture, spacing the lines well apart (you should have about 25).
- Bake for 30min or until deep golden. Take out of oven (leaving oven on). Hold an eclair with a clean tea towel, then cut in half horizontally with a small serrated knife, leaving one long edge attached. Repeat with remaining eclairs, then arrange on the tray, cut-side up. Cook for a further 3-5min until the centres have mostly dried out. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
- For the filling, put the cream, icing sugar, vanilla extract and liqueur, if using, into a large bowl. Whisk until the cream is thick and holds its shape. Pipe or spoon the mixture on to the base of one eclair, then fold over the top to close. Repeat with remaining eclairs.
- To make the icing, dissolve the coffee granules in 2tsp boiling water in a medium bowl, then gradually whisk in the icing sugar (the icing should be thick and hold its shape). Use the back of a teaspoon or a small palette knife to top each eclair with icing. Sprinkle with hazelnuts and serve.
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