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Sunday, 21 September 2014

Banoffee Eclairs

I've been inspired by the Great British Bake Off this week to make some of my own eclairs which are a step away from the bog standard cream and chocolate (not that there is a problem with them at all).
 
I have to confess that they aren't entirely my own invention; after deciding that I wanted a banoffee theme I decided to look around on Google, when I stumbled upon Donal Skehan's blog, with a recipe for Salted Caramel banoffee eclairs. I've adapted his recipe as I'm not a fan of salted caramel (I know strange right?! But I just can't get to like the thing) I thought that I would make a different toffee caramel glaze and add some finishing touches of my own. And the glaze is easier to make than Donal's anyway...bonus!

So with a creme patisserie to make, choux pastry to bake, chocolate to be tempered and toffee to be boiled...you'll probably gather that this isn't a quick baking fix and not something you can just knock up in an hour.  However I'm not trying to put you off because let me tell ya they are delicious!

Maybe my next eclair venture will be something more fruity...a hint as to what's to come on the blog for the near future shall we say?

I hope the Great British Bake Off is inspiring you to bake more adventurous things as much as it is for me. Who do you think will bag the top spot this year?!


Ingredients (makes 13 eclairs)


For the choux pastry:
60g of salted butter
130ml of water
80g of plain flour, sifted
3 large free range eggs
For the creme patisserie:
4 large free range egg yolks
80g of sugar
35g of cornflour
300ml of milk
1 vanilla pod/ 1tsp vanilla extract
100ml of double cream, whipped to soft peaks
3 bananas, cut in slices
26 walnut halves
50g mixture of milk and plain chocolate (however bitter you prefer)
For the toffee caramel:
50g butter
50g dark brown sugar
half a 397g can of carnation condensed milk

Method

Preheat the oven 220˚C/ gas mark 7/ 425˚F  and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Place the butter and water in a saucepan and bring to a steady boil until the butter is melted. Remove from the heat and add the flour, beating with a wooden spoon until a dough comes together. Place back over the heat and beat the dough in the saucepan for about 40 seconds.
Remove from the heat and set aside. Beat one of the eggs in a small bowl.
Add the the remaining two eggs to the warm dough, one at a time, beating thoroughly until completely incorporated after each addition. Add a little of the beaten egg at a time until you have a consistency that will hold it’s shape when piped. It should be smooth, shiny and just about fall from the spoon.
Using a spatula, scoop the dough into a large piping bag fitted with a large round piping nozzle and pipe 10cm lines on the lined baking sheets, leaving about 4cm in between each line to allow for spreading. Brush each one with the little leftover beaten egg.

Place in the oven, reducing the heat to 190˚C/ gas mark 5/ 375˚F, for approximately 25 minutes until they have risen and are golden and crisp.
Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely. Using a bread knife split each bun in half.
For the crème patissière, split the vanilla pod in half and scrape out the seeds. Add this to a medium saucepan with the milk and place over a medium high heat. Bring to the boil and then turn off the heat. Scoop out the vanilla pod.
While the milk is coming to the boil, place the sugar, cornflour and egg yolks in a large mixing bowl and beat with a whisk until thick and pale.
Pour the hot milk into the bowl, whisking quickly and continuously until it is smooth and incorporated. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and place over a medium heat beating continuously until it has thickened. Transfer the crème pâtissière to a cold bowl, create a flat surface with the back of a spatula and wipe the top with a little butter (this will prevent a skin forming). Cover directly with cling film and allow to cool completely.
To make to toffee caramel glaze, melt the butter and sugar into a non-stick saucepan over a low heat, stirring all the time until the sugar has dissolved. Add the condensed milk and bring to a rapid boil for about a minute, stirring all the time for a thick golden caramel. Spread the caramel into a bowl to cool down and thicken. 
To make the tempered chocolate squares, break the chocolate into small pieces and melt over a pan of simmering water. Make sure the temperature goes up to 42˚C/107˚F measuring with a sugar thermometer and then take off the heat, stirring and cooling to 31˚C/88˚F. Then spread out the chocolate onto a baking tray lined with baking parchment with a palette knife. Put into the fridge and chill until set. Once set take out of the fridge and slice into small squares, then put back into the fridge to firm up some more.
To assemble the eclairs, mix the crème pâtissière with the whipped cream and fill a piping bag, fitted with a small round nozzle. Pipe the cream on to the inside of the bottom of the choux bun, add slices of banana, and place the choux bun lid on top. Spread the toffee caramel glaze over the top of each eclair (I find it easier with a piping bag)  and repeat with the rest. Top each eclair with 2 walnut halves and then place on a tempered chocolate square.
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2 comments:

  1. This looks so delicious. I love the recipe

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, yes it was delicious, I recommend making it! :)

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