Ruby Tandoh's recipe

For chocolate eclairs

In the May issue of ELLE my column is all about guilty pleasures and secret eating.

Here's my recipe for indulgent choux pastry eclairs filled with whipped cream and covered in melted chocolate. The perfect Easter egg alternative...

Makes 10-12

Ingredients

50g butter

160ml milk

65g plain flour

2 large eggs

¼ tsp salt

280ml double or whipping cream

40g caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

150g dark chocolate

Method

Preheat the oven to 220°C/fan 200°C/gas mark 6. Grease a large baking tray then line with baking parchment (greasing first will help to hold the parchment down for when you pipe the choux pastry onto it later).

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Combine the butter and milk over a low heat. Once the milk is scalding and the butter melted, beat in the flour all at once. Continue to beat the mixture with a wooden spoon, incorporating all the flour then increase the heat a little and beat for a further 2 minutes. The mixture should start to come together into a ball.

Take the pan off the heat and let cool for a few minutes. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the salt. Pour this egg mixture, a little at a time, into the pan, whisking well between each addition. The ingredients will clump at first, but as you continue to whisk they’ll combine and grow smooth, thick and glossy.

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Fill a piping bag with a 1cm diameter tip or nozzle with the choux mixture. Pipe 10-12 buns, each comprised of two touching, parallel lines of the choux 10cm long. Bake for 10 minutes before turning the heat down to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas mark 4 and baking for a further 20 minutes.

As soon as the buns are baked, use a sharp, serrated knife to slice them in half horizontally then let them cool completely.

Meanwhile, whisk the cream, sugar and vanilla extract until the cream forms soft peaks – it needs to be thick enough to pipe. Melt the chocolate either in short bursts in the microwave, or in a heatproof bowl suspended over a pan of barely simmering water.

Pipe the cream onto the bottom half of each of the cooled buns. Dip the top of the upper half of the bun in the melted chocolate. Sandwich the two halves together- et voilà, éclairs!

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