My mother-in-law used to go to a little bakery in Leuven where they sold round shaped eclairs with a butter cream filling and chocolate ganache. But now that bakery is closed for good, and she asked me to make them for her. And so I did.
But I find the butter cream filling a bit too rich so I made a coffee cream filling instead. She absolutely loved them. And so did we.
This recipe is exact science, even the liquids are weighed and there's no room for improvisation when it comes to the pastry.
What do you need?
100 grams! water
100 grams! milk
100 g unsalted butter
150 g flour
6 free-range eggs
pinch of salt
Pour the water and the milk into a saucepan and add all of the butter. Stir and bring up to the boil. Once the butter has melted, take the pan off the head and tip in all of the flour. Beat well with a wooden spoon until you have a ball of dough.
Beat the eggs in one at a time until fully incorporated. Stir in the salt. Transfer the mixture into a piping bag and allow to cool for a couple minutes.
Pipe about 5-6 round shapes (4-5 cm diameter) on a floured baking sheet (I did it in two batches). The pastry will double in size so leave plenty of space. Place into a preheated oven (220°C) and bake for 20 minutes (do not open the oven during the baking process!!!)until golden brown.
Turn the éclairs upside down, and with the point of a knife gently press a whole in the bottom to let the steam come out. Let them cool on a wire rack.
For the filling:
500 ml double cream (cooled)
75 g icing sugar
3 tbsp very strong coffee (cold)
2 tbsp coffee liqueur
Whisk the cream with the icing sugar until firm peaks. Gently stir in the coffee and coffee liqueur. Spoon the cream into a piping bag fitted with a small plain nozzle. Pipe the cream into the éclairs through the hole you've made earlier until they are well filled.
For the ganache:
250 g dark chocolate (good quality)
250 ml double cream
Heat the double cream in a sauce pan, add the dark chocolate, turn of the heat. Stir until the chocolate is melted and the ganache is beautiful and shiny. Let the ganache cool a little.
Dip the filled éclairs into the ganache and let the ganache set. And now they are ready to serve. Enjoy!