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Raspberry, Chocolate and Hazelnut Eclairs

by Sharon Hearne-Smith

 

There is a new patisserie trend wherby eclairs have been given a fun and delicious face-lift away from the usual cream filling and chocolate top. My modern take on eclairs still involves cream and chocolate but with a hazelnut and raspberry twist – a tasty and colourful affair. Only make the topping just before use as it may dry out quickly in the bowl otherwise. These are best assembled just before serving.

Preparation time
20 Minutes
 
Cooking time
25 MInutes
 

Ingredients

Makes 12

Eclairs

  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 75g plain flour
  • 3 eggs

Filling

  • 125g nutella
  • 225ml cream

Topping

  • 125g icing sugar
  • pink gel food colour paste
  • 36 small raspberries
  • 25g hazelnuts

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 180C (fan 160C), 350F, Gas Mark 4. Line a large baking sheet with baking parchment and set aside.

2. Place the butter in a medium pan with 125ml of just boiled water and cook over a high heat until the butter has melted and the mixture is bubbling fast. Add the flour and beat thoroughly with a wooden spoon until the mixture is smooth and forms a ball in the centre of the pan. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for 1-2 minutes. Beat the eggs in a small bowl and add them a little at a time, beating vigorously, until well combined and with a good sheen. You may not need all of the beaten eggs but just enough to give a piping consistency.

3. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm plain nozzle. Pipe twelve 7cm lengths, about 2 ½ cm wide, spaced apart, on the prepared baking sheet. Use a wet knife to cut off the pastry neatly at the nozzle. Bake for 20 minutes or until puffed, crisp and golden. Remove and lower the oven temperature to 160C (fan 140C), 325F, Gas Mark 3.

4. Meanwhile, whip the cream to soft peaks and set aside.

5. Using a sharp knife, split the eclairs open through their side and down their length to begin opening them like a book. Return to the oven for a further 5 minutes to dry the insides out. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely. Once cool, spread the nutella inside on the base, then spoon (or pipe) in the cream. Return them to the wire rack and set over a tray.

6. To prepare the topping, sift the icing sugar into a medium bowl, add 4 teaspoons of water and a small dot of food colour and mix to give a smooth and slightly runny glaze. Add more food colour for more intensity if liked. Working quickly, stirring often to prevent it from forming a crust, spoon a heaped tablespoon of the glaze on top of each éclair, spreading with the back of the spoon. Arrange three raspberries upright on top of each one and a sprinkling of hazelnuts to stick to the icing before it sets. Arrange on serving plates, a platter or cake stand and serve at once.

Tip

For a healthier option, fill with natural yoghurt and fruit pieces and drizzle the tops with a little melted dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa).

The hazelnuts are even more delicious if roasted first. Simply tip the nuts onto a baking tray and roast at 180C (fan 160C), 350F, Gas Mark 4 for 10-12 minutes until golden. Immediately tip into a clean, damp tea-towel, wrap them up in it and rub briskly for a minute. This should remove the skins to reveal the roasted nuts.

 
SuperValu Irish Unsalted Butter
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SuperValu Plain Flour
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Nutella
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Siucra Icing Sugar
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SuperValu Frozen Raspberries
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SuperValu Whole Hazelnuts
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Goodalls Colouring Red
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