Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Catch a matcha eclair

As it gets colder, my butter and carb intake gets bigger. It's a direct and unfortunate relationship, and very hard when you're trying to save money for a food fest trip to HK and media-ville lends itself well to Christmas lunches and drink in the next few months. It's got so bad, the little paunch has got a name. As I write this, I've just stuffed a cupcake down me, and so my guilt and sugar high drives me to carry on typing in vain. Sunday blues with an icy wind just mean more baking and more slow cooking. So as the short ribs slowly braise in the cooker, I decided to make a little choux classic. My idiotic plan to make these mini just meant I ate more of the suckers - a perfect 2 bites of sugar, cream and chocolate. The matcha powder is a simple mellow hum to the very sweet white choc (I used Green and Blacks) and a really good pop of colour to lure you in. Fancy sugar work on the top is completely unnecessary, but a good way to waste time if you're impatiently waiting for the pastry to cool and the chocolate to set. Eclairs are one last blast of summer - they're lighty and pretty to eat - so go make a batch now. I was testing out some recipes for a moustache Movember bake sale I'm doing at work and thought these would be an ingenious way to get some 'tache-clairs. Follow me on Twitter to see if I can actually pull these off!
The ones below can also be made as profiteroles. Now if only it were able to be so versatile as to include it as one of my five a day.

Ingredients (adapted from Rachel Allen's: Bake!)
90 grams of plain flour
10 grams of dessicated coconut (optional - add back 10grams of flour if you want to)
150ml of water
Pinch of salt
75 grams of butter
3 eggs, beaten

120 grams of white chocolate (Green and blacks is great for this)
2 tbs matcha powder

300ml double cream
2 tbs icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees.
In a medium heat pan, melt the butter in the 150ml of water until the butter has melted. Allow the mixture to just about come to a little boil and then immediately take off the heat. 

Add the flour, coconut and salt and beat vigorously until the mixture comes together. Place back on the heat for a minute and a half, mixing occasionally. Then spread the mixture onto a plate to let it cool slightly for a few minutes.
The mixture then goes back in the pan (but off the heat) and pour in the beaten egg. Pour a few spoonfuls in at first and keep beating with a wooden spoon. You want to continually add the eggs until it looks glossy and is of dropping consistency (that means if you pick a lump of the mixture up with the spoon, it'll drop within a few seconds without needing a jolt...if it's not able to do that, add more egg) Depending on the size of your eggs, you may not need to use all of it up - so do add in gradually. 

Pour mixture into a piping bag (or a sandwich bag with a corner cut off like I do) and on a baking tray with non-stick parchment paper, pipe out 8cm x 2cm eclairs onto the tray with enough space for each to expand. Brush gently any unbeaten egg you may have over the top, but not totally necessary if you don't have any.  
Pop into the oven for 12 minutes, and after that, lower down to 190 degrees and heat for a further 8-10 minutes, or until they are golden and crispy. 

Take the eclairs out the oven, and with a toothpick/skewer, make a small hole on each end for the steam to come out and then pop back into the oven for 5 minutes for them to dry out. Once out the oven, place on a wire rack to cool.

Whilst that is cooling, place the chocolate and matcha powder in a bowl over a pan of boiling water and let it melt, stirring occasionally. 
Whip the cream up with the sugar and vanilla until its reached a good consistency to pipe. Cut each eclair and pipe out (again with a sandwich bag if you need to) or spread cream across each one. 
With a spoon, spread the melted chocolate over the top of the eclair and leave to set, and you're good to go!

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