This is baking at its best – great to do with kids, full of fun and decoration.
Makes 12 éclairs
Prep time: Flowers: 10 minutes, plus overnight to harden; éclairs: 20 minutes
Baking time: 35–45 minutes
Decorating time: 10 minutes
For the candied violets
¼ cup superfine sugar
1 egg white
For the choux pastry
6½ oz (1¼ cups) all-purpose flour
1½ tablespoons superfine sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
4½ oz (9 tablespoons) butter
1 cup water
For the pastry cream
1 cup whipping cream
Zest of ½ lemon
1½ tablespoons lemon juice
2¼ tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
For the icing: 1 cup confectioners’ sugar Purple food coloring
For the candied violets: Wash the flowers and dry them gently. Place the superfine sugar in a small dish. Using a small paintbrush, paint some egg white onto each flower and then dip the flower into the superfine sugar. Place on a wire cooling rack and leave overnight to harden.
For the choux pastry: Make the choux pastry éclairs using the method described on pages 80–83, piping a 5-inch line of the mixture for each éclair either in an éclair tin or on a greased baking tray (see figure 1).
For the pastry cream: To make the cream filling, whip the cream until it forms soft peaks. Add the lemon zest, juice and confectioners’ sugar and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Pipe the cream into the éclairs (see figure 2).
For the icing: To decorate the éclairs, mix the confectioners’ sugar with 3–4 teaspoons of water. Stir in some food coloring, adding a small amount at a time until you achieve a color you like (see figure 3). Spread icing along the top of each éclair (see figure 4) or dip them into the icing. Place two candied violets onto the icing at one end of each éclair.
1. PIPE 13 cm (5 in) lines of mixture for each éclair on either an éclair tin or a greased baking tray.
2. PIPE the pastry cream into the éclairs.
3. MIX the confectioners’ sugar with water. Add a small amount of food color until you achieve the color you like.
4. SPREAD icing along the top of each éclair.
Photographs and text by Aimee Twigger from Made With Love. Reprinted by permission of Gibbs Smith.
This original recipe article first appeared in the Winter 2017/18 issue of City Style and Living Magazine