Samantha's Chocolate Eclairs

Course: Main

Servings: 12 eclairs

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients
  • Water - 120 ml
  • Shetland Dairies butter - 50 grams
  • Salt - pinch
  • Plain flour - 65 grams
  • Shetland eggs - 2 medium
  • Shetland Dairies whipping cream - 200 ml
  • Icing sugar - 5 tsp
  • Vanilla pod - 1/2 (seeds only)
  • Best quality dark chocolate - 100 grams (Samantha used Green & Blacks)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 200 C and grease a baking tray.
  2. Put butter, salt and cold water into a small pan and heat until the butter is melted. Bring it just to the boil but don't leave it as you don't want the water to evaporate.
  3. Remove from the heat and whisk in the flour. Beat vigorously until it comes together. It'll look messy at first, but persevere.
  4. Return pan to heat and cook for a further minute while beating.
  5. Beat the eggs and add a peerie bit of the egg into the dough mixture, beating well. Add enough egg so that a smooth, glossy pastry dough forms. You may not need all of the egg. If you pick some of the dough up with a wooden spoon you should be able to shake it off the spoon easily.
  6. Using a disposable piping bag (sold at Robinson & Morrisons!) pipe the dough into 4 inch lengths onto the baking tray. Use a finger dipped in cold water to press down the flick caused by the piping bag when you're finished piping.
  7. Sprinkle the baking tray with some water (not the pastry!) and bake for 20 minutes.
  8. Turn the oven down to 170 C and bake for a further 10 minutes.
  9. Remove the baking tray from the oven, poke a small hole in both ends of each pastry (this lets the steam out) and return to the oven for a further 5-7 minutes to crisp up.
  10. Transfer the pastry to a wire rack to cool completely.
  11. Meanwhile, beat the whipping cream until it forms soft peaks. Then add sugar and vanilla seeds and beat until it's of the desired consistency.
  12. Slice the pastry in half lengthwise and using a piping bag without a nozzle fill the éclairs with the cream.
  13. Break the chocolate into small pieces and place in a heat proof bowl suspended over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir until melted.
  14. Dip the top of each éclair into the chocolate and leave to set.