Have you ever seen the 1999 film Simply Irresistible starring Sarah Michelle Gellar? If you have then I'm sure you'll remember the delectable caramel éclairs she makes. I recently saw the film again and have been craving these mouthwatering éclairs since. Having visited many patisseries and bakeries on the hunt for them with no such luck I decided to make them myself.
I've tried a few recipes and this is the one I've settled on for the time being - I'm still looking for a caramel topping! I topped a few of these with chocolate instead. I started by making the filling as I could do this the day before.
200g granulated sugar
8 egg yolks
4 tbsp water
2 tbps vanilla extract
1. Place the cornstarch and 100g sugar in a large bowl and mix together.
2. Add the egg yolks and mix until a paste is formed.
3. Stir in 245ml milk (a quarter of the total).
4. Place the other 100g sugar and the water in a medium saucepan and stir to combine. Cook over medium heat until sugar turns a burnt amber.
5. Carefully pour in remaining milk and stir until smooth. Don't worry if the sugar hardens, it will melt again in the milk.
6. Stir in vanilla extract.
7. Bring mixture back to a simmer then pour it over the mixture in the bowl, whisking constantly.
8. Pour all back into the saucepan and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until smooth and thick.
10. Transfer to a bowl and cover with cling film touching the top of the cream to avoid a skin forming. I made this the day before, but you could just leave it to cool for a couple of hours before using it.
I used Delia's recipe for choux pastry and used my piping bag with a 1.5cm tip to create lines on baking parchment. I put them in the oven at 200 degrees for 25 minutes, before turning it down to 180 for 5 minutes after pricking each éclair to let the steam out.