I never used to like éclairs until I tried them in France and since then, I’ve become a convert.  What I didn’t realise was that éclairs didn’t need to be filled with Chantilly cream.  I know some people love the airiness of the cream and it’s like taking little bites of clouds, but I never find it satisfying, and I also don’t like how with each bite, the cream oozes out of the éclair making it a messy affair!

So when we were in the French Riviera, the patisseries were so inviting, I couldn’t resist, particularly when everything was made in bite size.  The chocolate and coffee éclairs were amazing and I’ve been in love with the crème patissiere filling and the fondant glaze since.

I love making crème patissiere, it’s so quick and easy and it really is what mortar is to a builder.  I use it to make mille feuille and I particularly love my chocolate hazelnut crème patissiere which I use to fill profiteroles.

I also love profiteroles.  They’re essentially the round version of an éclair, and so much easier to make, simply because piping éclairs has always eluded me.  Instead of slender little fingers, I always end up with fat wonky sausages! On the other hand, piping profiteroles is so easy, a nice little dallop and they puff up into the cutest round balls.        

I also must confess that I’d never made choux pastry before.  I’ve always left it to my husband, my excuse being that my puny little arms lacked the manpower to beat the dough together!  But I figured it was about time I learned to make choux pastry, and it is surprisingly very easy, and I’m glad to say my puny little arms held up to the challenge.  Although if I was to make a larger batch, I would definitely need to work out a bit more! 

There’s also something oddly satisfying and therapeutic about piping a beautifully made choux batter, however as you can see below, my piping skills still leave a lot to be desired.

As I was baking these, one of our friends came over (perfect timing guys!) and being a man of few words, he described these éclairs as simply “awesome”.  I’ll take that compliment any day! I personally found the coffee fondant on top of the coffee crème patissiere a bit too much and think a chocolate glaze would offset that coffee nicely.  But if you like all things coffee, then these éclairs go down a treat!


Choux Pastry

At the heart of all good pastries is a great Choux pastry recipe. Here is the one I use from the famous Gordan Ramsay (with accompanying video – although admittedly not the best instructional video).
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 30 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Choux, Pastries
Servings: 12 eclairs
Calories: 509kcal
Cost: $


  • General mixing utensils and equipment


  • 125 ml Milk
  • 200 ml Water room temperature
  • 150 g Plain Flour
  • 1 tsp Golden caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 100 g Butter unsalted
  • 4 Eggs medium


  • Put 150ml water, the butter and a pinch of salt into a medium pan and gently heat until the butter melts. Turn up the heat and bring to the boil.
  • As soon as it’s boiling, tip in the flour in one go. Beat quickly to combine. TIP: It’s important to tip the flour in as soon as the water boils, because losing too much liquid by evaporation will affect your pastry.
  • The starch in the flour needs to be cooked out now. Beat well, over the heat, until the mix turns smooth and glossy and starts to come away from the edge of the pan. Tip the mix into a bowl and allow to cool a little.
  • Give the mixture a quick beat, then start adding the eggs a little at a time, using a whisk, wooden spoon or electric beaters. You may not need to add all the egg – stop once the pastry is smooth and elastic and drops easily off a spoon. This step is probably the most difficult for beginners – knowing when to stop adding the egg. So I always recommend looking at the video and using the texture and consistency as a reference.
  • Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Drop a medium nozzle into a large piping bag and scoop the pastry into it. Line two baking sheets with non-stick paper and pipe 15 x 10p-size balls of pastry onto each one.
  • Use a wetted finger to smooth the tops. TIP: The just-piped pastry buns have pointy tops, which can quickly burn. Tap them down gently with a wet finger before you put them in to bake.
  • Bake for 15-20 mins until dark golden and very firm. Transfer to a rack, turn each one upside down, then leave to cool. Will keep in an airtight container for up to 2 days.


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