Everyone will love this dessert which combines the luscious flavours of chocolate, caramel and cream.
For Choux Pastry
75g butter, coarsely chopped
185 ml water
110g plain flour
3 large eggs
For Vanilla-caramel crème
220g (1 cup) confectioners' (powdered) sugar
80 ml water
450 ml milk
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
5 egg yolks
60 ml (¼ cup) heavy/whipping cream, whipped
For Chocolate Glaze
165 g (3/4 cup) icing sugar
120 ml water
140g dark chocolate (55% cocoa solids), finely chopped
70 ml heavy/whipping cream
1. In a saucepan, stir 150g sugar and water over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and cook, without stirring, until dark caramel (3-4 minutes). Remove from heat, add milk and vanilla seed. Return to heat and whisk to combine.
2. Meanwhile, whisk yolks and remaining sugar in a bowl until pale (2-3 minute). Add cornflour and whisk to combine.
3. Strain milk mixture over egg mixture, whisking continuously. Return the mixture to pan and whisk continuously over medium heat until thick and smooth (2-3 minutes). Transfer to a bowl and add the whipped cream. Leave to cool. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate.
MAKE CHOUX PASTRY
4. Preheat oven to 180°C (360°F). Line with baking paper an oven tray.
5. In a saucepan, bring butter and water to the boil over medium-high heat. Add flour; beat continuously until mixture is thick and smooth (1 minute). Remove from heat. Cool for 10 minutes.
6. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a 12 mm plain nozzle and pipe into 10 cm lengths on a prepared oven tray, leaving space between each for pastry to puff.
7. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Reduce heat to 175°C (350°F). Bake until golden and dry. Cool to room temperature on a wire rack.
8. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine sugar and 60 ml water. Stir until sugar dissolves. Cook, without stirring, until light caramel (6-8 minutes). Remove from heat. Add cream, 60ml water and chocolate. Return to heat. Stir until smooth and combined. Set aside and keep warm.
9. Halve éclairs horizontally with a bread knife. Carefully dip tops in chocolate glaze and place on a tray to set. Transfer vanilla-caramel crème to a piping bag fitted with a 1cm plain nozzle, pipe over éclair bases, sandwich with tops and serve.
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