Friday 23 March 2018

Earl Grey Custard Cross-Shaped Eclairs

Although as Christians we remember Jesus' death and resurrection daily, it's a more stark but yet wonderful reminder as Good Friday and Easter approaches. I made some cross shaped Éclairs as a simple reminder of what this Easter weekend is about :). The Éclairs are plain and chocolate Choux pastry cases, with Earl grey custard filling and topped with dark chocolate and Earl grey white chocolate.

Here's a close up view of the smooth Earl grey custard filling. Milk tea lovers, you will love this!
Crisp choux pastry case with smooth, rich and creamy Earl grey custard. Yums!

Instead of hot cross buns, why not make these treats to remind each other about how God loves us so much that He gave His only Son to pay the price of our rebellion ;)

Recipe for Earl Grey Custard
200g milk
35g sugar
18g cornflour
2 egg yolks
2.25 tsp (5g) Earl Grey tea powder*
10g unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract

* If you are unable to get Earl Grey tea powder, heat up 250g of milk until it starts to bubble. Remove from heat and steep 3-5 Earl Grey tea bags (adjust number of bags according to how strong you want the tea flavour) for 5 min. Squeeze the tea bags to extract as much tea flavour out. Weigh out 200g of milk tea for making custard.

1. Sift together cornflour and Earl grey tea powder (if using) into a bowl. Add sugar and whisk together. Add egg yolks and whisk until a paste is formed. Set aside.

2. Heat milk with vanilla extract until it starts to bubble. Remove from heat and slowly pour into egg yolk mixture while stirring all the time.

3. Pour the mixture back into saucepan. Heat on medium low heat while whisking all the time. Keep an eye on the mixture as it will suddenly thicken. Once it thickens, remove from heat and continue whisking. This is to prevent the custard from becoming lumpy. Return to heat while whisking until desired consistency, like curd. Remove from heat now and then to whisk if necessary.

4. Add butter and mix well. Sieve the custard into a bowl. Press a cling wrap over the custard surface. Refrigerate until ready to fill the pastry. You may make this up to a few days ahead of time.

I made chocolate and Earl Grey custard at the same time actually. Stay tuned for another creative choux pastry in the future!

I have more or less settled down with a Choux pastry case recipe that I like. One that remains crisp for a long time and is puffy.

Choux pastry case recipe
Ingredients (makes about 18-20 crosses):
50g water
50g milk
50g unsalted butter
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp sugar
60g bread flour
6g plain flour*
1 tsp cocoa powder, sifted
2 eggs (100g), one egg in each bowl lightly beaten**

* You may use all bread flour or replace more bread flour with plain flour depending on your preference. Plain flour gives it a more tender bite while bread flour helps the case to be crispier and structurally stronger

** Place both eggs in one bowl if you are making plain pastry case without cocoa powder.

1. Sift together plain and bread flour into a bowl. Preheat oven to 180℃ and set oven rack to middle position

2. Place water, milk, sugar, salt and butter into a saucepan. Bring to a boil while stirring. Remove from heat and pour the flour in all at once. Mix well to make sure all the flour absorb the liquid.

3. Divide the dough into two equal portions (omit if you aren't using cocoa powder to colour half the cases dark brown). Add sifted cocoa powder to one portion and mix well with spatula.

4. Return each portion of the dough to cook over medium low heat for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and continue to knead the dough with a spatula in a bowl to let it cool for a couple of minutes. This also helps gluten to form.

5. For each colour of batter, gradually add beaten egg and mix well after each addition. The batter is ready when it appears shiny and yet leaves a trough that doesn't collapse when you run a finger across the batter surface.

6. Transfer into piping bag fitted with a Wilton #12 (or larger) tip, preferably 2cm in diameter. Pipe the crosses by piping a long straight line, and then two dollops at each side of the line. Tap down any peaks with a wet finger to prevent it from burning in the oven.

Piped crosses

7. You may sprinkle a little water on the baking mat around the piped pastry. This is to help the pastry rise more in the oven with the steam that it creates.

8. Bake for 30-40 min or until baked through. Turn off the oven and let it cool inside for 10 minutes before removing from oven. Pierce the sides with a toothpick to release any steam while the pastry cases are still warm. Cool completely on cooling rack.

Freshly baked shells

You may fill the shells by poking a couple of holes to insert a piping tip for filling with cream or slicing into half. I chose to slice the cases in half so the filling is like a sandwich. If you are not slicing the pastry case into half, please coat the cases with chocolate before filling with pastry cream.

I coated the shells with two types of chocolate --- dark chocolate and Earl Grey white chocolate. Do choose good quality chocolate for better taste. You may just coat with one type if you prefer.

I melted the chocolate with a little vegetable shortening to help it to flow more easily (especially white chocolate). Ratio is 50g of chocolate and 5g of shortening. I added about 1/2 tsp Earl Grey tea powder to melted white chocolate. Pipe the melted chocolate on and let it set.

Pipe the pastry cream onto the bottom half of the case as you like. Sandwich with the top pastry case.

Refrigerate until ready to serve but it's most delicious when the crisp cases are freshly filled with smooth, cold cream.

Feedback from my friend who shared it with her Bible study group was these were really very delicious. Do give it a try :)

With love,
Phay Shing

No comments:

Post a Comment