Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Cappuccino Eclairs

When you bake a lot it can be easy to get stuck in a flavour rut. Chocolate, it probably goes without saying is a flavour I return to again and again. It is never a very long period of time that passes in between my chocolate bakes. I think every blogger or baker also has certain fruit they always have in their house and therefore bake with – for me it is probably lemons and apples. However, particularly when it comes to summer and there is lots of seasonal fresh fruit to use, I love expanding my repertoire and using new flavours. Whilst there are sadly still a few months until summer gets into its stride I have still recently been enjoying other opportunities to bake with underused flavours in my kitchen.DSCF9490Of course coffee isn’t an unknown or unused ingredient – it is estimated that in the UK we drink 70 million cups a day, pretty remarkable for a country with a population of 62 million! Nevertheless, it is definitely one I forget to use in baking, probably because it is such a standby I forget it can shine on its own. I was thrilled when Whittard sent me a package of this Brazilian roast coffee, giving me a chance to experiment. This was shortly followed by shock when I realised I’ve only done 5 coffee recipes on here in nearly 5 years of blogging and not one of my 300 To Bake recipes had coffee in! This time I really wanted the coffee to shine and be the star of the show, something which surprisingly I found quite difficult to do. DSCF9496So many recipes combined coffee with something else – normally chocolate, making mocha dishes, but I also saw it paired with flavours as diverse as lime or coconut. I must have seen hundreds of coffee cake recipes and whilst they are delicious I wanted to try something a bit different. Coffee éclairs were my first thought and after looking at lots of different things I couldn’t get these out of my mind. I really enjoy making choux pastry and making éclairs gave me a chance to practice my dreaded piping skills. As you can see from the photo, I ended up with quite a motley crew of shapes but they still all tasted good! DSCF9495I chose this recipe by Simon Rimmer from the TV show Something for the Weekend (now Sunday Brunch, which I love) because it has a double hit – the coffee whipped cream filling and coffee fudge icing. My only note about this recipe is that I managed about 15 eclairs instead of the 6-8 the recipe suggests and some of mine were already pretty big! I found the whole process strangely therapeutic and I was really pleased with the strong coffee flavour that came through in the end. Often éclairs can be very sweet with lots of chocolate or rich vanilla pastry cream so I think the bitterness of coffee really helps balance this. I am definitely looking forward to adding to my coffee recipe collection here in the future – I’ve seen a very tempting cappuccino pavlova by Nigella and espresso granita by Jacob Kennedy I’d like to try. Until then, enjoy the éclairs! :)

6 comments:

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Beautiful eclairs! That is one tempting treat. One can never get tired of chocolate...

Cheers,

Rosa

La Table De Nana said...

Mademoiselle..
Wow..these look amazing:-)
Cappuccino..a flavor of choice for me.
You're so good Lucy:-)

Rebecca Subbiah said...

wow impressive love eclairs be proud

Laura Dembowski said...

Such a beautiful dessert! They would be so elegant to serve at a dinner party!

The Caked Crusader said...

Ooh - they've come out well. Love the cream filling - I always prefer it to creme pat in an eclair!

Maggie said...

I definitely have eclair envy - they look really professional and as a coffee lover these would be my top choice.