Jennifer Yee, Top Ten Pastry Chef of 2014, presents her Butterscotch Coffee Eclairs.
Yield: 4 dozen 3” éclairs
Pâte à Choux:
- 6 oz/170 g water
- 6 oz/170 g milk, preferably skim or 2%
- 4 oz/113 g unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1½ tsp granulated sugar
- ¾ tsp salt
- 7.5 oz/213 g all-purpose flour
- 6 large eggs
1. In a medium saucepan, bring water, milk, butter, sugar and salt to a boil. Turn off heat and immediately dump all the flour into the pot at once. With a wooden spoon, stir until the mixture is homogenous. Now turn the heat back onto medium, and continue cooking and stirring until a thin film of dough sticks to the bottom of the pan. This should take about 5 minutes.
2. Transfer this hot batter into the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium low speed about 2 minutes to allow batter to cool down a bit before adding eggs. Drop eggs into moving batter, one at a time and scraping bowl between each addition. The batter should have a silky paste consistency. Cover this batter with plastic wrap right on the surface and chill for about an hour. This will firm up the batter and make for easier piping later.
3. Once chilled, place batter in a pastry bag fitted with a large French star tip, such as Ateco #879. Pipe 3” long tubes of batter onto parchment or Silpat lined sheet trays, about 3” apart. Lightly mist the piped eclairs with a water sprayer. This keeps the batter moist and prevents too much cracking in the oven. Place trays of eclairs in a 375°F preheated oven and bake until golden all over, about 30-40 minutes. (Please don’t be tempted to open the oven door until they have at least gotten a good amount of color, as this will allow the steam in the oven to escape, which may deflate the éclairs.)
4. Once baked and golden, turn off the oven and allow to cool completely in the oven with the DOOR OPEN. This will allow the interior of the eclairs to dry out and allow for more filling.
- 5.5 oz/156 g dark brown sugar
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 oz/30 g water
- 17 oz/482 g heavy cream
- 8 oz/227 g whole milk
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1 large egg
- 1.25 oz/35.4 oz cornstarch
- 1.5 oz/42 g unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 tsp dark rum
1. In a medium saucepan, cook the brown sugar, salt and water over medium heat until mixture is smoky and reduces down to a sticky caramel paste, all the while stirring with a wooden spoon to prevent scorching. This will take about 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, heat cream and milk in another saucepot to a scald. Once the caramel is done, turn of the heat and slowly and carefully add the liquid, stirring at the same time. Bring this mixture to a boil, then turn off the heat.
3. Whisk together the yolks, egg and cornstarch in a medium bowl until homogenous. Pour about a cup of the hot liquid into the egg mixture and whisk vigorously to prevent the eggs from curdling. Whisk in another cup of liquid. Now pour this hot egg mixture back into the pot and cook on medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens slightly. This will take about another 5 minutes. Whisk in the rum and butter off the heat until fully incorporated. Now transfer this mixture to a medium bowl to cool. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap right on the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming. Place in the refrigerator to cool completely, about 4 hours or preferably overnight.
- 10 oz/283 g fondant icing
- 1 tsp warm water
- 1 tsp coffee extract, such as Trablit
- Medium ground coffee for sprinkling
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until completely homogenous. Place bowl over a pot of lightly simmering water. Stir constantly until mixture reaches 95°F. Use immediately.
1. Punch 3 small holes in the bottom of each éclair using a small star pastry tip or the end of a pair of scissors. Place butterscotch pudding in a pastry bag and snip a small opening in the end. Pipe the pudding into the three holes until pudding starts to ooze out through them a little. The filled eclairs should feel heavy for their size.
2. Dip the top third of each éclair in the coffee glaze and sweep of any excess glaze with index finger. Place on a tray, glaze side up. Once you have glazed a few, sprinkle some coffee grounds along the length of the glaze. Gently press the grounds into the still soft glaze to adhere. Repeat with the remaining eclairs and allow the glaze to set before serving, about 10 minutes. The glaze is best used at 95F, so if it cools too much while dipping, place bowl over simmering water again to correct temperature. They can be kept in the fridge until ready to serve.