Pâte à choux logs filled with a marvelous, almond-flavored crème pâtissiere are embellished with piped crème chantilly and sprinkled with chopped, toasted almonds for a show-stopping presentation. Pictured with our Pomegranate Panna Cottas.
Almond Crème Éclairs
- ¾ cup water
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and softened
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- Almond Pastry Crème (recipe follows)
- Vanilla Crème Chantilly (recipe follows)
- Garnish: chopped toasted sliced almonds
- Preheat oven to 400°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a pencil and a ruler, draw 18 (2½-inch) evenly spaced lines onto parchment paper sheet. Turn parchment paper over.
- In a medium saucepan, combine ¾ cup water, butter, sugar, and salt. Cook over medium heat until butter melts. Add flour, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon. Cook until dough pulls away from sides of pan, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand for 2 minutes, stirring a few times to cool dough.
- Transfer dough to a large bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating with a mixer at medium speed until well incorporated. (Dough should be smooth and shiny.)
- Transfer dough to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip (Sunny Side Up Bakery #2A*). Holding tip approximately ¾-inch above parchment paper, apply even pressure to bag and slowly pipe out an oblong shape along each traced line. As you reach the end of each line, begin lessening pressure on piping bag. Stop applying pressure, and lift bag, leaving a small curl at end of piped dough. Wet a finger with water, and press down tips of dough. (If dough needs additional shaping, pat with a damp finger.)
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Reduce oven temperature to 350°. Bake until éclairs are very golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. (Insides will be dry.) Let cool completely on wire racks.
- Place Almond Pastry Crème in a piping bag fitted with large round tip (Sunny Side Up Bakery #2A*).
- Using a small sharp knife, cut a slit in one end of each éclair. Place piping tip into slit in an éclair. Apply gentle pressure on piping bag to fill éclair with pastry crème until éclair feels heavy. Repeat with remaining éclairs and pastry créme.
- Place Crème Chantilly in a piping bag fitted with a large star tip (Wilton #1M). Pipe a decorative ruffle on tops of each éclair.
- Garnish with chopped toasted almonds, if desired. Serve immediately, or place in a covered container and refrigerate for up to a day.
Almond Pastry Crème
Serves: Approximately 2½ cups
- 2 cups whole milk
- 4 large egg yolks
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a medium saucepan, heat milk over medium-high heat until very hot, bubbles form around edge of pan, and milk is steaming.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar. Gradually add hot milk to egg mixture, whisking constantly. Add cornstarch and salt, whisking until incorporated. Using a fine-mesh sieve, strain mixture back into saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture starts to bubble and thickens. Add butter, almond extract, and vanilla extract, whisking well.
- Transfer pastry crème to a heatproof container. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap, pressing wrap directly onto surface of pastry crème to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until very cold, at least 4 hours or overnight, before using.
Vanilla Crème Chantilly
Serves: approximately 1 cup
- 1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a deep bowl, beat together cream, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla extract with a mixer at high speed until thickened and creamy. Use immediately.