I never used to like éclairs until I tried them in France and since then, I’ve become a convert. What I didn’t realise was that éclairs didn’t need to be filled with Chantilly cream. I know some people love the airiness of the cream and it’s like taking little bites of clouds, but I never find it satisfying, and I also don't like how with each bite, the cream oozes out of the éclair making it a messy affair!
So when we were in the French Riviera, the patisseries were so inviting, I couldn’t resist, particularly when everything was made in bite size. The chocolate and coffee éclairs were amazing and I’ve been in love with the crème patissiere filling and the fondant glaze since.
I also love profiteroles. They’re essentially the round version of an éclair, and so much easier to make, simply because piping éclairs has always eluded me. Instead of slender little fingers, I always end up with fat wonky sausages! On the other hand, piping profiteroles is so easy, a nice little dallop and they puff up into the cutest round balls.
I also must confess that I’d never made choux pastry before. I've always left it to my husband, my excuse being that my puny little arms lacked the manpower to beat the dough together! But I figured it was about time I learned to make choux pastry, and it is surprisingly very easy, and I’m glad to say my puny little arms held up to the challenge. Although if I was to make a larger batch, I would definitely need to work out a bit more!
There’s also something oddly satisfying and therapeutic about piping a beautifully made choux batter, however as you can see below, my piping skills still leave a lot to be desired.