A Great British Bake Off Classic – the Lavender éclair

August 23rd, 2016 Posted by Recipes No Comment yet

The éclair is a firm favourite on the Great British Bake Off when it comes to challenging the bakers with French patisserie.

We have recreated the classic choux pastry recipe but added a slight twist replacing the traditional  chocolate topping with white icing and a lavender crème patissière filling.


For 12 éclairs

For the choux pastry:
– 250ml water
– 200g flour
– 100g unsalted butter
– 1 pinch of salt
– 4 whole eggs

For the lavender crème patissière:
– 50cl whole milk
– 100g caster sugar
– 50g corn flour
– 1 whole egg or 2 egg yolks
– 100g unsalted butter
– lavender extract

For the icing:
– 500g fondant white icing
– Purple food colouring


For the choux pastry:
Place the butter, salt and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil.

Remove from the heat and add all of the flour.

Stir with a wooden spatula until smooth.

The resulting dough is called ‘panada’. Return the saucepan to the heat to dry off the panada. Stir until the paste doesn’t stick the sides of the saucepan and forms a ball.

Transfer the panada to the mixer bowl and beat for a few minutes with the flat beater until cool.

Beat in the eggs one by one and set the mixer to a low speed.

Don’t worry if the egg doesn’t bind with the mixture immediately, continue to mix and it will start to combine after a while.

Pipe the éclair mixture onto a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Each éclair should be around 12-13cm and arranged in staggered lines.

I recommend using a fluted nozzle for the piping, which helps to regulate the shape of the éclair.

Bake in a preheated oven at 170°C (gas 3) until golden and hollow. These éclairs don’t need to be glazed with egg wash since they will be coated with icing later on.

For the lavender crème pâtissière:
Add milk to a saucepan and bring to the boil.

Whilst the milk boils, combine the sugar with the eggs in a mixing bowl.

Whisk the mixture until light and fluffy.

Add the corn flour.

When the milk starts boiling add it to the cream mixture and whisk.

Transfer the combined mixture into the saucepan used to boil the milk and cook over a medium heat for 3 minutes. Stir constantly to make sure that the cream does not stick to the bottom of the pan.

Transfer the mixture into the mixing bowl and set at high speed until the cream has cooled down completely.

Add one teaspoon of the lavender extract to flavour the cream. Taste the mixture and add more as necessary. The more extract you add, the more intense the flavour will be.

Add the softened butter and beat for a further 3 minutes at maximum speed.

By now, the choux pastry should be ready.

Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Once cooled, use the tip of a knife or a filling nozzle to pierce the underside of each éclair in three places.

Pour the lavender crème pâtissière into a piping bag fitted with a filling nozzle (6-8mm diameter).

Pipe the cream into each of the pierced holes until the bun is evenly filled. Make sure you do not squeeze the piping bag too hard, otherwise the éclair could burst. Wipe away any excess cream that may have spilled out.

Repeat this process until all of the éclairs are filled.

Place in the fridge to cool.

For the lavender icing:
For this recipe, I used fondant white icing as a base.

Soften the fondant icing over a bain-marie. Use a digital thermometer to monitor the temperature. To ensure a glossy effect, the temperature should not exceed 37-40°C.

Add a few drops of purple food colouring, add more for a darker colour.

Combine gently with a spatula until the colouring is fully incorporated.

Icing the éclair:
Take one éclair and carefully dip it into the hot icing (which should be a maximum temperature of 40°C). Dip the éclair lightly into the mixture 3 or 4 times.

Lift the éclair and let the excess drip off.

Slide the edge of a spatula over the icing until even.

Wipe with your fingertip to create a neat, round end on the coating. Place the coated éclair on a baking sheet and let cool. As it sets, the icing should be smooth and glossy.

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