Coco pop eclairs
Makes 53 tiny mini eclairs (you can make them much bigger if you like)
For the crème pat:
250ml full fat milk
35g coco pops
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 whole egg
1 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the choux:
150mls cold water
50g cold, unsalted butter
65g strong white flour
5g castor sugar
2 large eggs
For the topping:
100g milk chocolate, melted
25g coco pops
Leave the coco pops in the milk for at least an hour to infuse. Strain and discard the pops. Stir the cornflour into 1/3 of the cold milk. In a small saucepan, mix the rest of the milk with sugar and bring to the boil. Remove from heat and set aside.
Stir the egg and yolks into the cornflour mixture. Gradually add the hot milk to the egg and cornflour mixture. Pour the mixture back into the small saucepan. Stir constantly on a low heat until the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat, add the butter and vanilla and stir until smooth. Pour into a bowl, pop clingfilm on the top (touching the crème pat to avoid a skin) and chill.
Preheat the oven to Gas 6/200C. Line two baking trays with non-stick parchment. Weigh out the flour and the caster sugar into a jug. Crack your eggs into a mug and give them a good whisk. Find a medium sized saucepan and put it directly onto your scales and pour in the water. Then add the butter in small cubes – about 1cm by 1cm.
Put the saucepan, with the water and butter in, onto a high heat. You will notice the little slithers of butter dissolving and then, all of a sudden, you’ll notice it boiling. Take it off the heat now! Don’t leave it a second longer. You need that moisture to stay in the mixture.
Pop the pan onto a tea towel and place the whisks (attached to the hand held mixer) into the liquid filled saucepan. Turn onto a low setting then with your other hand add the jug of flour and sugar. Mix for 60 seconds. It will look a bit like overworked mashed potato at this point. This is fine.
Next add the beaten egg in tablespoons, mixing well with the electric mixer between additions. Once you’ve added the lot, the resulting mix will be glossy and smooth and look a little like custard. Don’t carry on beating once all the egg is well mixed.
Pipe the mixture into 5cm long strips about 5cm apart. Bake for 10 minutes. Check after this long and I’d advise swapping your trays around to allow both trays a chance at even baking. Then turn the heat up to Gas 7/220C and keep a bit of an eye on them. They need to be golden brown all over. Should take another five – 10 minutes. Don’t try to take your buns off the baking tray until they’re a good colour or they’ll stick.
When they look a good brown colour remove onto a wire rack and slice with a serrated knife, sideways, leaving one side attached. Turn the oven down to Gas 4/180C. Wait for 10 minutes.
Put all the eclairs back onto the trays and into the oven for a final crisp up, now with opened out. I sometimes leave mine in there for another 15/20 minutes to get them really well baked but do keep an eye on them as they can go from crispy to a literal crisp texture (talking salt and vinegar variety here) in minutes.
Pipe with cooled crème pat then swirl melted chocolate over the top and sprinkle with coco pops.
– Navmeen Khot
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