Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Recipe: Mini pink eclairs

Mini pink eclairs

Try these fabulous meat-free dishes that are not only delicious, but recession-friendly too.

What you'll need

65g Allinson Nature Friendly plain flour

50g butter, cubed

150ml sparkling water

1 tbsp caster sugar

2 medium free-range eggs, beaten

250ml double cream

For the icing

150g icing sugar, sifted

2-3 tbsp boiling water vegetarian pink food colouring

Makes 18

Preheat the oven to 220°C/gas 7/425°F and line two baking trays with baking paper. Sift the flour into a bowl. Place the butter, water and sugar in a heavy-based saucepan and heat slowly until the butter is melted, then bring the mixture to the boil. Turn off the heat and tip in all the flour.

Beat thoroughly with a wooden spoon until the pastry comes away from the sides of the saucepan and forms a smooth ball in the middle of the pan. Place in a bowl and leave to cool for 15 minutes.

Now gradually beat in the eggs, adding a little at a time, and whisk until the mixture is shiny. Spoon into a large piping bag with a 1cm plain nozzle. Sprinkle the baking tray with a little water then pipe the dough in straight lengths about 7.5cm long, spacing them 7.5cm apart. Cut the choux pastry cleanly away from the end of the nozzle with a knife.

Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the éclairs are pale brown and well risen. Remove immediately from the baking sheet and, with the point of a knife, gently slit the side to let out the steam. (If you do not do this immediately the steam will turn back into water, leaving you with a soggy éclair). Leave them to cool and dry out on a wire rack.

Whip the cream in a small bowl until it is just thick enough to hold its shape. When the éclairs are cooled, pipe or spoon the cream inside. Sieve the icing into a small bowl, add a few drops of boiled water and mix into a smooth consistency. Stir in a little pink colouring and mix to a glossy, even consistency. Drizzle over the tops of the éclairs and allow to set.

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