I just recently came back on a spring break trip with the fam to France and Morocco. It was, needless to say, really awesome. We shopped at countless vintage stores, ate heavenly food until we were too stuffed to move, and explored around Paris.
I went to French Immersion school for a few years so even though I’ve lost a lot of the language, it was good practice for me and I felt the old familiar nuances of the beautiful language come back to me again. I definitely recommend the double-whammy trip, if you’re looking to travel somewhere interesting
For Morocco, it was a slightly different experience, though no less enjoyable: sitting by the pool, shopping in the (slightly intimidating) souks, and searching high and low for as many caramelly dates I could get my sticky paws on were favourite pastimes. Seriously, though. I’d go back just for a plate of dates and a glass of orange-blossom almond milk.
Anyways, I got super inspired by all the pâtisseries in Paris that we got baked goods from. It made me want to speak more French and get a job working at a Parisian bakery and wake up early and ride my vélo down the street and sip espresso as I get ready for the day…agh, but a dream. For now.
I decided to make these eclairs because I had a bite of my sister’s amazing chocolate one and realized that I actually love them! I recreated them with a little bit more of a modern update, earl grey tea, because it makes me feel like a grown up and also I adore tea of all sorts! So. There you go. This takes a little bit more time than any of my previous recipes, but I promise you it’s well worth it.
- 112 g or 1/2 cup good-quality butter
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup water
- 4 large eggs
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups milk or cream
- 3 tbsp earl grey tea, ground in a mortar and pestle
- 2 tbsp flour
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp ground early grey tea
- milk, as needed
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and set the butter, water, and salt in a saucepan to boil.
- When boiling, turn the heat to low and add the flour.
- Stir well until the mixture comes together, like a ball, and then take off the heat. Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs in one at a time and mix until the dough is homogenous and glossy.
- Using a piping bag or a ziploc with a hole cut in the corner, pipe long éclair shapes onto an ungreased baking sheet. (I got 12, but alter the size as you wish!)
- Bake for 40 minutes or until tops are very golden brown and sound hollow when you tap them.
- While the éclairs are cooling, mix all of the ingredients except for the butter in a saucepan.
- Heat gently over medium heat, whisking constantly to get rid of lumps. When the mixture coats the back of a spoon and has thickened considerably, turn off the heat and whisk in the butter.
- Strain through a fine-mesh sieve, and refrigerate until cool.
- Take your room-temperature éclair and poke a hole through one end.
- Using a piping bag, squeeze enough pastry cream into the eclair until it is completely full (it will heavier than normal.) Alternately, you can slice the éclair open and spoon it into the sides.
- Whisk all the icing ingredients together.
- Holding carefully to avoid breakage, dip the long end of the éclair into the icing and leave on a rack to dry. Eat as soon as possible!