Nielsen-Massey Vanillas

Mini Vanilla and Chocolate Eclairs

Mini Vanilla and Chocolate Eclairs

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For the pastry:
2 oz.55 g unsalted butter, cut into small squares
2 1/2 fl. oz.75 ml whole milk
1/2 cup65 g white plain flour
2 medium eggs, lightly whisked
2 teaspoons2 teaspoons Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract 

For the vanilla custard filling:
8.5 fl. oz.250 ml whole milk
1 1/2 teaspoons1 1/2 teaspoons Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste or Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract
5 medium egg yolks, lightly whisked
1/3 cup75 g superfine sugar (also known as golden caster sugar in UK)
1 tablespoon white plain flour
2 teaspoons cornstarch (cornflour in the UK)

For the dark chocolate glaze:
3 1/2 fl. oz.105 ml heavy cream (also similar to double cream in UK)
1 tablespoon soft brown sugar
1 teaspoon1 teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract
3 1/2 oz.100 g dark chocolate (70%), chopped
1 oz.28 g unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 430 degrees F220 degrees C, 390 degrees F200 degrees C fan, gas mark 7. To make the buns, heat the milk, butter and 1 1/2 fl. oz.44 ml of water very gently in a small saucepan until all the butter has melted. Meanwhile, sift the flour into a bowl and add a pinch of salt, then increase the heat and bring the liquid to a boil. As soon as it starts to boil, remove from the heat and beat in the flour with a wooden spoon for 3-4 minutes back on a low heat, until the mixture is smooth and glossy, and leaves the sides of the pan.

Remove from the heat and beat in the eggs a little at a time, add Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Extract. Continue to beat for another 3-4 minutes to a smooth, shiny dough. Spoon into a piping bag with a 1/2-inch1-centimeter plain nozzle. Pipe 513 x 3 1/2 inches9 cm long lengths (about 1 inch3 cm wide) of the dough on to the prepared baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes, or until golden. Using a small knife, make a slit along the side of each eclair to open it out. Place cut side up and return to the oven, turn off the heat and leave the door slightly open for 5 -10 minutes to dry out the pastry. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the filling, bring the milk just to a boil in a saucepan with the Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Bean Paste. Meanwhile, mix together the egg yolks, sugar and flours in a bowl. Pour on the hot milk while continuously whisking, and then return the custard into a wide-based clean pan. Cook over a very gentle heat, stirring until the mix is thicker than a custard, (it may get lumpy but continue to stir until the lumps disappear) Transfer to another mixing bowl and place some cling film/plastic wrap directly onto the surface. Leave to cool, then chill.

Meanwhile, make the chocolate glaze. Heat the cream, sugar and Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Extract until the sugar has dissolved fully. Add the chocolate and stir until melted. Remove from the heat and finally add the butter, stirring until smooth and glossy. Set aside until needed.

When the custard is completely cold, add the cream and beat with an electric whisk until it holds its shape again. Transfer to a piping bag with a 1/2-inch1-centimeter plain nozzle and fill each eclair. Spread the chocolate glaze over the top of each eclair and leave to set before serving.

Preparation time: 30 minutes, plus chilling
Cooking time: 40 minutes
You will need: a large non-stick baking sheet, lightly oiled or lined with baking parchment.
Makes 12

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