With the start of the “Entertaining season” I wanted to find something light and delicate to serve as snacks at cocktail parties. I came across a recipe for small cheese éclairs in my much beloved Good French Cook Book from Vicomtesse Mapie Toulouse Lautrec. I followed her recipe exactly and used Comte du Jura for the cheese sauce filling. I just need to be able to improve my conversion of inches into centimetres to get the lengths right, as my éclairs turned out as miniscule eclairs so were a bit difficult to fill, but all in all they worked well and tasted delicious. I recommend pairing them with a chilled glass of Pol Roger Champagne.
- 100g Butter
- 150g Flour
- 3 eggs + 1 egg yolk
- Salt and pepper to taste
A chilled bottle of Pol Roger Champagne from the French Market shop
Directions for the eclairs:
- Preheat oven to 200 C degrees
- Sift the flour into a bowl and add a pinch of salt and pepper
- Melt the butter in a heavy based saucepan.
- Add 300ml water and bring to boil
- Take off the heat and add the flour, stir in immediately with a large wooden spoon.
- Return to the heat and contine mixing in until the dough leaves the sides of the pan and appears smooth.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool a bit.
- Break one egg at a time into a small bowl and mix lightly with a fork.
- Gradually add the egg into the dough and beat in with a large wooden spoon until it blends into the dough.
- Continue with each of the 3 eggs until all the egg liquid is completely mixed into the dough. It’s a bit slippery at first but keep mixing hard and the egg does get absorbed.
- Once the mixture is smooth, spoon it into a pastry piping bag and squeeze out onto a greased baking tray in strips of 8cms ( about a thumb’s length). Leave space in between each one as they rise as they bake.
- Take the remaining egg yolk, add a teaspoonful of water and mix in. Use a brush to lightly paint the tops of the eclairs with yolk.
- Place tray in the oven and bake for at least 15 minutes until well risen and golden. Turn off heat and leave in oven to dry otherwise they go soggy.
- Once completely dry, remove from the oven.
- Slit the eclairs along the side. Open them up and spoon in some cheese filling.
- Fold the top back over and serve.
While the eclairs are cooking make the cheese filling.
Ingredients Cheese filling
- 500ml milk
- 60g butter
- 60g flour
- 100g Comte du Jura from the French Market shop
- Salt and a plenty of pepper
- Sift the flour into a bowl
- Grate the Comte cheese into a bowl
- Melt the butter in a heavy based saucepan
- Take pan off the heat and add all the flour at once, stir in quickly with a wooden spoon.
- Return to heat and cook until a light golden colour, stirring all the time.
- Take off the heat and add all the milk.
- Return to heat stirring all the time to remove any lumps and and increase heat until mixture starts to bubble.
- Stir for a few minutes longer until thick. Add the grated cheese and stir in until smooth.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool.
I recommend pairing these delicate eclairs with a glass of chilled Pol Roger champagne