St Patrick’s Day is just around the corner. I have never really celebrated it in the traditional way but I am all for finding new fun ways to put alcohol into baking. These cupcakes are the most popular flavour (at any time of year). Another alternative involving a white chocolate Bailey’s ganache can be found here. Or if you prefer try this tart or these doughnuts 🙂
This year it’s éclairs. I love choux pastry, light and crispy on the outside and it loves being a vessel for whatever tasty filling you have prepared.
You can make the dark chocolate mousse the day before, it will keep covered in the fridge for 2 days. The éclairs can also be made the day or two before and kept in an airtight container at room temperature. If I do this I like to refresh them in a hot oven for 5 ish minutes just to crisp them up again.
Now if you are anything like my dad and can not stand the idea of green food colouring in your food then there is no need to St Patrick’s day them up. The green drizzle is just the extra ganache turned green.
Just a final note, don’t be scared of choux pastry. Cooking shows make it out to be something hard and temperamental but it isn’t. You don’t need anything fancy, just a saucepan and a spatula and you are just a few short moments away from a beautifully puffed up light as air éclair. Positive thinking, you can do it!
Dark Chocolate Guinness Mousse Éclairs with Baileys White Chocolate Ganache
A PhD Original
Makes 16 Éclairs
Dark Chocolate Guinness Mousse
100 g dark chocolate (roughly chopped)
1/4 cup Guinness
pinch of salt
1 cup cream
(optional 2 tbsp icing sugar, I don’t add it as I like a really bitter mousse)
200 mL water
75 g butter
100 g flour
3 eggs lightly beaten
Baileys White Chocolate Ganache
100 g white chocolate
2 tbsp cream
1 tbsp Baileys
1. (Mousee) Heat the Guinness in a saucepan till simmering. Pour over the chopped dark chocolate and salt and leave to sit for 1 minute. Stir till smooth and set aside to cool to room temperatures.
2. Once the chocolate mixture has cooled whip the cream till soft peaks form. Turn the mixer speed down and slowly add the chocolate mixture in a tablespoon at a time. Once all the chocolate is added finish folding the mousse together by hand. Cover the mousse with cling film and allow to set in the fridge (for at least 2 hours or for up to 2 days).
3. (Éclair Pastry) Preheat the oven to 200 °C. Heat the butter and water in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and pour the flour in. Stir quickly to combine and keep stirring till it forms a ball of paste and the sides of the pan are clean. Set aside to cool for 15-20 minutes.
4. Place the flour paste in a bowl and add a little of the lightly beaten eggs. Stir till combined and then add more egg till it is all combined (it should have a soft dropping consistency that you can still pipe).
5. Line a baking tray with baking paper and transfer the pastry dough to a piping bag with a round open tip. Pipe out 10 cm lengths of pasty. Place in the middle rack of the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Once out of the oven carefully cut slits in the sides of the éclair to let the steam out (this stops them going soggy).
6. (Ganache) Roughly chop the white chocolate and place in a microwave dish with the 2 tablespoons of cream. Heat on medium low heat in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Add the Baileys and set aside to cool (if you need to speed this up place the bowl in the fridge and stir every 5 minutes).
7. To assemble pipe or spoon the mousse into the centre of the éclairs. Dip the filled éclairs into the ganache and set on a tray to set. If you want to add colour add some green food colouring gel to the rest of the ganache and use a small piping tip to drizzle it over the éclair tops.
Best eaten soon after assembly, keep any extras in the fridge for up to 24 hours (they will be a little soggy but delicious!).