Caramel and peanut butter fudge eclairs

Not sure why I thought of making these – just wanted to make some that weren’t chocolate for a change but which would appeal to our two teenagers as well as us.

The recipe for the fudge I’ve written up separately – you can find it in my peanut butter fudge post

  • This makes just a few eclairs – about 10. Enough for 4 to 5 people as a dessert of two-ish  each. That’s because I’d rather create a dessert enough for one dinner, and I can make something else the next day! Obviously you can double up quantities if you like for larger numbers.
  • The peanut butter fudge and the caramel sauce can both be made up to a few days ahead
  • Alternatively, you can buy fudge if you aren’t confident with confectionary
  • Leave out the amaretto if you’re serving them to children (can replace with a dash of almond essence)
  • Baking trays, lined with parchment
  • 1 cm round nozzle and large piping bag
  • Smaller nozzle (for piping cream) and piping bag
  • Saucepans
  • Wooden spoon
  • Knife
  • Bowls, jugs
Ingredients – eclairs
  • Strong white bread flour – 65g
  • Eggs, medium – 2
  • Caster sugar – 5g
  • Salt, fine – 5g
  • Unsalted butter – 50g
  • Water – 125ml
Ingredients – caramel
(This is slightly too much for this recipe but it’s easier to cook this amount. It can be kept in the fridge – great for ice cream)
  • Granulated sugar – 50g (you can use all granulated sugar but I think 50/50 give a nuttier flavour)
  • Demerera sugar – 50g
  • Butter – 50g (unsalted or salted: your choice on this one)
  • Double cream – 60ml
Ingredients – Chantilly cream
  • Double cream – 400ml
  • Amaretto liqueur – 1 tablespoon
  • Icing sugar – 2 tablespoons

Method – eclairs

  1. Put the salt and sugar into the flour in a jug or a small diameter bowl (this makes it easier to chuck it all in at once later on)
  2. Break the eggs into a bowl and whisk lightly until they are just broken up (don’t make them frothy)
  3. Bring the butter, water to a rolling boil
  4. When boiling, remove the pan off the heat (keep the burner/hob on though) and tip all the flour/salt/sugar in all at once
  5. Whip vigorously with a wooden spoon until it is all incorporated smoothly and then move the pan back on to the heat
  6. Continue to ship until the dough dries out a little and comes away from the side of the pan and stops sticking to it
  7. Turn off the burner/hob
  8. Tip in half of the egg – you may not need all of it so it’s best to do it this way
  9. Mix it all in until the mixture is smooth
  10. You will now need to add more egg, little by little. You need to aim for a smooth, loose but not runny consistency. The usual explanation is that if you lift a spoon or spatula out of the dough mix it should form a nice ‘V’ shape hanging off the bottom of the spoon
  11. While it is still warm – be careful! – put the dough into the piping bag, fitted with the round nozzle
  12. Put your oven on to 200C fan / 220C conventional
  13. Pipe long lines of choux on the sheet, leaving space for them to puff up. They need to be about 10cm long each
  14. Wet the back of a teaspoon and gently tap down any loose ends of the choux dough
  15. Tip a cupful of water into a baking sheet or ramekin at the bottom of your oven to create some steam
  16. When the oven is at temperature, pop the tray into the oven for 18 -20 mins until they
    are a mid brown. Do NOT open the door! This will flatten your lovely eclairs
  17. Turn the oven off and leave the eclairs in there, undisturbed for another 10 mins
  18. They should be puffed up and firm
  19. Leave them to cool on the tray (one thing I’ve found useful is to roll them all over as this stops the moisture on the bottom of the choux from making the pastry soggy)
  20. These will be ready to fill and decorate when cool

Method – caramel

  1. Tip all the ingredients bar the cream into a heavy bottomed, medium pan (the sugar will bubble)
  2. On a low to medium heat, stir gently until all the ingredients are melted together
  3. Turn up the heat (note: NOT to max temp – just over halfway or you risk burning the sugar and ruining a pan).
  4. Add in the cream and stir to combine as the caramel starts to heat up
  5. Don’t do any rigorous stirring now, but you can ‘swirl’ the wooden spoon through it occasionally to stop hot spots occurring in the caramel, which in turn reduces the risk of burning
  6. Let the caramel bubble away for a minute or two until it goes that nice warm brown colour and has thickened
  7. Pour into a jug, cup or bowl and leave to cool

Method – Chantilly cream

  1. Beat the cream until thickened and then add the icing sugar and amaretto
  2. Whisk in until combined and taste – you may like to add a little more of the liqueur
  3. Spoon into a piping back with a 5mm (or so) round or star nozzle (your preferred choice) ready for use
  4. Method – construction
  5. Take the fudge you made with the recipe on this page (or you can have bought some)
  6. Cut several chunks up into finely diced pieces – enough to sprinkle over all of the eclairs
  7. Take an eclair and make a tiny incision in the top of the eclair (there may be a natural gap there anyway) and pipe the Chantilly cream into this gap. Fill the eclair with the cream
  8. Alternatively, you can slice the eclair lengthways and fill it as if it were a sandwich (this is much less fiddly and creates a taller finished eclair)
  9. Repeat for all eclairs
  10. Take a knife and spread the cooled caramel sauce on the top of each eclair, this will cover the hole you piped through (if you did that method)
  11. Sprinkle the diced fudge on top
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