Eclair with chestnut cream

Average Reading Time: 3 minutes

An eclair with chestnut cream will be the dessert of my 3-course menu for Christmas. It works in the menu but also as a delicious wintery dish on a stand-alone basis. I have a main article with the complete 3-course menu for you here. Also here are the links to the starter (creamy mushroom soup with chestnuts) and the main dish (Beef Wellington with mushrooms and chestnuts).

Delhaize

This article has been published in a collaboration with Delhaize. They sponsored the bigger part of the used ingredients. They set-up a challenge every month, outlining a few guidelines. For the December 2016 challenge, the guidelines are a “3-course menu for Christmas”. Furthermore, they ask to mainly use products of their home brand and set a budget. In this case, besides those guidelines Delhaize only asked to publish what I did with the budget.

Eclair with chestnut cream

The main reason why I picked eclair for the dessert is because they look really fancy, taste great, but aren’t too difficult to create. Boy, was I wrong! But let’s start at the beginning…

There is a big difference between cooking, baking, and pastry. Those three topics are separate trades for a reason. I am a really great amateur chef, a decent baker and an OK-ish pastry chef. An eclair demands plenty of finesse and making a proper cream isn’t that straightforward. Especially if you do more than whipped cream, like in this recipe.

My first try on the eclair dough was a disaster. The dough looked weird and when I baked it – I simply gave it a try – nothing happened. I re-did the eclair dough and had my wife oversee it (She’s an amazing baker and a really great pastry chef. She did our wedding cupcakes and the wedding cake!). This time it worked not perfectly, but I ended up with two neat looking eclairs and several eclair balls. The taste was great.

Eclair with chestnut cream

Eclair with chestnut cream

Then I did the cream, it worked fine, tasted great. Or though I thought. One of the steps is to properly blend the chestnut mix. I didn’t do that. I mashed it up until it looked fine. When I tried to fill the cream into the pastry, a small piece got stuck in the pastry tube and boom:

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Quite a mess, a tasty one, but a mess nonetheless. Together with my wife we ate all of the disaster and out of the remains wanted to make at least one decent looking eclair for you guys. Here’s where I kind of messed up again. I didn’t cool the cream well enough. This means that by now it started to lose texture and got a little runny. I hurried to make the eclair and plated it. All things considered, it looks okay:

Eclair with chestnut cream

Eclair with chestnut cream

You can see how the cream isn’t as creamy as you’d imagine it for an eclair. That being said, it really tasted delicious. The crémant from Poll-Fabaire made for a great finish. In case you aren’t from around Luxembourg. The area here is a very well-known wine region. They make especially great white wines and when it comes to sparkling greatness, crémant is your poison of choice. I personally like it much better than your average sparkling wine and it’s also better than most champagnes in my opinion. If you have a chance to give crémant a try, do it. I am sure you’ll love it.

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3-course Menu for Christmas

When I received the guidelines for the challenge I wanted to make something I had never cooked before, but also use ingredients I enjoy working with. Finally, they had to also fit the theme. Therefore my main ingredient was instantly found: chestnuts! They are the ultimate winter ingredient in my eyes  (I could eat them ALL THE TIME!) and can be done in so many ways. Chestnuts will be the main ingredient of my 3-course Menu for Christmas and you’ll find it in the starter, main course, and dessert.

If you want to make the full version of my menu you find the remaining dishes here: starter – main. I strongly recommend you prepare the eclair with chestnut cream a day in advance. This will make your live much easier on the big day. You only need to take them out of the fridge, plate them neatly and serve the eclair. This will make your festive dinner much more relaxed and enjoyable – not only for your guests but also or rather especially for the host 😉

Failure, your moment to rise and shine: Eclair with chestnut cream edition

Why do I share this disaster with you? I simply wanted to show you that the internet isn’t a perfect place. It seems like a bubble of perfection, but it truly isn’t. Sometimes things go wrong, but no one sees those tries. I wanted to show you my efforts and tell you that there is nothing wrong with failure.

You cannot succeed without failure and failure is nothing less than the opportunity to learn, rise and shine. Next time I won’t make the mistakes that I made this time. I will become a better baker and pastry chef.

I hope you enjoyed the recipe. Let me know if it worked for you <3

Eclair with chestnut cream
Eclair with chestnut cream
BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list
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Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
40 minutes 60 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
40 minutes 60 minutes
Eclair with chestnut cream
Eclair with chestnut cream
BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list
Yum
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
40 minutes 60 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
40 minutes 60 minutes
Ingredients
Eclair
Servings: people
Instructions
Eclair
  1. Bring water with salt, sugar and butter to a boil.
  2. Once the butter is completely liquid, bring heat to minimum and add the flour.
  3. Stir thoroughly until the dough doesn't stick to the pot anymore. It should look slightly silky.
  4. Put aside and let cool for a few minutes. Then add the first egg to the still warm dough. Mix it in (best with a mixer, by hand will be hard work). Once the dough absorbed the egg you can add the remaining ones - one by one!
  5. Once that is done preheat your oven to 220°C. Place baking paper on a baking pan.
  6. Put the dough in a pastry tube and make your eclairs. They should be abour 6 cm long.
  7. Bake in the oven for 8 minutes, then reduce heat to 180°C and bake for another 12 minutes.
  8. Once they are done, let them cool down.
Chestnut Cream
  1. Chop chestnuts and put them in a pot with the milk, 1 tbsp sugar and bring to a boil.
  2. Let it simmer with a lid on the pot for around 10 minutes. Then you need to let it cool down.
  3. Optional: If you want to add the saffron gin, now is the time Blend the chestnut mix thoroughly. Make sure there are NO chunks in the mixture anymore (I messed up exactly this step).
  4. Whip the cream with the remaining sugar.
  5. Gently fold in the whipped cream into the chestnut mix.
  6. Place in the fridge for at least one hour, two are better (I messed up this part too, there are no shortcuts in this recipe).
Eclair with chestnut cream
  1. Now you can use the pastry tube again if you like. Use a syringe-like top, add the cream and fill the eclairs. OR Cut the eclair in half and use a star-like top, add the cream and place the cream on top of the bottom part. Put top part on cream.
  2. If you do the menu, you can prepare until here and place it in the fridge. You could do this in the morning already. Otherwise: Enjoy!
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