what comes to mind when you think of eclairs? are they just vanilla custard choux puffs with a hastily applied chocolate glaze which look ugly rustic at best? to me, they're far from that boring ol' combination of vanilla and chocolate. when i think eclairs, i think fauchon, the hyperluxe gourmet food shop in paris. fauchon is definitely synonymous with eclairs and here's why. decked in all sorts of flavors and designs imaginable, from the mona lisa eyes to garden peas to leopard prints on the icing, you'll never look at eclairs the same way again. even without all these adornments i feel that an eclair should be elegant looking - long and thin and topped with a shiny fondant glaze. therefore i started by trying out a relatively safe coffee flavor and pairing them with coffee creme patissiere, coffee fondant glaze + cocoa nibs for that extra crunch.
once again i can't help but use another pierre herme's recipe. his recipe for the pâte à choux is really really good its the only one i ever use these days. using a combination of milk and water for the dough, the puffs came out really nice and buttery. much better than recipes that use water alone. while i feel that the taste is close to perfection, i can't say the same for its appearance. still not happy with how they look so i still hv lots to improve on when it comes to piping the choux.
recipe sources : chocolate desserts by pierre herme (pate a choux), paris sweets by dorie greenspan(creme patissiere) for fauchon