Strawberry Eclairs is a sponsored post on behalf of Robert Rose Publishing. All images used with permission. This post contains affiliate links.
Usually when we think of the traditional eclair, images of a long choux pastry filled with cream and topped with chocolate come to mind. This is quite the opposite for Pastry Chef extraordinaire Christophe Adam. He has taken the 200 year-old dessert and given it a complete makeover. Christophe’s new book, Eclairs: Easy, Elegant, and Modern Recipes is jam packed full of interesting and unusual twists on the French classic.
Eclairs are traditionally made with choux dough that is baked until golden and hollow on the inside (this naturally makes way for the filling!). Once they have cooled, some sort of pastry cream is then piped into the middle. A common filling is vanilla custard but chocolate and coffee are also sometimes used. Classic eclairs are then topped with either fondant, chocolate or a fruit puree.
Eclairs: Easy, Elegant, and Modern Recipes features unconventional and lavish flavors such as currant, apricot, passion fruit and fig, but you’ll also find the traditional (and everyone’s favorite) chocolate. There are more step by step photographs than any other cookbook I’ve ever seen. It’s as if Christophe is in the kitchen with you, teaching you 1-on-1 in a private cooking session.
Inside the beautiful softback you’ll find 35 recipes (15 beginner then 20 more intermediate and advanced) along with 100 photographs to match. One of my favorite recipes are the strawberry eclairs that are filled with pistachio cream (and Robert Rose Publishing was kind enough to let me share it with you)!
To make Strawberry Eclairs:
The number one thing that I look for in a good cookbook is that both weights and measures are given. I prefer to use a scale for my ingredients since it’s more accurate and is actually much quicker than using measuring cups and leveling them off! I also love how the ingredients are broken down by category too.
The step-by-step directions are what make the Eclairs cookbook so much better than the rest. (It kinda reminds me of our culinary school textbooks!) With the clear and concise photos, I can easily tell if I’m doing a certain step correctly or if I’m completely off base.
I was actually surprised that Christophe didn’t require a bunch of fancy tools and utensils. I already have most everything listed and I would imagine most other home bakers do too. The equipment list includes things like a saucepan, mixing bowl, wooden spoon, pastry brush, scales etc. with an immersion blender being the most “uncommon” item mentioned.
I noticed that a lot of the recipe components can be used for other things as well. For instance, these candied pistachios would be amazing with homemade ice cream (right, Ruth!?) or even as a topping on a crisp salad!
Remember when I said “It’s exactly as if Christophe was right there with you?” Check out these assembly photos – I seriously don’t think it could be any more clear. Once you master the easy-to-follow directions of the basic techniques, you’ll be ready to recreate his stunning eclairs (or even develope amazing flavor combinations of your own!).
Another tricky element of written recipes is how to properly finish them. Most will simply say to “top with whipped ganache, strawberries, and candied pistachios“. Okay…..but how? With the Eclairs cookbook, there is no question on how to make these look elegant.
I like to wrap up these review posts with the question: “Would I recommend this book?”
My answer to this is yes, but I would think that a home baker would enjoy it much more than someone who simply enjoys cooking. Granted, the supply list includes things that most people already own and the step by step photos are ideal, but I still feel it’s geared more towards those who REALLY enjoy baking (or those who would like to step up their game!).
You can purchase Christophe Adam’s book, Eclairs: Easy, Elegant, and Modern Recipes on Amazon or wherever books are sold.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post courtesy of ÉCLAIRS by Christophe Adam © 2017 www.robertrose.ca However, all opinions expressed are my own, including thoughts in tweets. I received compensation, either monetarily, with a free product or both in exchange for this post. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.