“This is traditionally called a Paris Brest, which is essentially a chocolate éclair made into a cake. Choux pastry is probably the easiest pastry to make and is even better if you make it the day before. Spoon into a piping bag and seal so that no skin is formed. Chill until needed.” – Abigail Donnelly
- For the eclair
- 1⁄2 cup milk
- 6 T butter
- 1⁄2 cup water
- 130 g flour
- 4 free-range eggs
- For the Chuckles cream:
- 1 cup Woolworths whipping cream
- 100 g Chuckles
- 2 T instant coffee, dissolved in 1 T boiling water
- For the praline:
- 50 g almonds
- 150 g sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 190°C. Heat the milk, butter and water in a saucepan until the butter melts, but do not boil. Remove from the heat, add the flour and mix.
2. Return the saucepan to the heat and stir until the dough comes away from the sides and forms a ball.
3. Transfer the dough to a bowl and allow to cool – spread it out to cool faster. Add the eggs one at a time, ensuring each one is completely incorporated before adding the next. Place into a piping bag and chill for 2 hours.
4. Draw 2 x 20 cm circles onto a sheet of baking paper, then place the paper on a baking tray. Pipe the pastry onto the circles, going around 3 times. Bake for 30 minutes, then allow to cool.
5. To make the Chuckles cream, whip the cream until stiff. Blitz the Chuckles in a blender, then fold into the cream with the coffee.
6. To make the praline, toast the almonds in a pan, then set aside. Dissolve the sugar in the same pan until amber in colour. Add the almonds to the sugar and mix until all the almonds are covered. Pour onto a sheet of greaseproof paper and set aside to cool. Break into pieces.
7. To serve, carefully slice the éclairs in half horizontally. Spoon the filling onto one half and place the other half of each éclair on top. Scatter over the praline. Chill for up to 3 hours before serving.
Photographs: Andrea van der Spuy
Production: Abigail Donnelly
Food assistant: Emma Nkunzana and Marizen Smit