Technically this blog was created to post recipes from recipe books; however, when I made Jacquy’s éclairs, I knew I had to create my own, and I’ll tell you why! Éclairs originated in France, and when my best friend and I went to Paris, they were one of the mandatory pastries I had on our list to try. I had seen nothing but the most beautiful éclairs from L’Éclair de Génie and was SO EXCITED when we finally located their shop after what felt like forever trying to find it! The shop we went to was located inside a building with no signs! My excitement couldn’t be contained when we not only found L’Éclair de Génie but also Pierre Hermé in the same place! Macarons are a future recipe in The Art of French Pastry, so I’ll discuss more about those in a later post. Let’s get back to éclairs…
I chose raspberry pistachio as well as passion fruit. My friend Heather chose dark chocolate and caramel (I know, I know…ONLY TWO eclairs each? What’s wrong with you??? Well, we had a full day planned with macarons, croissants, éclairs, and many other desserts…it was just a sacrifice that had to be made. I tell you what though-if I could go back today, I’d get them ALLx2). It was also 90 degrees outside, and we weren’t going to be back to our AirBnB until late that night, so we had no way to refrigerate what we couldn’t eat…
Oh, and we had just had breakfast at Holybelly (I’ll insert a photo of THAT heaven below), so we weren’t all that hungry.
Heather got the sweet stack: cream, strawberries, bananas, pomegranate seeds, peaches, rhubarb, and hazelnuts! I got the poached egg, hash browns with sunflower seeds, bacon and fresh sourdough bread. Phenomenal. Oh, and an iced coffee because I slept so poorly the night before due to the six-hour time change. For someone who never has caffeine, getting a coffee in Europe is a very bad idea because it is strong. It sure tasted delicious though!
Ok, back to the important stuff…
Heather and I walked a couple blocks down the street and found some steps to sit on…and then we realized we were actually on the opera house steps! What a perfect place to try our first Paris éclairs ♥︎ I wanted to stop time after my first bite and just savor everything about that moment. Eating a passion fruit éclair and sitting on the steps of the opera house while watching people pass by is one of my favorite memories of our trip. Also, our feet were killing us by that point, so I think being able to sit down made the moment even better (tip for ya: don’t wear flats just because they’re cute, even if you have Dr. Scholls inserts…wear the granny sneakers).
Just look how perfect they are!
The passion fruit éclair was a clear winner in my book, and I could not WAIT to try and replicate their recipe! Once I saw éclairs as an upcoming recipe, I immediately knew that while I’d make the recipe exactly how it is in The Art of French Pastry, I would also make another batch with my spin on a passion fruit éclair. Our local grocery store doesn’t always carry passion fruits, so you’d better believe when I saw them this past spring shopping that I snagged a few and froze them!
I did some research on passion fruit éclairs and decided to make a passion fruit éclair covered in colored white chocolate and filled with passion fruit pastry cream. You GUYS! You can see below that mine may not have looked at all like L’Éclair de Génie, but the taste was SPOT ON. Let’s dive in quickly so we can get to that pastry cream recipe!
Passion Fruit Éclairs
Taste: 10/5 Sooooooooooo incredibly good. Legit brought me back to Paris.
How long it took me: Honestly, I forgot to keep track. From start to finish, I’d say about 4-5 hours.
Different view, different shoes lol! You’ll notice the glaze is different as well as the topping; however, the taste is the same. So so good. Perfectly filled, too.
This mini one turned out perfectly. I was in absolute heaven.
The topping I used is made out of white chocolate and heavy cream. Imagine biting into an éclair that has slightly softened chocolate on top which gives it some texture and sweetness, and then you get a burst of flavor from the tartness of the passion fruit filling. Those two things mix together so incredibly well.
These were all gone in 1 1/2 days. I mean, it would have been an hour, but I had to show some restraint. I break out really bad when I have sugar, and this was an overload. It’s also only about half of the batch lol!
Forever my shadow when I’m baking ♥︎
I had discussed how important it is to pipe continuously in my post about Jacquy’s éclairs, and you can see below that I practiced since then. Much much smoother. Not perfection, but better. You can see that I still need to work on the width when I’m piping as they definitely weren’t all the same size. That’s ok though.
I made some mini éclairs, and those turned out pretty good as well. I wanted to try a different piping tip, and honestly, both ways were easy to glaze. I think I like the look of the mini ones better though.
Once the éclairs are out of the oven, Jacquy recommended cutting them laterally, but leaving the top and bottom to be attached still on one side. I personally prefer éclairs that are piped though the bottom. That is how L’Éclair de Génie does it, and I feel like it looks clean and professional. Also, as seen in the post about making éclairs the way Jacquy does, his way is messy.
As I used Jacquy’s recipe for the éclair shells, I am unable to include that recipe; however, what makes these éclairs phenomenal is the pastry cream and THAT I am able to give you!
Passion Fruit Pastry Cream
- 80 g egg yolks
- 120 g sugar
- 25 g all-purpose flour
- 25 g potato starch
- 130 g passion fruit juice (about 6-7 passion fruits)
- 100 ml heavy cream
- 270 ml full fat milk
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 473 mL heavy cream
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
Cut open the passion fruits, and strain the juice. Keep the seeds for decor!
Beat together egg yolks and sugar. Sift the flour and potato starch into the mixture and beat until combined. Set aside.
Scrape out the seeds of your vanilla bean. Add seeds and pod, passion fruit juice, heavy cream, milk, and last tablespoon of sugar to a medium sized pan. Bring to light boil.
While waiting for mixture to boil, grab a sheet pan and line it with plastic wrap. Don't cut the plastic wrap yet, keep it connected to the box.
Slowly pour 1/3 of the boiling mixture into the egg yolk mixture and whisk until combined. Slowly continue to add the rest of the mixture in thirds until combined completely.
Strain mixture back into sauce pan and place on medium heat, constantly stirring. Make sure you're whisking every nook and cranny in the pan! This prevents any cooked lumps in your pastry cream! Boil lightly, until you feel it starting to thicken up. Remove from heat and stir for 30 seconds, then place back on heat for about 1 minute, until thick.
Pour mixture onto the plastic wrap. Quickly smooth it out into a thin layer with a spatula, then pull the plastic wrap over the top to completely cover the mixture. This prevents a film from developing. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes. Set a timer! This cannot stay in the freezer.
Pour heavy cream in mixer. Beat on medium speed until almost stiff.
Add 1 tablespoon sugar to cream and continue to mix until consistency of store-bought whipped cream. Add vanilla and mix until combined.
Take pastry cream out of freezer and place into whipped cream. Mix on medium speed until combined, light and fluffy.
These éclairs are covered in a white chocolate glaze. Heat up 5 tablespoons of heavy cream and pour over 200g white chocolate (I use Ghiradelli because I’ve found they melt the best and most evenly). Let sit for about a minute, then stir. At this point, I added two drops of yellow food coloring (I used Wilton yellow gel coloring). Pour out onto a plate, and then dip each éclair completely flat, then immediately lift up vertically. This will allow the excess glaze to pour off, leaving you with a smooth finish and smooth lined sides.
Then, if you’re wanting to be just like me, spend at least half an hour separating the passion fruit seeds with their casing lol! It was 100% worth it for the look…not necessary though 🙂
So what did I learn? I learned that I can be kind of creative! I tried a recipe and tweaked it to make it how I wanted, and it turned out! I’d love to learn how to make the shiny glaze L’Éclair de Génie uses, so maybe I’ll do that the next time I make these. These éclairs will forever be made in our home. They are so incredible. I also learned that my piping does get better if I practice 🙂
Most of all, I learned that when your heart is sad and you’re missing a place you’ve been to, that ache eases just a bit if you can recreate something you ate or tried doing. I couldn’t eat on the opera steps again, but my backyard will do…until next time, Paris ♥︎