Wanted to use the little purple lavender sugar lumps that are on top of the Ã©clairs ever since I bought them whilst on vacation in Denmark. But I just couldn’t think of anything suitable until I thought about the choux edition of Hay Hay it’s Donna Day: Ã©clairs with a lavender filling and with a lavender sugar lump for decoration on top. I had a hard time deciding what to use to fill the Ã©clairs: lavender flavoured whipped cream, white chocolate mousse (last month’s Daring Bakers recipe) or pastry cream. Whipped cream seemed too simple, pastry cream would yield a lot of egg whites and what to do with those? Even though pastry cream would have been my preferred filling I decided on making white chocolate mousse because there wouldn’t be anything left-over and also because I didn’t use the white chocolate mousse in last month’s Daring Baker challenge.
Instead of infusing the cream with lavender flowers I used lavender essential oil that I’ve had for ages but never really used. I knew the stuff is very potent so I only wanted to use about two drops, but sometimes the thing you want is not the thing you get. Before I know it, four drops were out. I kept my fingers crossed but that didn’t help a bit, the lavender taste was too heavy. Not too heavy to eat but too heavy to call delicious 😉 A really disliked it, thought it tasted like soap. Usually his taste isn’t very good but if it starts tasting like soap he becomes a super taster 😉 My nearly 3 year old also disliked it even though he doesn’t have associations with lavender soap. My parents liked it though and I thought it was good too but too heavy on the lavender. So my advice is to start with 1 drop. Let it fall on a spoon first just to be save. My guess is that 2 drops would be the right amount.
After mixing the whipped cream and chocolate the mixture was pretty liquidy but in the fridge it set beautifully. So this very simple recipe worked very well, it was even pipeable. Also it stayed mousse even after 3 days in the fridge. Will have to try it with bitter sweet chocolate instead one day 🙂
The green coloured white chocolate glaze doesn’t look the way it should. The reason for this is because I used some left over ganache that I used for making truffles for my sister in law a few days ago. For the glaze I needed something with more cream so I thought to just add some hot cream to the left over ganache. But I was being impatient and didn’t wait until the ganache was room temperature before I did this so it curdled. Added some more hot cream, it started to look better but it was definitely not the smooth ganache I needed. I didn’t have the patience to make a new glaze so I just used it anyway (I know, I know, it’s a shame 😉 Also I felt bad to waste the old glaze. To give you a peak at how the glaze should have looked here’s a sneak preview of a cake I will post about soon. I used the glaze I was supposed to use for the Ã©clairs. So if you make the recipe below you’ll get the looks of the orange glaze instead of the green one in the picture.
Choux (from Essentials of Baking by Williams-Sonoma)
I used half of this recipe for the Ã©clairs, makes about 24 small ones
125 ml (Â½ cup / 4 fl oz) milk
125 ml (Â½ cup / 4 fl oz) water
90 g (3 oz / 6 tbs) butter, chopped
Â¼ ts salt
155 g (1 cup / 5 oz) flour
4 large eggs
Combine milk, water, butter and salt in a saucepan. Heat over medium heat until all the butter is melted. Remove from heat and add all the flour at once and stir with a wooden spoon until combined. Return the pan to the (medium) heat. Continue stirring until the mixture leaves the sides of the pan and forms a ball. Remove from the heat and let it cool until it’s 60Â°C (140Â°F).
Whisk one egg at a time before adding it to the dough. Stir well until combined before adding each next egg. Let the dough cool for 10 minutes until before piping.
Preheat the oven to 220Â°C (425Â°F). Line two baking sheets with baking parchment, using some dough to glue the paper to the baking sheet (easier to pipe if the paper doesn’t move around).
Pipe small logs using a 2 cm plain tip (Â¾ in), space them well apart.
Bake the logs for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 190Â°C (375Â°F) and continue baking until golden brown (5-10 minutes). Allow to cool on the baking sheets.
Lavender white chocolate mousse (from May’s Daring Bakers challenge, recipe either from Paris Sweets by Dorie Greenspan or Chocolate Passion by Tish Boyle and Timothy Moriartyâ€™s)
100 g (3 Â½ oz) white chocolate
Â½ cup plus 1 Â½ tbs heavy cream (35% cream)
Â½ tbsp. liquer (I used left-over lemon grass syrup instead)
a few drops of lavender essential oil (4 drops is too much, my guess 1 or 2 would be good)
Melt the white chocolate with the 1 Â½ tbs of cream over hot water. Stir until smooth. Add the liquer and stir until combined. Set aside to cool completely.
Whip the remaining Â½ cup of cream until soft peak.
Fold the whipped cream into the cooled chocolate. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before using.
Green white chocolate glaze
75 ml (â…“ cup) whipping cream (35% fat)
150 g (5 oz) white chocolate, chopped
green gel paste colouring
Heat the whipping cream until it boils. Pour over the white chocolate. Allow to stand for a few minutes. Stir until combined and smooth. Add a little green colouring. Mix until combined. Either use the glaze immediately or wait till it has cooled a bit if it seems to thin to use.
Cut each log in half. Dip the upper halfs into the chocolate glaze. Allow to set on a wire rack.
Pipe some lavender white chocolate mousse on the bottom halfs. Put the glazed tops onto to the chocolate mousse and serve.