So the other day I made eclairs, for the first time ever! If you’re not familiar with eclairs, they’re the cream filled french pastries, often topped with chocolate or fruit glaze. Since I’ve already learned to make french macarons, making eclairs was my second french dessert experiment. I like to call it an experiment because let’s be honest here, not everything that I make turns out. Especially when modifying the ingredients to dairy free.
I find that coconut milk and coconut milk products are the best alternative when substituting dairy in desserts. That’s exactly what I did to make my pastry cream and the eclair shells as well.
Ok, I know coconut pastry cream might sound a little different, but it was flavorful, decadent and addictive, especially when piped inside the hollow mini eclair shells.
The fresh blackberry glaze and dark chocolate drizzle were the icing on the cake, or eclairs rather!
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 1/4 cup vegan butter cut into pieces (I use earth balance soy free)
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup sifted flour
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup coconut milk (full fat)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp flour
- 2 Tbsp corn starch
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 cup fresh blackberries (or berry of choice)
- Juice from 1/2 lemon
- 2 cups icing sugar
- Dark chocolate, sprinkles and fresh fruit for garnish (optional)
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Prep a pastry bag with medium fitted round tip.
- Pour water, milk, sugar and salt into a medium sized saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
- Once mixture reaches a boil, remove from heat and quickly whisk in flour until fully incorporated.
- Place saucepan back on the heat and stir quickly until the batter pulls from the sides, no longer sticking to the spoon.
- Transfer batter to a bowl and add in your eggs, one at a time, stirring until fully incorporated.
- Pour your batter into your prepped pastry bag and pipe 3 inch lines, onto your baking sheet.
- Bake in the oven for 12 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees.
- Prop open your oven with a wooden spoon or similar, and allow the shells to bake for 20 more minutes, or until golden brown.
- Remove from pan and place on a cooling rack to cool.
- Bring 1 cup of coconut milk to a boil over medium heat.
- Once boiling, remove from heat.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the sugar and egg yolks together until fluffy.
- Add the flour and cornstarch and whisk together until incorporated.
- Pour hot coconut milk into the egg mixture in thirds, with your mixer on medium speed.
- Mix on medium until fully incorporated, then pour the mixture back into your sauce pan to boil over medium heat.
- Stir mixture constantly until it thickens.
- Once thickened, remove from heat and cool.
- When pastry cream has cooled, transfer it to a piping bag with a small round tip.
- Place fresh blackberries and lemon juice in a blender on high until smooth.
- Pour berry mixture into a shallow dish and whisk in icing sugar until fully incorporated.
- Eclairs will hollow in the oven, with holes along the sides or bottom for filling with pastry cream.
- You can also use a small pairing knife to cut a hole into the bottom of your eclairs for piping.
- Fill each eclair with pastry cream and set aside.
- Repeat steps for all eclairs.
- Once they've been filled, dip the tops of the eclairs in blackberry glaze.
- Transfer your glazed and filled mini eclairs to the fridge for 15 minutes to set.
- Once set, drizzle your eclairs with melted dark chocolate and decorate with sprinkles or fresh fruit.
- Cover and chill until ready to serve.
- You can easily change the flavor of these eclairs by choosing a different fruit for the glaze.
I made the eclairs miniature, because miniatures are just cuter! And they make adorable one bite treats for parties and gatherings. As you all know, I love to entertain, so when I plan treats and desserts, I always do so with that thought on my mind.
Also, I didn’t realize how perfect the eclairs would be for Valentine’s Day, until I saw the color of the blackberry glaze. A pretty dark pink/mauve color, sweet, romantic and fitting for the day of love!
I have to admit that this recipe was way outside my comfort zone, but I’m so glad I decided to give it a try, because the eclairs turned out pretty posh! And another positive, my whole family gets to enjoy them because they’re dairy free. I hope you give them a try as well! Wishing you all a great rest of the week! Stay tuned for more sweet treats and recipes.
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