Chocolate Eclairs

As I was raiding my fridge today I realized I still had some of the orange mint curd leftover from Sunday. I was wondering whether it was time to toss it into the bin, but my heart did not approve of it! While i was contemplating what I should make out of it I realized that I do not have a choux pastry on my blog yet. For any baker, choux pastry is the basic, most important to master. I wouldn’t go to the lengths of saying I have mastered it, but I have a basic grasp of it.

I first tried it about 2 years back using Michel Roux’s recipe, however it did not work out as well for me. I then gave Raymond Blanc’s recipe a go and voila! I made my first batch of edible, good looking choux puffs. I always used his recipe whenever I wanted to make choux pastry and this time I thought of experimenting with a different one.
Here, I have used Christophe Felder’s recipe which is similar to Raymond’s with the exception of milk and lesser use of eggs. It is a good recipe and my second favorite now.

Here too, I have paired my orange curd with chocolate in the form of chocolate eclairs, which turned out to be a brilliant thing if I may say so myself. It leaves a subtle orange flavor back of the throat which is quite refreshing.

I have a strange weakness for these eclairs. While paying the check at a patisserie, I usually end up asking them for chocolate eclairs without even having an inkling. Maybe, it’s bred deep into my sub-conscious mind. haha
I would gorge on croissants and these bundles of joy while i was in Paris for days at a stretch as if the world was going to end 😉

Yours Truly having breakfast ;)

Yours Truly having breakfast 😉

I shall try the same recipe again and hopefully post some different version of the eclairs!

Ingredients :

Choux Pastry :

125 ml water
55 g unsalted butter
1/2 tsp caster sugar
1/2 tsp salt
70 g plain flour
2-3 eggs
1 egg, for glaze

Orange Mint Curd, recipe please click here

Chocolate Glaze :

120 g dark chocolate
100 ml heavy cream
20 g butter, softened



Choux Pastry:

Preheat the oven to 170 C (non fan). Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.

For the choux pastry, place the water, butter, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan over a high heat and bring the mixture to a boil.
Remove the pan from the heat and, using a wooden spoon, quickly beat in the flour until the mixture is COMPLETELY smooth.
Turn the heat down to medium, return the pan to the hob and cook for about one minute, beating all the time, or until the mixture comes away from the edge of the pan.
Remove the pan from the heat and gradually beat in one egg at a time. For the third egg, beat it lightly in another bowl. As much as you need one spoon at a time to make a dough that is very shiny and just falls off the spoon.

Transfer the paste to a large piping bag and let the mixture to cool for about five minutes in the bag to stiffen slightly before you begin the piping. Pipe on the éclairs into 8-10 cm logs or small mounds to make profiteroles.

Bake the éclairs in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until brown, then transfer to a rack and leave to cool.

Chocolate Profiteroles

Chocolate Profiteroles

Chocolate Glaze :
Boil the cream in a saucepan. Meanwhile chop the chocolate and place in a bowl.

Add half of the boiled milk to the chocolate and whisk well. Add the remaining cream and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Whisk in the butter.

Chocolate Eclairs

Chocolate Eclairs

Assemble the eclairs :

When you are ready to fill the éclairs, transfer the orange mint curd filling to a piping bag. Pierce the underside of each éclair 3 times with the tip of a pointed nozzle, and gently pipe a little of the filling into the éclair as you do so.

Pipe or brush the glaze onto the top of each éclair, then place in the fridge for the glaze to set before serving.


There are amazing eclair festivals in Paris which I am so keen to experience… hopefully, some day! 🙂

Bon Apetit

Bon Apetit


Magic Bullet for World Cup Hangover: Orange Sponge with Choc Mousse and Orange Mint Curd

“Ummmm”. Well, this is the kind of instant response I am usually seeking from mon chéri when I want to cheer him up.Still under the world cup hangover he unfortunately injured his ankle in a game of football and needs about 2-3 weeks of bed rest to recuperate. No golden boot here… 😦

With this sinful combination of orange and chocolate I’ve hit the nail on the head! I went about creating this dessert as I wanted to try out two recipes, one for an orange sponge cake by Julia Child and the other, a chocolate mousse by Christophe Felder. When you are trying to re-create recipes of two outstanding individuals of the culinary world, you can’t go wrong at all! Julia Child, one of the chefs whom I admire most for her determination and courage who brought about a revolution in the culinary world. Apart from the movies, the book “My Life in France” gives a humurous and lively representation of Julia’s culinary adventure. Christophe Felder, is not only an amazing pâtissier but is also considered as the creator of plated desserts by some critics!

No points for guessing that the combination of both the recipes turned out to be utterly delicious and fulfilling.
I have tried to create a plated dessert here since this is one of the skills I am trying to enhance and find my own style. 🙂

Orange Sponge with Choc Mousse and Orange Mint Curd

Orange Sponge with Choc Mousse and Orange Mint Curd

Ingredients :

Orange Sponge Cake : 9-inch cake serves 4-5 portions (I made half this recipe)

120 g sugar
4 egg yolks
Zest of 1Orange/ orange blossom water 1/2 tsp
72 ml orange juice
Salt, pinch
100 g all purpose flour
4 egg whites
Cream of tartar/ lemon juice/ salt, pinch
1 tbsp caster sugar

Candied orange peel:

1 orange
50 g sugar
100 ml water
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon (optional)
2 Tsp Vanilla sugar

Chocolate Mousse: Serves 12 (I made 2 portions)

100 g heavy cream
250 g chocolate (60-70% cocoa)
Cream of tartar/ lemon juice/ salt, pinch
6 egg whites
40 g sugar
2 egg yolks

Orange Mint Curd:

1/2 gelatin sheet (1g)
88 g butter, softened
1 egg
68 g sugar
65 ml orange juice
8 medium mint leaves

To decorate:

Pistachios, crushed, optional
Blanched almond flakes, optional
Icing sugar, optional
Ground Cinnamon, optional


Instructions :

Orange Sponge Cake:
Butter and flour the cake tin. Preheat the oven to 170 C.

Beat the sugar and egg yolks until light and fluffy to form a ribbon.
Add the orange zest, orange juice and salt and beat until foamy.

Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks. Add the sugar and beat until it forms stiff peaks.

Pout one-third of the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture and fold. Fold in the rest.

Pour into the cake pan and bake for 30-35 minutes.
Cool before serving.

Candied Orange Peels:

Bring a saucepan with water to a boil.Peel the orange into wide strips. Cut into strips.
Add to the boiling water, cook for a minute and drain. This will help to remove bitterness.

Now, combine the sugar and water and boil over medium heat stirring to dissolve the sugar.
Add the orange peel and boil for 2 minutes. Add the honey and stir.
Let the mixture Rest for 15 minutes.
Drain the peel. Transfer to a wire rack and let dry for an hour.

Whisk the sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl.
Add the orange peel to the cinnamon sugar and toss to coat.keep aside.

Chocolate Mousse:

Finely chop the chocolate.
Bring the cream to boil over medium heat. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let it melt slightly. Whisk to make a smooth, shiny ganache.

Add the cream of tartar to the egg whites and whip until they form soft peaks.
Gradually add the sugar and continue beating until they hold a firm peak.Do not overbeat.

Whisk the egg yolks into the ganache.

Pour the chocolate mixture into the egg whites. Gently fold with a spatula. The mousse should be smooth.
Chill for an hour before serving .

Orange Mint Curd:

Soak the gelatin sheet in a bowl of cold water until softened, 5 to 10 minutes.

Pour the egg into a heavy saucepan and add the sugar. Whisk the eggs with the sugar.

Whisk in the orange juice. Continue to whisk over medium heat.
Tear the mint leaves into the pan and cook just until the cream comes to a boil and thickens.
Whisk in the softened gelatin.

Strain the cream over the softened butter. Using a hand mixer, beat the cream and butter for one minute until smooth.
Chill completely, at least 30-45 minutes.


Assembling the cake:

Spoon a little orange curd on the plate.
Cut a piece of cake and place over the curd. Spoon some mousse over/beside the cake.
Dust the cake with icing sugar, cinnamon and top with almond flakes.
Sprinkle the pistachio and top with the candied citrus peel. Viola!

Plating A

Plating A

Plating B

Plating B

Was Plating B a Hit or a Miss? I would love to know which Plating appealed to you more?

Bon Apetit!

The quintessential “Opéra” Cake


Glazed Chocolate and Coffee Layer Cake

Who doesn’t love the Opera cake? When I would walk into a patisserie to buy a croissant or macarons, my eyes would always fall on the rich, dark, mysterious cake.  It is almost as if I was falling in love with it over and over again.  They look so attractive and always make you test your will power….. 😉 Just a bite of these dreamy little cakes can take all worries off your mind. Literally!

I haven’t eaten the Opéra cake in a long time and when I found myself thinking about it for days together, I decided it was time to get baking! 🙂 They sure do have a lot of elements, but time flies when you make these and the effort is totally worth it. It would make for an outstanding dessert to finish off a dinner party.

This recipe has been adapted from Cristophe Felder’s “Patisserie”. If I have to make this again, I would eliminate the egg yolk buttercream from the buttercream recipe and use just butter, coffee and italian meringue. I have used half of the recipe and made a small cake.
The cake turned out moist and light, with perfectly tempered chocolate. What more can one ask for? 😉

Makes 16 by 12 inch cake

Coffee Syrup : ( I have made 1/4 of the recipe)
400 ml warm coffee
150 g caster sugar

Jaconde Cake: ( I have made 1/2 of the recipe)
8 eggs, 4 whole, 4 separated
220 g ground almonds
275 g sugar
100 g all purpose flour

Chocolate Ganache : ( I have made 1/2 of the recipe)
170 g dark chocolate (60% cocoa)
120 ml milk
40 ml heavy cream
2 tbsp butter, softened

Coffee Buttercream:
20 ml espresso or strong coffee, at room temperature
Italian Meringue:
62 g sugar
1.5 tbsp water
1 egg white
Egg Yolk Buttercream:
2.5 egg yolks
120 g sugar
50 ml water
180 g butter, softened

Chocolate Glaze: ( I have made 1/2 of the recipe)
400 g chocolate (%2% cocoa)
50 g vegetable shortening (replaced with butter)
50 g grapeseed oil (replaced with butter)

Instructions :

Coffee Syrup :

Combine the coffee and sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves. Keep aside.

Jaconde Cake:
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line 3 baking sheets with baking paper. ( I have used 2 baking sheets)

Combine the whole eggs, egg yolks, ground almonds and half of the sugar in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer for 15 minutes.

Whip the egg whites in a bowl until soft peaks. Add the remaining sugar and beat until firm and glossy.

Gently fold the egg whites into the egg-almond mixture.

Gradually sift in the flour and gently fold until smooth.

Spread one-third of the cake batter on each prepared sheet. Bake one sheet at a time for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned.

Remove and let cool.

Chocolate Ganache :

Finely chop the chocolate and place in a bowl.

Bring the milk and cream to a boil in a small saucepan and pour over the chocolate. Add the butter and whisk until smooth.

Coffee Buttercream :
Step 1: Italian Meringue
Whisk the egg whites in a kitchen mixer on a medium speed.

Meanwhile, place the sugar and water in a small pan and cook over a high heat until it has reached 117C/242F or the ‘soft ball’ stage.You can tell when the bubbles are almost the same size, that’s the stage we are looking to achieve here.
Reduce the speed on the mixer to its lowest setting and pour the sugar syrup from the sides of the bowl onto the firmly whipped egg whites.
Increase the speed to high and continue to whisk until the mixture returns at room temperature. Touch the bottom of the bowl, it should not be hot.
Step 2: Egg yolk buttercream :
Whisk the egg yolks at low speed.

Meanwhile, place the sugar and water in a small pan and cook over a high heat until it has reached 117C/242F or the ‘soft ball’ stage.You can tell when the bubbles are almost the same size, that’s the stage we are looking to achieve here.
Reduce the speed on the mixer to its lowest setting and pour the sugar syrup from the sides of the bowl onto the egg yolks and beat until they are pale. This should be the ribbon stage.
Step 3 :
Whip the butter until it is creamy and smooth.
Step 4:
Add the egg yolk mixture to the butter and beat at low speed until the texture is light.
Beat in the italian meringue at low speed.
COntinue beating at medium speed for about 10 minutes.

Step 5:
Add the espresso to the buttercream and whip at low speed until smooth.
Assembling the Cake:

  • Line the cake board with parchment paper. (Optional) I just used some buttercream on the board. 🙂
  • Place one sponge cake and brush with coffee syrup.
  • Spread half of the coffee buttercream over the cake with an offbeat spatula.
  • Place the second sponge onto it and brush with coffee syrup.
  • Spread a thin layer of chocolate ganache over it.
  • Place the third sponge cake on top. Brush with coffee syrup.
  • Spread the remaining buttercream and smooth with the spatula.
  • Chill until set, at least an hour.

Chocolate Glaze:
Finely chop the chocolate and place with butter in a bowl. Place over a double boiler and let melt, stiring until the chocolate reaches between 95 and 104° F or 35 to 40° C. Remove the bowl from the heat.

Pour the glaze over the top of the cake, smooth with an offbeat spatula and chill until set.

Decorate as you please… 🙂

Dip the knife into hot water and wipe it dry after each cut. Serve with a big smile…:)

Bon Apetit!

Bon Apetit!