Gluten Free White Chocolate & Maple Caramel Eclairs with Orange & Star Anise Cream & Chipped Almonds

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

White Chocolate & Maple Caramel Eclairs with Orange & Star Anise Cream & Chipped Almonds
I love profiteroles and eclairs. I'd always heard horror stories about how difficult it is to make choux pastry, but, in all honesty, I've never had any trouble. A quick web search yields hundreds of tips and tricks for getting your choux just right (including a slightly bizarre stretch test, performed by stretching a snot-like clump of pastry between your index finger and thumb!). You don't need any of these tips and tricks. All you need is a foolproof recipe and clear instructions, and I've got you covered.

With their flavored cream, coat of white chocolate painted on, drizzle of maple caramel and sprinkling of chipped almonds, these eclairs are bit on the flamboyant side. You could keep with tradition, and simply fill yours with whipped cream and dip the tops in dark or milk chocolate. They'd be just as tasty. I just couldn't resist jazzing these up a bit for a midweek treat! They'd also make a stunning dinner party dessert centerpiece.

Anyonita Nibbles: Orange Syrup with Star Anise

Also, the best of my orange and star anise cream is a delicious orange and star anise syrup. So I'll be sharing that recipe with you as well. This is going to be a rather in depth recipe, but I promise, it's all easy to make!

Anyonita Nibbles: orange syrup wiht star aniseIngredients:
For the orange & star anise cream
1tbsp icing sugar
500ml of double cream
1/2 cup of orange syrup with star anise

For the orange syrup with star anise
1 star anise
1 orange, sliced
200g caster sugar
200g water

For the eclairs
(can be doubled without trouble)
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup gluten free plain flour
1/2tsp sugar
2 eggs
a pinch of salt
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100g white chocolate
1 cup My Secret Kitchen maple caramel sauce or other caramel
a handful of whole almonds or chipped almonds

Anyonita Nibbles: a bite out of a white chocolate and maple caramel eclair with orange and star anise cream and chipped almonds
All right, let's cook:
For the orange syrup with star anise, Put the sugar and water in a sauce pan and allow to come to the boil before adding the star anise and orange slices to the pan. Reduce the heat to low and cook for about 25 minutes until the syrup is glossy. Allow to cool in the pan before decanting into a jar and refrigerating.

For the eclairs, preheat your oven to 220 C and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

In a small saucepan, combine the water, butter and salt. Bring to a boil over a high heat.
Once it is boiling, immediately remove it from the heat and stir in the flour with a wooden spoon.

Continue to stir until mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan. This should take about 2 minutes. (It's a good arm workout!) Allow to cool for about 2 minutes.

Add the first egg to the pan along with the sugar. Adding the egg will cause the batter to separate and look weird. This is what you want. Stir the batter until it comes together and looks the way it did before you added the egg. This should take another 2 minutes.

Add the second egg. Again, the batter will separate and look weird. Don't panic; just stir. Stir the batter until it comes together yet again. Continue doing this if you double the recipe, ensuring that the batter comes together again before you add the next egg. It will get more difficult to stir with each added egg.

Once all the eggs have been added and the batter is thick and gathered together in the pan, spoon into a pastry bag and pipe onto the paper-lined trays. Pipe dollops for profiteroles and long sticks for eclairs.

Fill a small dish with a bit of water and, using your index finger, wet your finger and pat down any pointy tops from the piping.

Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 170C and bake until the eclairs are golden, firm on the bottom and hollow. It should take 20 to 30 minutes.

Allow the eclairs to cool while you get on with the cream.

For the orange and star anise cream, pour the double cream into a large, heavy-bottomed bowl. Using an electric whisk, beat the cream until it begins to thicken. Add the icing sugar and continue to beat, about 2 minutes.

Pour in the orange syrup that you prepared earlier and continue to beat until it comes together. Once together, allow to refrigerate for a few minutes before piping into the eclairs.

To fill the eclairs, make two or three holes in the bottom of each eclair and pipe until the feel the eclairs get heavier. Try to stop before the cream starts oozing out of the eclairs. There's no way of telling you when this is likely to happen, it's a judgement call.

To finish off the eclairs, melt the white chocolate gently over a pan of boiling water. Place the chocolate in a ceramic bowl that fits on top of a small saucepan. Add water to the sauce pan, but not so much that it will touch the bottom of the bowl when boiling. Allow the chocolate to melt on its own without interfering too much.

While it is melting, whizz the almonds in a food processor or chopper, if not using chopped almonds.

When the chocolate has melted, paint it onto the tops of the eclairs using a silicone brush. Once set, drizzle over the maple caramel sauce and sprinkle over the almonds.

Refrigerate over night (it really helps to marry all of the ingredients together and eclairs are traditionally served cold) and serve the following day... if you can wait that long. If you can't, just refrigerate for an hour or two.
Anyonita Nibbles: a trio of white chocolate & maple caramel eclairs with orange & star anise cream & chipped almonds

22 comments:

  1. These look amazing. I love eclairs and these are eclairs on steroids! Such amazing flavours I love star anise, I have loads of it but never know what to do with it apart from put it in mulled wine! now I have something to aim for these really do look amazing :)

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    1. Hahahaha "eclairs on steroids" LOVE that! I'm thinking I might have to change the name now! Yes, I always feel the same way about my star anise; it looks so sad year round, not getting used & then at Christmastime, it gets abused. :P

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  2. Oh my goodness, these look so delicious! You had me at Maple Caramel.:) Thanks so much for linking up to Inspire Me Wednesday!

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  3. Wow these look good! As soon as I saw your pictures I thought I would love a cup of coffee and to try your eclair! haha! Thanks for sharing at the Rock N Share linky party. Hope to see you again next week! Blessings, D@TheShadyPorch

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    1. Oh, yes, a cup of coffee would go lovely with them :)

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  4. Yumm! Eclairs always remind of my days working @ The Venetian. It's what I served all my new hires for orientation. Now I want some coffee too! Thanks so much for sharing this @ The Show Off Blog Party!

    Jessica
    The Wondering Brain

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  5. Thanks for linking up to Whimsy Wednesday! Your recipe has been featured this week!

    Susan

    http://www.ohmy-creative.com/recipe/12-tasty-breakfast-recipes/

    Also, you can add your recipe {or any project} to my website. I feature them on my main slider on the home page...follow this link to submit your recipe/project!
    http://www.ohmy-creative.com/submit-a-project/

    Be sure to stop by and grab a button...

    http://www.ohmy-creative.com/grab-a-button/

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    1. Thanks, Susan! :) I've added your button to my Where I've Been Featured page & I'm going to submit a project too.

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  6. These look amazing and sinful. :-) They are David's pick of the week at Memories by the Mile. Thank you for sharig on Tuesday's Trivia.
    Wanda Ann @ Memories by the Mile

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    1. THank you! :) I've added a Memories by the Mile badge to my features page!

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  7. Oh my gosh, my mouth is watering...........Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week; I hope you’ll join us again!


    Cheers,
    Kathy Shea Mormino

    The Chicken Chick

    http://www.The-Chicken-Chick.com

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  8. Wow! These look delicious! Thanks for sharing with us over at Real Housemoms

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  9. Wow! I mean seriously, yummy! I'm not actually a big ├ęclair fan - I can easily pass them up at a dessert table. Not these. Definitely not these!
    Thank you for sharing on Foodie Friday. I've featured you at this week's party.

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    1. Hahha, yes, I think these would be a big crowd pleaser! Thanks so much for the feature! I'll get your badge added to my featured page!

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  10. This looks lovely, I always come and look at your photos, but they do mean my diet goes off the rails!

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    1. Hahaha, my diet has gone off the rails, too!

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  13. G'day! These look terrific Anyonita! I could go for one right now!
    Cheers! Joanne
    http://whatsonthelist.net
    Sharing the love! :)

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