75g unsalted butter
100g plain flour
250g dark chocolate
50g toasted chopped hazelnuts (optional)
Preheat your oven to 200C/425F / Gas 7 and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium sized pot, mix the water, butter and salt and place on a low heat to melt the butter.
Do not boil at this point as you will evaporate the water and this will alter the recipe.
Once the butter has melted, turn up the heat and bring to the boil.
Add the flour and take off the heat, mix with a wooden spoon until a smooth dough is reached.
Return to the heat and stir in the saucepan for 2 minutes.
Set aside to cool slightly.
Beat your eggs in a bowl and gradually add a little at a time, beat thoroughly with the wooden spoon until each addition is incorporated.
Keep doing this until you reach a consistency that will hold its shape when piped. (You may not need all the eggs)
Using a spatula, spoon the mixture into a piping bag filled with a large round nozzle. Pipe 10cm/4” lines, leaving space between each one as they will spread.
Brush each one with some egg wash (Egg and milk)
Place both trays in the oven and reduce the heat to 190C/375F/Gas 5 and bake for approx 20-25 minutes until risen and golden brown. (TIP do not open the oven door during the first 15 minutes of baking)
Remove and allow to cool on a wire rack.
To garnish cut the éclair in half lengthways, dip the top in melted chocolate and set aside.
Pipe some whipped cream onto the base and place the chocolate dipped part on top.
When the chocolate is still wet, you can sprinkle on some chopped hazelnuts.
All there’s left to do is enjoy!