If you follow me on Instagram, you saw that it was my son Ethan's 11th Birthday last week. He is my oldest and I still can't believe I'm old enough to have a kid that's 11! Recently, while at my niece's 1st birthday party, my wonderfully talented sister made eclairs as part of the spread for her garden tea party themed event. I think Ethan ate 50 of them! Naturally, when I asked what he wanted for his birthday cake this year, he said eclairs. Hence, these White Chocolate Cream Filled Eclairs with Caramel were created! Now, I haven't made eclairs since cooking school, but I thought I'd give it a shot. As I mentioned last week, I've been diving into my new favorite book, Ratio, by Michael Ruhlman. In it, he has a great method for making pate a choux. Cream puffs, profiteroles and eclairs are all based on using this particular dough.
Now I have to admit, the idea for three types of eclairs came about partially by accident. PRO TIP: When the eclairs come out of the oven, IMMEDIATELY take a small sharp paring knife and cut a small slit in one end of each eclair to let steam escape. There is so much steam in these little eclairs that help them puff up, that once they hit the cool air, they will immediately collapse. Lesson learned the hard way with the first batch!
Without enough eggs nor time to make a new batch, I had to get creative! Ethan originally asked for white chocolate cream filled eclairs topped with caramel and then some vanilla pastry cream filled eclairs topped with chocolate. There were enough eclairs to make the two kinds that he wanted, but what to do with the deflated ones? I decided to cut a wider slit lengthwise in them and fill them with ice cream...ice cream sandwich eclairs!
Despite the screw up, the eclairs were a hit with both kids and adults. Eclairs can seem a bit scary, but they aren't as bad as I thought they would be. It's a time consuming process, but worth it in the end. Between the filling and the toppings there are so many different flavor combinations you can make with these.
Today I'm sharing his favorite of the three types of eclairs. These White Chocolate Cream Filled Eclairs with Caramel are to die for. Now, if you are interested in other versions, they are very simple to make based on the recipes below. For the vanilla pastry cream topped with chocolate version, omit the white chocolate from the pastry cream and add in 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract instead. For the chocolate topping, combine equal parts of heated heavy cream and semisweet chocolate to make a chocolate ganache. If you are wanting to try the ice cream sandwich eclairs, simply cut a larger slit into the long side of the eclairs to make a spot for the ice cream. You can fill the eclair with whichever flavor is your favorite and then dip it in your favorite sprinkles or nuts.
What's your favorite flavor combination? If you make this recipe, make sure you share a photo with me, I’d love to see all of your creations! #SaporitoKitchen
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