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Before starting this Pecan Éclairs recipe, organise all the necessary ingredients for the choux pastry.
For the choux pastry: Pour the water in a saucepan.
Add the milk...
... and fleur de sel.
Add the diced butter...
... and the castor sugar.
When the milk comes to a boil and the butter is completely melted...
... remove the pan from the heat and add the flour in one go.
Combine with a spatula...
... until a homogeneous ball forms (called "panada"). Dry off the panada over until it comes off the sides of the pan.
Once the pastry is ready, transfer into the stand mixer recipient.
Combine with the flat beater at low speed to warm up the pastry a little.
Add the eggs one by one, making sure to incorporate one egg before adding the following one.
Our choux pastry is ready.
Transfer the preparation in a piping bag.
Fill the cavities of an éclair pan.
This is what the result should look like.
Bake in a fan-assisted oven preheated at 180°C (gas 4) for 25 to 30 minutes.
When cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool.
For the crunchy pecan filling: I used the crunchy pecan filling by Unipatis, delicious and ready-to-use.
Place the filling in a bowl...
... and soften it a little in the microwave.
Spread the paste over a sheet of greaseproof paper.
Place another sheet of greaseproof paper on top, then spread to a thickness of 4 mm with a rolling pin. Reserve in the fridge.
For the vanilla crème pâtissière: Organise all the necessary ingredients.
Heat the milk and vanilla powder in a saucepan.
In a bowl, tip the egg yolks and the castor sugar. Blanch with a whisk...
... and add the flour.
Combine well with a whisk...
... until homogeneous.
Pour the boiling milk over the blanched eggs, then whisk...
... and transfer the preparation into the saucepan used to boil the milk.
Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly...
... until thick.
Transfer the cream into a food tray so it spreads to a thin layer.
Place cling film over the surface of the cream and leave to cool at room temperature.
Cut the top third of each éclair lengthwise, using a serrated knife.
Cut the pecan filling into rectangles to adequate dimensions so they can fit in the base of each éclair.
Place a filling strip into the bottom of each éclair...
... as shown in the photo.
Transfer the cold crème pâtissière into a mixing bowl.
Beat with a whisk until smooth.
Transfer into a piping bag.
For the caramelised pecans: Organise all the necessary ingredients.
Break the pecan nuts with your fingers and place them in a saucepan.
Add the icing sugar.
Place over low heat...
... and combine with a spatula.
The sugar should slowly melt into a syrup...
... then turn into a caramel. Make sure you stir constantly.
Transfer the caramelised pecans on a sheet of greaseproof paper and spread them so clusters don't form.
For the fondant icing: Place the white fondant in a saucepan and heat until the temperature reaches 37°C (maximum). Stir constantly during the operation.
Add some syrup if needed. (Prepare the syrup with 100 grams of water and 75 grams of castor sugar.) Add in small doses until the fondant has the desired fluidity.
Glaze the éclair caps with the fondant.
Dip each cap in the fondant (rounded side) and lift carefully.
Wipe with your fingertip to remove any excess icing.
Arrange pieces of caramelised pecans over the soft icing.
Repeat the operation with all the éclair caps.
Leave to cool and set.
Fill the éclair bases with pastry cream, in the shape of 3 domes.
Apply gold colouring over the caps with a spray...
... and arrange the caps carefully over the pastry cream filling.
Reserve in the fridge until ready to serve.