Come on in, you’re just in time to meet Kevin Dundon, one of Ireland’s most famous chefs. A restaurateur, television personality, and author of several cookbooks, including his latest tome, Back to Basics, Kevin has cooked for everyone from Queen Elizabeth to Bono. Kevin is in our kitchen today to show us how to make his favorite St. Patrick’s Day party food: St. Patrick’s Day Chocolate Èclairs. Says Kevin, “The idea of making choux pastry fills a lot of people with dread, but follow this easy recipe for a pastry that’s sure to impress every time.”
St. Patrick’s Day Chocolate Èclairs
60 ml/2 fl oz milk
60 ml/2 fl oz water
1 tsp caster sugar
55g/1 ¾ oz butter
135g/5 oz flour
2 large eggs
1 egg wash made of 1 egg yolk mixed with milk
250g dark chocolate
300ml fresh cream, lightly whipped
2 eggs, separated
100g icing sugar
½ lemon, juiced
1–2 drops green food coloring
First, prepare the choux pastry.
Preheat the oven to 325°.
Place the butter, sugar, milk and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and immediately add the flour. Stir briskly and place on a medium heat until the mixture forms a soft dough and leaves the side of the saucepan dry. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Add the eggs one at a time beating thoroughly after each addition; the mixture should be smooth and glossy. Fill a piping bag with a plain nozzle and pipe 6 cm long éclair onto a parchment lined baking tray. Leave a large space between each éclair. Lightly brush each éclair with a light coating of egg wash.
Place in a preheated oven for approximately 20–25 minutes until they are golden brown and have no moisture in them. Place on a wire rack to cool.
In the meantime, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Whip the cream and set aside until needed. Remove from the simmering water, and stir the egg yolks. The mixture will stiffen immediately. Fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture. The cream will soften the mixture down and loosen its consistency.
In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until very stiff and gently fold them into the chocolate cream mixture. This will add air and lightness to the actual mousse.
Fill the éclair with the chocolate mousse and leave on the wire rack.
Now, prepare the green icing by mixing in a bowl the icing sugar, lemon juice, and food coloring. Dip the top of the éclairs into icing and place onto a rack to set.
Click here for more St. Patrick’s Day party tips and here to learn how to make classic Irish coffee.
Lá fhéile Pádraig sona dhuit! (That means “Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you!”)
Images: Kevin Dundon