It is the water in the Eclair mixture, with evaporates whilst it is cooking and leaves a hollow middle.
FOR THE CHOUX PASTRY:
pinch of salt
2 small eggs
2 1/2oz plain flour
FOR THE FILLING
100ml double cream or whipping cream
- Heat the oven to 220 degrees C. Prepare a baking sheet with grease proof paper. If you want to draw lines along the sheet 2 -3cm apart, so when you pipe the eclairs they are all the same length.
- Put the water, margarine and salt in a large pan. Heat until the margarine melts. Then bring the mixture to a boil. Remove from the heat.
- Quickly beat in the flour all at once. Continue beating until the mixture falls away from the edges of the pan and comes together to form a ball. Do not over beat. (To help prevent this, stop beating immediately after the mixture start to come away from the edge)
- Cool the mixture. (The mixture should be cool to the touch) Then beat in the eggs gradually until the pastry is smooth, glossy and can still hold a shape. All the egg may not be needed. Make sure the mixture does not turn into a runny mess by adding to much egg.
- Now spoon the mixture into a piping bag, with a large nozzle.
- Pipe out eclairs which are about 2cm - 3cm in length. Make sure they are all similar in size as this will make cooking them easier.
- Place them in the oven for 15- 20 mins or until golden brown. Remove from the oven. Do not open the oven door whilst they are cooking as this will affect the cooking.
- After taking the eclairs out of the oven make a hole in the side with a chopstick or something similar. This will let the steam escape from the middle. Then place them back in the turned off oven for about 5 minutes to dry out the botoms. Cool.
- Whip 50ml of the double cream. Make the ganache by melting the chocolate and then adding the rest of the cream (50ml). The ganache should turn shinny and thick.
- Place the whipped cream in a piping bag, with a small nozzle.
- Either pipe the cream in the hole that was made to let the steam out, or cut the eclairs in half and using a knife put some cream in the middle. Then smooth ganache over the top.
- Tada!!! You have some eclairs!
- If the mixture did not hold its shape or collapsed after they were taken out of the oven then there was to much egg in the mixture.