Ever since I heard a covid vaccine was on the way, this idea popped into my head to make eclairs to celebrate. Why eclairs? Because they are injected (like the vaccine) with a filling and I find this similarity funny. Eclairs also kind of resemble the shape of a syringe. And after going over a year without hugging a friend, I decided that getting back to normal was certainly something eclair-worthy.
Here I’ll show you the process I used to make the eclairs. If you make your own, I’d love to see your creations! Share in the comments or tag me on Instagram, I’m @sararob.
Step 1: Make a filling
No one ever makes eclairs without a filling. I suppose you could, but that would be boring. I prefer making the filling in advance (even a few nights before) to make this whole process more approachable. I decided to fill these eclairs with, wait for it….lemon curd. I know a few people might turn up their nose at this, but I was really happy with how this turned out! The tangy lemon paired really well with the eclairs’ sweet topping. I’m a fan of homemade lemon curd and used this recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction.
If you’re still not convinced by lemon curd, the good news is you can make whatever filling you want! Eclairs are typically filled with pastry cream (Crème Pâtissière if you’re feeling fancy), which is a thick, creamy vanilla custard. It’s quite good but I was feeling lemon curd this time. I don’t know why, but I went with it. You can also use store bought custard (or really anything) to simplify this process, I won’t judge.
Step 2: Make the eclair pastry
Before attempting these I had made eclairs once before as one of my British Bake Off challenges. Following that entire 24-step recipe was unnecessarily complicated, but the part for making the eclair pastry was straightforward so I used it again. This is Prue’s recipe and you can find it here. Don’t be alarmed by all the ingredients and steps. If you’re just using this recipe for the pastry, get the 7 ingredients listed under the Choux pastry section, and you only need to follow Step 1 – 6. The recipe isn’t specific about the piping tip to use for piping the eclair batter onto the baking sheet. I used the Wilton 6B tip and it turned out quite well.
Step 3: Sweet, sweet injection time
Once the eclairs have fully cooled, it’s time for one of the most fun parts of this process: injection! First, put your filling into a piping bag fitted with an injector (I used these). With the injector, I poked two holes on the bottom of the eclair and just…injected. At first it might feel like nothing is happening but after a few tries you’ll get the hang of it. You can also compare the weight of your un-filled eclairs to make sure the filling is going in.
Step 4: Topping with fondant
I rarely use fondant for decoration (mostly team buttercream over here 🙋🏻♀️). But fondant works really well as an eclair topper. I cannot claim this idea, I got it from Prue’s eclair recipe linked above. I used this small pack of navy blue Satin Ice fondant, which was plenty for topping 6 eclairs. To get the fondant in the right shape for topping the eclairs, use a rolling pin to roll it out to about 1.5 – 2mm thick. Then use a pizza cutter or knife to cut it into rectangular pieces that will fit on top of your eclairs. Mine were about 12 x 2.5cm but your size might vary depending on how big your eclairs are. After cutting the fondant into rectangles, I used the pizza cutter and my fingers to round the corners for a cleaner look.
With the fondant rectangles ready, I brushed my eclairs with some simple syrup which acted as a nice glue for the fondant. I also brushed the top of the fondant with simple syrup – this gave them a really nice shine.
Step 5: Piping syringes
Almost ready! The last step is to pipe on some syringes. To do this I made a batch of American buttercream and left out the vanilla extract to give it a whiter color. I piped these using a Wilton #3 circular tip. I piped the syringe design by hand while looking at a picture of a syringe on my phone. I wanted something with a simple design so I searched “eclair clip art” and went with one of those.
Tada! I loved how these looked and tasted and had so much fun making them.
Finally, I want to thank all of the researchers and healthcare workers who worked SO hard to make this vaccine possible. If you can get the vaccine, do it. Then eat an eclair.