Vanilla-Flavored Eclairs or Salambos


Well today is Sunday, and it is my day to indulge in a dessert. I could have done a cake but I wanted something creamy and light so I decided on a Salambo. Salambos are a vanilla flavored eclairs with a caramel icing. For those of you, who are afraid to make eclairs, you should try this recipe. It works almost every time! The recipe is taken from the book Eclairs By the Marabout Editions ( found in France).

First you will want to prepare the creme patissiere.

Ingredients:  

  • 325 gr or 1 1/3 cup of milk,
  • 4 egg yolks,  
  • 65 gr or 4.5 tbsp of sugar,
  • 15 gr. or 3 tsp of flour,
  • 15 gr. or 3 tsp of corn starch,
  • a pinch of salt,
  • 1/2 vanilla bean,
  • 1-2 tbsp of grand marnier ( optional).

With a knife, cut the vanilla bean in its length. Then with the back of knife, push the vanilla seeds out of the beans and place them into the milk. In a small saucepan warm up the milk with the vanilla bean, and the vanilla seeds and bring the mixture to boil. Meanwhile, in  large bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until the mixture becomes whitish. Add the flour and the corn starch to the eggs and mix. Pour the hot milk into the egg mixture and stir. Place the milk/ egg mixture back onto the stove and cook until the mixture is bubbling and is becoming really thick. Remove the pastry cream from the stove, place it into a bowl. Cover it tightly with a plastic wrap and let it cool.

Now let’s prepare the eclairs, this recipe yields about 8 normal size eclairs ( about 3 inch long):

For the choux pastry:

  • 8 cl  or 1/4 cup,1 tbsp and 1 tsp of milk,
  • 8 cl or 1/4 cup,1 tbsp and 1 tsp of water,
  • 1/16 tsp of salt, 2 tsp of sugar,
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp of butter,
  • 1/2 cup of flour,
  • 2 large eggs.

In the saucepan, heat up the milk, salt, and sugar. Add the butter cut up in pieces. When the butter has completely melted, bring the mixture to boil. Remove the pan from the stove and add the flour by stirring very well. Place the pan back on the stove ( it must be turned off, but will still be warm), and stir and stir with a heat-resistant spatula until the dough starts becoming a ball and will no longer stick to the rims of the pan. Remove the pan from the stove, empty the dough into a cold bowl and add the eggs to the dough one at a time, mixing well after each egg. Place the dough in a pastry bag, with the large circular opening make long sticks of about 5 inches or 2 inches for small ones on a large silpat that you would have previously lay on a large perforated sheet. Sprinkle the eclairs with some confectioner’s sugar and cook them in a warm oven at 350 for 15 minutes for the small ones or about 25 minutes for the large ones. The dough should become brown and dry on all sides. If the dough is a little bit soft, continue cooking the eclairs for 1-3 more minutes. Take them out to cool.

Now prepare the caramel icing: 2 cup of sugar.

Place the sugar into a large saucepan and place it on the stove on medium-high temperature. Cook until the sugar is burning and becoming caramel. Then start stirring and remove the caramel from the stove when it is becoming an amber color. With thongs, dip each eclairs into the caramel and place them on a silpat or roulpat to cool. If the caramel is becoming too hard and it is becoming too difficult to coat the eclairs, place the caramel back on the stove for a minute or two.

With a sharp knife, cut each eclair in its length. Flavor the vanilla cream with Grand Marnier ( I did not flavor the whole cream because I do not care for the alcohol), and place the cream into a pastry bag with a star opening. Pipe the cream into the eclairs and place the top back onto the eclairs.

Et voila!!!

Serve as they are, or add whipped cream and fruit.

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!