I love French pastry making techniques – there’s something absolutely magical about starting off with a dough or batter that transforms into something completely unique once baked. Take for instance, a macaron, which develops its distinctive ‘feet’ when baked (don’t forget to check out my Rose and Raspberry Cheesecake Macarons) or in our case today, these passionfruit and coconut eclairs, which when piped, resemble any other dough. But once out of the oven, they go crisp and brown on the outside and magically hollow within.
This is the kind of pastry that gives you the complete freedom to go crazy with flavour combinations. So that is exactly what I did! 🤷🏽♀️
I love how beautiful passionfruit tastes! If I were to describe its flavour, I’d say it tastes like a cross between an alphonso mango and an orange. This is perhaps, one of the reasons why it goes so well with either fruit. But the taste is something you experience a bit later. No sooner do you cut the fruit than you are hit by the heady, fruity aroma that is distinctive of passionfruit. It’s an absolute sensory explosion and if you’ve ever eaten a passionfruit, you’d know exactly where I’m getting at! Can you imagine this tart sweet goodness being transformed into a thick, luscious curd? That’s exactly what we do to make these eclairs irresistibly decadent!
Now that we have the passionfruit bit of the recipe sorted, let’s move on to the coconut segment of this recipe! I was wondering how I could possibly incorporate coconut into these passionfruit and coconut eclairs. I could have left them at the curd but I felt like it would end up being a bit too one dimensional if I’d done that! I needed the greasy nuttiness that is representative of coconuts and after much deliberation, I thought it’d be nice to experiment a bit and see if adding coconut extract into my choux pastry whilst its being made would do anything positive for me! Lo and behold – it worked like absolute magic!
Once these babies are baked and out of the oven, I like to poke a hole in each of them so as to let the steam escape. This prevents the shells from going soggy and helps retain its crispness. Once completely cooled, I like to slice off the top third of the eclairs. You can however, choose to leave the shells intact and instead, fill them from the bottom by making 3 very tiny holes and filling them with the curd.
Once the curd has been filled, I like to glaze the top third of the shell with some icing sugar and water and whilst its still a bit wet, I like to add the coconut powder, which sticks to the surface and makes your passionfruit and coconut eclairs look intensely decadent!
I hope you give these passionfruit and coconut eclairs a go, follow the video where I’ve outlined the details and you are sure to get results that will make your loved ones’ jaws drop!
- 165 mls water
- 84 grams butter
- 100 grams all purpose four
- 3 medium eggs +extra for brushing the choux (piped eclairs)
- 1 teaspoon coconut extract
- 125 grams Passionfruit pulp
- Juice of 1/2 lime or 1/4 a lemon
- 1 medium eggs
- 2 medium egg yolks
- 80 grams caster sugar
- 80 grams butter, cold
- Curd piping
- Coconut powder on diagonal 1/4th section of the top
- 1 tablespoon icing sugar
- 1/2 tsp water
- Start by making the passionfruit curd first. Add the Passionfruit pulp, egg, egg yolk and sugar into a saucepan.
- Mix on medium low heat till it begins to thicken
- When it coats the spatula, take it off the heat and add cold chopped butter. Mix till well incorporated and smooth.
- Take out in a bowl, cover with cling wrap covering the surface of the curd so it doesn’t form a skin.
- Once it reaches room temperature, pop into the fridge to chill.
- Make the choux pastry:
- On a parchment paper, make 4 inch lines as a guide to pipe your eclairs.
- Preheat your oven to 220 degrees Celsius.
- In a saucepan, place water and butter, when it starts to bubble slightly, take it off the heat, add the flour, mix until combined and put back on heat.
- Keep mixing until it leaves a layer of film at the bottom of the saucepan and comes together in a dough.
- Take it off the heat and start beating it on medium low speed in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment until the steam escapes.
- In a bowl, lightly beat the eggs until just combined
- Once the stand mixer bowl feels cool to the touch, add the eggs, a little at a time as you may or may not need all of the mix depending on the consistency of the choux.
- Beat till the dough comes together and stretches when lifted with a spatula.
- Place in a piping bag and pipe 4 inch long lines on a baking sheet.
- Use the remaining egg to give an egg wash to the choux
- Bake in the oven at 220 degrees c for first 5 minutes and then at 180 degrees c for 30 minutes.
- If you have leftover choux paste, leave it in the fridge until further use.
- To finish, slice the top of the eclair shell, fill the hollowed section with passionfruit curd.
- Make a paste with the icing sugar and water.
- Use a pastry brush to brush the top of the shells with the icing sugar and water mix and drizzle coconut powder.