Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Guava cream éclairs topped with vanilla-bean white chocolate

I was so so excited to get the first little pink guava of the season and I wanted to do something really special with them. After a couple of weeks with my head burrowed in Jane Austen’s Emma, however, they had started to get a little too ripe… and… ended up as jam! Although there's nothing quite like sweet home-made guava jam on a hot croissant first thing in the morning, it wasn't worthy of being the first guava recipe on a blog entitled 'guavablossom'! While munching on the croissant, and with cuisine Française obviously on my mind, I decided to turn the jam in to a pretty baby pink cream filling for crisp éclairs! The combination of vanilla, white chocolate and guava makes me swoon, and I'm sure it will please you too! Enjoy!

Makes around 15 éclairs

Guava jam
1 cup guava pulp (see Method)
1/2 cup sugar
squeeze of lemon juice

Choux pastry
100g butter
15g sugar
pinch of salt
250mL water
125g flour, sieved
4 eggs, beaten

Vanilla-bean white chocolate topping
100g white chocolate
25g butter
1 vanilla pod

Guava cream filling
200mL cream
1/2 cup guava jam, ingredients above

To obtain 1 cup of guava pulp, place peeled and chopped guavas in a food processor for a few seconds and then use a sieve to get the hard seeds out.

To make the guava jam: Place guava jam ingredients (guava pulp, sugar and lemon juice) in a saucepan and bring to the boil while stirring, then simmer for 10 minutes. The guava jam can be prepared ahead of time.

To make the Choux pastry: Put the butter, sugar, salt and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Pour in flour and stir quickly over low heat until mixture leaves the sides of the pan and forms a ball. Remove from heat, cool slightly, and beat in eggs one at a time until you obtain a smooth glossy paste.

Using a piping bag with a 1cm-diameter plain nozzle, pipe the Choux pastry in straight lines about 10cm long on to a greased baking tray. Bake in a 200C oven until crisp, around 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the guava cream filling. Whip the cream and then gently stir in the guava jam with a spatula.

Once the éclairs are out of the oven allow them to cool. Using a small knife make two slits in the side of each éclair (near each end). Pipe the guava cream slowly in to the slits. Alternatively, you may cut each éclair in half lengthways and then pipe the guava cream in to each éclair.

To make the topping: Melt the white chocolate and butter in the microwave. Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthways, and scrape the seeds in to the melted white chocolate and butter mixture and stir. (Keep the vanilla pod to scent your sugar jar or to make some vanilla-scented olive oil.)

Drizzle the melted white chocolate mixture on to the éclairs and... voilà!

(Note the photo of the infamous guava blossom above, which my kind friend Vidya sourced and drove me to one sunny Saturday!)