As summer starts to slip through our fingers, we think it’s time to get back into some of the creature comforts that help us through the winter months. This week, we’ve got a classic cream cake recipe with a twist for you, guaranteed to get your tastebuds tingling. The recipe comes courtesy of Jo, who has been a friend and colleague of Hitchin Lavender for many years now. Thank you Jo!
While you can’t find lavender eclairs on our afternoon tea platters, you can find other mini eclairs interspersed among the other delightful treats on offer. If you fancy a cosy afternoon with friends and scrumptuous treats in our beautiful tearoom, take a look at the café section of our website for details on how to book!
If you can’t make it in for one of our afternoon teas, this recipe will help bring a bit of happiness to your homestead. Let’s get in to it…
For the eclairs:
- 250 ml water
- large pinch of salt
- 65g unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons caster sugar
- 4 eggs
For the filling:
- 300 ml whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons Icing sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
- Good quality lemon curd
For the lavender glaze:
- 200g Icing sugar
- cold water
- Purple food colouring
- Edible lavender flowers (optional)
Preheat the oven to 220 degrees celcius.
Add the water, butter, salt and sugar to a saucepan and heat gently until the butter has melted in the water, then bring to the boil. As soon as the mixture boils, turn off the heat.
Add all the flour and mix quickly.
Return the pan to the heat and cook the paste until it thickens and leaves the sides of the saucepan, this should take about one minute. Do not overcook or beat too vigorously as this will make the mixture greasy.
Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool slightly.
Beat in the eggs one at a time, making sure it is incorporated in the mixture until the next one is added, otherwise the mixture can go lumpy. Once all the eggs are beaten in you should have a smooth glossy choux paste.
Fill a piping bag with the the choux paste that is fitted with a plain nozzle (approximately 1 cm in diameter) and pipe 5-6 cm long eclairs onto a lined baking sheet, space them apart so they do not stick to each other during cooking.
Please in the oven for 10 minutes at 220 degrees celsius initially, then reduce the oven temperature to 180 degrees celsius for a further 15-20 minutes depending on the size of the eclairs.
Once cooked, transfer to a wire rack and split open length ways with a serrated knife, to allow the steam to escape as otherwise the eclairs will collapse. They should be crisp on the outside but slightly moist on the inside.
While the eclairs are cooling you can prepare the filling and topping. For the filling, whip the cream, vanilla bean paste and icing sugar until the cream has thickened, then put into a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle.
To make the lavender glaze to go on top of the eclair, put the icing sugar in a bowl, add cold water a tbsp at a time until you have the desired consistency, add several drops of purple food colouring gel, add more if you like a deeper purple colour), then add 1/4 tsp of lavender extact (add more if you want a stronger lavender flavour). Mix until you have consistency that will coat the back of a spoon.
Finally, to construct your eclair, take your opened eclair, pipe in your cream, drizzle over lemon curd on top of the cream, close the eclair, drizzle over the purple lavender icing.
You can also sprinkle over edible lavender flowers which enhance the lavender flavour and look very pretty. These are best eaten straight away but they will keep in a fridge for several days.
We hope you enjoy some lavender eclairs at home! If you do have a go at making them, get in touch and let us know how it went!
Update from the Farm
We know many of you are waiting on the sunflower bloom this year and unfortunately they are not quite there yet.
A few have come into flower, but nowhere near the full patch as of yet. We’re hopeful that in a week or two, some of that green will have turned much more yellow. It’s unlikely to be a full display this year but there should be some to see.
We’re also incredibly pleased to announce that the Brookfield Band will be returning to Hitchin Lavender on 5th October for another barn dance! We’ll have a hog roast and alternative food options, all included in the price of the ticket. You don’t need any experience to have a fantastic time at one of these events!
Here’s a little clip from our last barn dance in June!