Twenty or so years ago, we were asked to cater a large event during Passover. Hundreds of people would be in attendance at the city’s concert hall and the organizers wanted to have coffee and desserts awaiting them when the concert was over. Of course we agreed to do it, and then we had to figure out what we would make.
In addition to the regular “traditional’ cookies (mandelbrot, kichel. etc.) we served tarts, mini pavlovas and other items. It was also the first time I made kosher for Passover eclairs and cream puffs. When we were discussing ideas, and what we could do, I realized that the Passover rolls we’ve always made were, in fact, a form of choux pastry and that there was a good chance a version could be made into a pastry. It worked beautifully.
My favorite version is filled with lightly sweetened whipped cream and topped with a dark chocolate ganache. Real dairy products are always the first choice, but you can make the substitutions to make these parve if that’s your preference. You can also fill these with mousse, curd lightened with whipped cream, sweetened strawberries folded into the whipped cream -whatever you’d like!
This recipe for kosher for Passover choux pasty can be used for eclairs or cream puffs with a variety of fillings.
- Choux Pastry
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup butter (or margarine) (2 oz.)
- 2 Tbsp. granualted sugar
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 cup cake meal (4 3/4 oz.)
- 5 large eggs
- 4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
- 1/2 cup whipping cream (or non-dairy whip topping)(4 oz.)
Whipped Cream Filling
- 2 cups whipping cream (or non-dairy whip topping)
- 1/4 cup icing sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C),
- In a saucepan, bring the water, butter, sugar and salt to a simmer over medium heat. Add the cake meal and stir vigorously until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the pot, leaving a light film on the bottom of the pot.
- Transfer the dough to a mixer and use the paddle attachment to start mixing on medium, cooling the mixture slightly, 3-4 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mixing until incorporated before adding the next egg. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, then continue mixing until smooth.
- Transfer the mixture to a pastry bag with a large circle tip or a disposable pastry bag with the tip cut off. Pipe 1-inch by 4-inch strips on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You should get approximately 12.
- Bake for 20 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to350°F (175°C) and bake another 20-30 minutes or until puffed up, golden brown and firm. It’s important that they are fully baked as they will collapse if they’re under-baked. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
- While they’re cooling down, make the ganache. Place the choclate in a heat proof bowl. Heat the whipping cream in a bowl in the microwave or in a small saucepan over medium heat. You need to heat it until it just starts to steam and you see a couple of bubbles forming. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate.
- Place a plate or cover over the chocolate/cream bowl and set aside for 5 minutes. Use a spoon or spatula to stir the ganache together. This will take a couple of minutes — stir until all of the cream has been incorporated into the chocolate. Let the ganache sit for 15 minutes, cooling slightly.
- While the ganache is cooling, make the filling. Add the whipping cream, icing sugar, and vanilla extract to the bowl of a mixer and use the whisk attachment to whip the cream on medium until stiff peaks just form (be careful not to over-whip). Transfer the whipped cream to a pastry bag with a round tip or cut the tip off of a disposable bag.
- Use a serrated knife to cut the pastry shells in half. Pipe a generous amount of whipped cream on the bottom half of the shell, then replace the top half. Continue with the rest of the eclairs.
- Lift an eclair up and turn over, carefully dipping the top of the eclair in the ganache. Return the eclair to the baking sheet, ganache-side up or place on a serving platter and continue with the rest of the eclairs.
- Chill the eclairs for a couple of hours before serving.