This weekend we celebrated Carnivorous Fiancé’s 28th birthday.
On Friday, we went for food with friends. There were burgers, booze and a butterscotch bourbon birthday cake for 16, made at the birthday boy’s request. Iced and eaten after dark, the cake was never going to make it on the blog, but with no shortage of sweet treats in the little loaf household this weekend, I’ve got a (possibly even better) recipe to share with you today.
On Sunday – Carnivorous Fiancé’s actual birthday – a second request was made, this time for barbecued T-Bone steak with homemade garlic and rosemary fries. I wanted to bake something for after, celebratory enough for a birthday but light enough to enjoy after such a carnivorous main.
I’ve had a jar of pistachio cream sitting in the cupboard for weeks while I dreamt about what to do with it. Made with pistachios grown at the foot of Mount Etna and the preferred brand of Pierre Hermé himself, this stuff is pretty special (read expensive), and while macarons, ice cream or simply spooning it out of the jar were all options which appealed, I’m glad I ended up saving it for this occasion.
Éclairs are often filled with crème patissière, but here I’ve used a simple mixture of pistachio paste and cream. The paste is ever so slightly sweet and nutty, and the clouds of green cream contrast wonderfully with crisp pastry and glossy chocolate ganache. Toasted pistachios add texture to the top and each bite is a crispy, creamy, chocolaty, nutty delight.
This isn’t a post about cake. But it’s a very tasty alternative and I’m pretty sure the combination of butterscotch and bourbon will be making another appearance soon.
Chocolate Pistachio Éclairs
(makes about 10, depending how big you pipe them)
It looks like a lot of steps below but please don’t let that put you off. I made these éclairs in less than an hour, glazing them while on the phone to my Mum: once the choux pastry is made, it’s little more than an assembly job.
For the choux pastry
50g unsalted butter, cubed
50ml full fat milk
1/2 tsp fine salt
1 tbsp golden caster sugar
125g plain white flour, sifted
3 medium free range eggs, beaten
For the pistachio cream
180g pistachio paste (I used this one)
225ml double cream
For the chocolate ganache glaze
40g milk chocolate, finely chopped
20g dark chocolate, finely chopped
75ml double cream
1/2 tsp liquid glucose
Handful toasted pistachios, roughly chopped
For the choux pastry
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Place the butter, milk, water, salt and sugar in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan and bring quickly to the boil. As soon as it reaches boiling point and the butter is melted, add the flour, beating with a wooden spoon until a ball of dough forms that leaves the sides of the saucepan clean.
Lower the heat and beat the mixture for 30 seconds to dry it out slightly then remove from the heat and set aside to cool for 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing each thoroughly into the dough before adding the next. It may look a little lumpy at first – continue to beat and you’ll get a lovely smooth mixture.
Transfer the choux paste into a piping bag fitted with a large plain nozzle and pipe strips direct onto your baking parchment. To stop the paper moving around, dot a little choux paste under each corner and make sure you leave a little space between each line as they will puff up in the oven.
Bake for 20 minutes then without opening the oven door (you want to keep all the heat in), reduce the oven temperature to 180 degrees C and bake for a further 15 – 20 minutes until completely dry and crisp.
Remove from the oven, pierce a hole in the bottom of each one with a skewer to let any steam out and set aside while you make the cream and glaze (below).
For the pistachio cream
Whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Fold in the pistachio paste using a large metal spoon then transfer to a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle.
For the chocolate ganache glaze
Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring the cream to a simmer then remove from the heat and whisk in the glucose syrup.
Pour the cream mixture over the chocolate and leave to stand for 2 minutes. Using a spatula, gently stir the chocolate until the mixture is glossy and smooth.
Using a sharp knife, split each éclair horizontally. Pipe the pistachio cream to fill the empty bottom half of each éclair then replace the top halves.
Glaze the éclairs with the ganache – I used a teaspoon although I’ve also seen people dip or use their finger to spread it across – then sprinkle with the toasted pistachios. Eat within a few hours of filling for crisp, delicious éclairs.
68 RESPONSES TO Chocolate Pistachio Éclairs
happy birthday to the Carnivorous Fiancé! how lucky of him to have all his requests fulfilled! the eclairs look yummy!
These look absolutely brilliant. I love sll things pistachio so this is right up my alley. Will definitely put eclairs on my ever-expanding list of things to bake, it’s been too long since I last made them!
These eclairs look wonderful. I can’t resist pistachio and you have encouraged me to get on with trying my planned lavender eclairs, so thanks! Tracey
I can’t tell you how much I LOVE these. What a good idea to use the pistachio paste, and hang the expense! We sometimes fantasise about buying a pistachio plantation on the slopes of Etna. Once you’ve tasted Bronte pistachios all others seem pale by comparison. But they are hard to find in this country and very expensive… But worth it!
I’ve been meaning to make éclairs for a while now but never quite got round to it but these gorgeous beauties have convinced me that I need to rectify that! Such a lovely flavour combination and they look just perfect. Happy belated birthday to Carnivorous Fiancé!
These are just the best Eclairs that I have ever seen. Pistachio cream is new to me, but not for long. Excellent.
Oh my word these look wonderful! Certainly going on my to-bake list for 2013!
Trials in Food – he’s a lucky boy! But if you can’t be spoiled on your birthday, when can you? 🙂
Sophia – I know, I can’t believe how long it is since I last made them either!
Tracey – they sound fascinating, would love to try a lavender eclair.
Euan – oh, what a wonderful dream. Please buy it then I can get all my pistachios from you! 🙂
Kathryn – thank you! Do have a go at eclairs soon – they’re so delicious and pretty easy to make/adapt flavours to what you like.
Food, Photography & France – its heavenly, highly recommend buying some to sample.
Victoria – enjoy!
wow, they look so yummy! My aunt makes éclairs almost every month, and I’ve always been a little intimidated by her and her éclairs.
But I’m surely going to make some for valentine’s day, they look soo cute!!
You said that you can fill them with something else, but I just got obsessed with the idea of pistachios… can that pistachio paste be made at home? Or is that kind of paste that can only be bought?
Thank you for posting the recipe! 🙂
Hi Sara. Yes, you can make it at home as I made it last year for ice cream. Method from The River Cafe cook book. It’s delicious! Roast 100g pistachios on baking sheet for about 10 minutes. Tip into a bowl to cool down a little, then put them in a mini food processor* (the type that comes with a hand blender or a separate mini chopper) with 40g caster sugar and blitz to a paste. This will take up to around 10 minutes. At first it will just seem dry, but keep going until it turns to a moist, dark brown smooth paste. I guess you would just double the amount for this recipe. Enjoy if you try it!
Thanks you a lot!
I hope I’ll make those soon so I can tell you how yummy they were.
Have a nice day! 🙂
Thanks for the tip Amy! As long as you make sure to add a little sugar then homemade pistachio paste would be a perfect substitute!
Eclairs and profiteroles are my new love. These look superb and I love the sound of the pistachio cream.
I’ve never been a fan of eclairs because I don’t like whipped cream. But pistachio cream sounds amazing! I’ve never tried it but these look fantastic and delicious.
Reblogged this on and commented:
Brilliant spin on a classic – great find.
These look quite frankly sinful! I love the flavour combination! Although I do definitely want to see more about this butterscotch and bourbon combo!
These look lovely! I’ve never heard of pistachio cream before. I’ll definitely have to try it.
I am looking forward to reading about the butterscotch bourbon cake … hopefully soon!
Yay, happy birthday! You’re killin’ me you know, all of these treats – they look so damn wonderful 😀
Look great and I love the sound of pistachio cream! Just my kind of treat 🙂
If your drunken plum tart wasn’t enough to tear anyone away from a dessert free New Year’s regime, then these delicious sounding eclairs definitely will. They look beautiful and the pistachio cream is a master stroke
Wow! These eclairs look very special. I love the colour contrast of the chopped pistachios on top of the chocolate. Gorgeous!
What a great recipe and another chance for me to try out homemade pistachio paste that I used last year for ice cream (method above for Sara) when I didn’t feel I could justify the cost of the paste. I still think I may treat myself one day though, on your recommendation. Butterscotch Bourbon cake sounds good too. Lucky Carniverous Fiancé!
Jules – it’s yummy, do give it a go.
Elly – do you like creme patissiere? Might be a better bet if you don’t like whipped cream…
Tramp Student – thank you!
Nelly – I promise to post something butterscotch bourbon-esque soon!
Stephanie – as above, soon, I promise!
Frugal Feeding – something healthy coming up in the next post 🙂
Susie – so glad you like them 🙂
Big Hungry Gnomes – don’t come here if you’re on a diet, you have been warned! 😉
Nickki – thank you! I love sprinkling pistachios on chocolate – the contrast is so pretty.
Amy – thanks for posting the pistachio paste recipe, must try!
Those éclairs are money! Absolutely gorgeous…
Oh gawd, I have that very jar sitting in my fridge! You know what this means… p.s they look gorgeous
Mmm, carnivorous fiance is a lucky man indeed! It was nice of you to sacrifice your pistachio cream for his birthday. I would’ve wanted to keep it all to myself. 🙂
A belated happy birthday to your fiancé! Everything you made for him sounds divine, and well, these eclairs look amazing. I saw an cookbook dedicated to eclairs the other day. Do you think 2013 will be the year of the eclair?
Gorgeous! Does the liquid glucose keep the ganache smooth and shiny?
Pistachio cream in an eclair must be absolutely amazing. And your eclairs are beautiful. I am sure your fiancee was over the moon! Happy New Year to you xx
yum yum yum!! I loveeee choux pastry and pistachios and chocolate!! My fave three ingredients rolled into one! Thanks so much for sharing and a belated birthday to your fiancé 🙂
Beautiful! I’ve been psyching myself up to do more eclairs soon and you’ve motivated me!
Movita – thank you 🙂
Milli – haha, enjoy!
Michelle – 🙂
Linda – the next jar is all mine… 😉
Jennifer – I’ve heard it may well be! And I’d take an eclair over macarons any day.
Susan – it does indeed!
Laura – he was. We ate two in a row each in front of the TV. Bliss 🙂
The Bubbly Baker – thank you and so glad you like them!
Sarah – happy baking!
These look AMAZING. I’ve read your blog for ages but never commented before…YUM. I love the colours! So pretty
Aw, thank you. So pleased you’ve been reading the blog and thanks for a lovely comment!
come say hello if you fancy it! thedalstonyears.wordpress.com (no pressure, and no such lovely photography, but hopefully some humour!)
Oh my goodness. I can barely bring myself to look at this post…. I need one of your eclairs right now! I cannot get over the glistening gorgeousness of the chocolate.The carnivorous fiance is a lucky guy;)
Wishing you all the best in this new year!
Ah these are beautiful and sound so delicious! Everything you post on here looks so good– we have similar tastes when it comes to sweets. And this sounds like a perfect way to finish a birthday dinner, excellent choice with that. Happy Birthday to Carniverous Fiance! 😉
I’m currently working at a bakery and there are so many delicious cakes every day. But it inspires me to try and give them a go.
Erin – thank you so much and Happy New Year to you too!
Amy – and excellent taste it is too 😉
Clare – that sounds amazing – very jealous!
Humina, humina, humina! I have never wanted an eclair so much in my life! I adore pistachios and it’s a perfect nut with all of that pate a choux, creamy, chocolate goodness! Like I always say..I wish you lived in the US..near me!! Hope your New Years Eve was amazing and again, looking forward to all of your fgoodies in 2013..and these eclairs are already on my 2013 favorite list!
Wishing your fiancé a very Happy Birthday! Those eclairs sounds outrageously good, pistachio paste is divine.
Pistachio cream?! That sounds absolutely amazing! I’m so glad I found your site. Lots of inspiration : )
Thanks for sharing.
Oh boy, loaf. Why must our tastes be so alike? Because you make me want to eat my computer screen and that certainly isn’t healthy ;).
What an exquisite filling! Perfect celebratory eclairs!!!
Lisa – haha, I love your comments, they always make me smile 🙂
Sylvie – thank you, Happy New Year to you too!
Jen – ah, thank you, so glad you’ve found it too!
Sacha – maybe just trying making them rather than attacking the screen? Or we could do a food swap, I’d love a slice of your chocolate pear pie… 😉
Liz – thank you!
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I LOVE Eclairs!!!! ♥
I love your enthusiasm! Thanks for a great comment and here’s to eclairs! 🙂
I’ve been meaning to get back to éclairs and now yours have inspired. I love the sound of that filling and maybe I’ll do one similar! Beautiful!
Happy belated birthday! What a treat (or treats if I include the cake)!
Pistachios and eclairs–perfect-sounding combination!
Jamie – if you haven’t tried that pistachio paste, please do, it’s utterly divine!
Nuts About Food – thank you! I think he really enjoyed the weekend of celebrations 🙂
Fudging Ahead – it was pretty gorgeous!
These look divine….great combination – beautiful photos.
Wow these look amazing! I’ve never made choux pastry before, but definitely want to give these a go 🙂
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These are perfect. I made baked donuts today, but I think I really wanted to make something like these perfect little decadent desserts!
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These look absolutely amazing!
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Good info. Lucky me I ran across your website by accident (stumbleupon).
I have book marked it for later!
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