Éclairs au thé matcha et histoire de pâte à choux – Matcha Tea Éclairs and Choux Pastry Stories

éclair choux pastry

If you are French, il va de soi (it goes without saying) that you have eaten an éclair before.

What about if you aren’t French. Have you ever tasted one? Did you like it? What do you think?

It all depends on the éclair you will tell me. And I agree.

I am French and I have eaten many éclairs. A lifetime of éclairs. Toute une vie.

I went to boarding school. This is what happens for many youngsters living in isolated parts of rural France. High schools can be far from home, and commuting every day a drag. By the age of 13, every Monday, I would pack my bag for the week, and drive to my high school town to study maths, industrial design and physics. High school days were long, with classes from Monday to Saturday morning, 8:30 to 5. We felt lucky to have Wednesday afternoons off, which was when we would hang out au café de la Montagne to question the world. On jouait aussi au babyfoot (we also played foozball). I loved to be the goalkeeper, and I was pretty good at it. But anyway, beside the fun of hanging out au café , trying to change the face of things, we still enjoyed our weekly visit to la patisserie de Mr Streiff to buy delicious pastries. And this is why I ate so many éclairs. For 3 years, every Wednesday, among all the possible pastries, my choice would fall on un éclair. Chocolat and vanille were my favorite flavors. How many éclairs did I eat, if I count one per week, for a total period of 10 months, during 3 years? A pretty good number! You would think that I know my way around them. Only until I heard about Sadaharu Aoki.

Do you remember my discovery of this Japanese pastry master and these?

It is impossible for me to forget! In fact, I especially remember his éclair au thé Matcha.

If you recall, Sadaharu Aoki has a few shops in Paris, from a stand at Galeries Lafayette Gourmet, to shops rue Vaugirard and boulevard Port Royal. During my last trip to the French capital, I enjoyed visiting his shops and devoured many pastries in one time, which is actually quite unusual for my savoury tooth. No complaint here though, as I chose to do it. And, amongst many of his patisseries, I particularly enjoyed this classic French pastry: l’éclair.

Sadaharu could have chosen to use the most traditionally known flavors such as chocolat, café, vanille et praliné, but he didn’t. Instead, he used Matcha tea and Black Sesame. Beside the attraction I have for Matcha tea generally speaking, my girls’ eyes were systematically drawn to the shiny coat of green covering his éclair. Yes le vert is also one of the colors I particularly enjoy.

So what?

Being attracted to this green éclair leaves me nowhere.

Exactly!

I do not live in Paris!

For someone like me who only visit Paris twice a year, it means that I am left with only a few occasions to fulfill the spontaneous, uncontrollable éclair craving. What do I do with it? Paris, ce n’est pas la porte à côté ! (Paris is not next door!)

Not having the ability to walk down the street to buy an éclair when I feel like it, I decided to challenge myself with baking some. Histoire d’être la pâtissière d’un jour. (To be a pastry maker of a day).

L’éclair

An éclair is a small pastry made with pâte à choux with an elongated shape instead of the more traditionally known round one. Once baked, the choux is cut in 2 halves and filled with crème pâtissière, before it is iced with a fondant icing. “No rocket science here,” I thought.

I had made pâte à choux and crème pâtissière before, and felt confident about this part. Easy! Facile ! As a matter of fact, pâte à choux is one of the doughs I enjoy working the best. I like to see the wet dough dry quickly in the pot as I mix it with energy, before it stretches in long elastic threads. But I had never tried my hand at using fondant or making any type of glaçage (icing). And, not only didn’t I know how to proceed but I did not even have a recipe. I felt clueless. Stuck. If I were patient, I might have succeeded and obtain the beautiful shiny icing coat I was expecting. In the right order of things, I would have searched for an icing recipe *beforehand* and not “while doing it”. But I am not known to be particularly patient. In fact, I often rush and think afterwards. Personne n’est parfait (No one is perfect).

So I improvised.

I mixed confectioner’s sugar with water, and added Matcha tea. The mixture ran too thin. “How am I supposed to make fondant?,” I thought. The icing did not work. I became frustrated and discouraged, close to giving up. “Why, I thought, didn’t I think before , for a change?” Complètement frustrant.

I sighed.

Had a bite of my éclair.

And smiled.

Mmm, c’est pas mauvais ! Not bad!

My éclairs might not have looked pretty, the way I had wanted them to, but they were good. In the end, I had managed to get my éclair fix.

Matcha Tea Éclairs and Choux Pastry Stories

(For 6 mini éclairs)

For the pâte à choux :

You need:

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 oz butter
  • 2.5 oz flour
  • 2 eggs

Steps:

  • Heat the milk, water, sugar, salt and the butter cut in pieces in a pot.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Away from the heat, add the flour in one time and mix well with a wooden spoon.
  • The dough should detach from the sides of the pot.
  • Add one egg and mix well before adding the second. The dough should be elastic and not wet.
  • Preheat your oven at 400 F.
  • Use a decoration bag to pipe your choux in the form of éclair (long fingers) on a greased cookie sheet. Mine measured about 4″. Leave space between them.
  • Cook them for about 30 mns (check the color, which should be golden). After this time, open the oven slightly and continue to cook for 10 mns. Take your éclairs out of the oven and let them cool down on a rack.

For the Matcha Tea Custard Cream

You need:

  • 1 cup + 1 Tbsp milk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 vanilla pod
  • 2 oz sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp Matcha tea


Steps:

  • Bring the milk to a boil with the vanilla pod cut in 2 halves.
  • Stop the heat and let infuse for 15 mns. Filter the milk and remove the vanilla pod.
  • In a bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar and the salt.
  • Add the flour and mix well.
  • Transfer in a pot and pour the hot milk on top of this preparation.
  • Beat and heat until boiling pot.
  • The cream will start to thicken. Continue to cook for 1 to 2 mns.
  • Remove from the heat and pour the cream in a bowl sitting in a dish full of iced water.
  • Once the cream has cooled down a bit, add the Matcha tea powder and mix well. Cover with Cling paper and place in the fridge until ready to use.

Finishing Steps

  • Cut your éclairs open and pipe in Matcha tea cream, using a confectioner’s bag.
  • For the icing, I will not give a recipe since I am still looking for one. If you have one, use it and let me know about it!

The rest is easy, just the pleasure to eat.

Le coin français
Éclairs au thé matcha et histoire de pâte à choux

(Pour 6 mini éclairs)

Pour la pâte à choux :

Ingrédients :

  • 60 ml eau
  • 60 ml lait
  • 1 pincée de sel
  • 1 càs de sucre
  • 60 g de beurre
  • 70 g de farine
  • 2 oeufs

Étapes :

  • Faites chauffer le lait, l’eau, le sucre, le sel et le beurre coupé en morceaux dans une casserole.
  • Amenez à ébullition.
  • Hors du feu, ajoutez la farine en une fois, et mélangez avec une spatule en bois.
  • La pâte doit se détacher des parois de la casserole.
  • Ajoutez un oeuf et mélangez bien avant d’ajouter le second. La pâte doit être élastique et décrire des rubans.
  • Préchauffez votre four à 200 C.
  • Utilisez une poche à douille pour former vos éclairs sur une plaque de cuisson recouverte d’une feuille cigare. Les miens mesurent environ 10 cm. Espacez-les.
  • Faites cuire pendant environ 30 mns (ils doivent avoir une couleur dorée). Ensuite, entre-ouvrez votre four et continuez la cuisson pendant 10 mns. Sortez les éclairs du four et laissez-les refroidir sur une grille.

Crème pâtissière au thé matcha

Ingrédients :

  • 250 ml de lait
  • 2 jaunes d’oeufs
  • 1/2 gousse de vanille
  • 60 g de sucre en poudre
  • 1 pincée de sel
  • 20 g de farine
  • 1 càc de thé matcha en poudre


Étapes :

  • Faites bouillir le lait avec la vanille fendue et gratée.
  • Arrêtez le feu et laissez infuser pendant 15 mns, puis filtrez le lait.
  • Dans un bol, mélangez les jaunes d’oeuf avec le sucre et la pincée de sel.
  • Ajoutez la farine et mélangez.
  • Transférez dans une casserole et versez le lait chaud sur cette préparation.
  • Fouettez et faites chauffer jusqu’à reprise de l’ébullition.
  • La crème épaissit. Continuez à faire cuire pendant 1 à 2 mn.
  • Retirez-la du feu et versez-la dans un bol placé dans un bac contenant de l’eau glacée. Cela permet d’éviter la formation d’une peau sur la crème.
  • Une fois qu’elle est un peu refroidie, ajoutez la poudre de thé matcha et mélangez bien. Recouvrez-la d’un film alimentaire avant de la mettre au frigidaire jusqu’au moment où vous vous en servez.

Finition

  • Coupez vos éclairs en deux et fourrez-les avec la crème patissière (en utilisant une poche à douille).
  • Pour le glaçage, je ne donne pas de recette car je cherche toujours. Si vous en avez une, utilisez-la et transmettez-la moi. Je serais curieuse d’en savoir plus !

L’essentiel après, c’est de déguster.

Posted in Cakes, Dessert, French Inspired | 42 Comments

42 comments

  1. I am becoming very boring. The only comment I seem inclined to make at yer blog these days is: “Bea, OMG, look at your amazing photographs, Wow”.

    lovely jubbley.

  2. He has a shop in Tokyo also :) I posted about matcha eclair a while ago – I added thin rice cakes as well as the cream, it was surprisingly good. I wonder what it’s like with raspberries?

  3. Un délice hein ? J’en avais fait pour le reveillon de noël l’an dernier et j’avais triché pour le glaçage… en prenant du fondant blanc tout fait et en y ajoutant 1 cuillère de matcha dissout dans du lait. Une merveille !

  4. Bea,
    These two weeks I have been unable to view your photos, even the text of the main content is overlaping with the sidebar. (I’m using Internet Explorer anyway). Just want to see if anyone reader has the same problem.

  5. hi bea, the matcha eclairs look divine!! i’ll be your first customer if you start selling them lol

  6. tu as raison sur … l’essentiel. En tout cas je suis ravie que tu aies fait cette recette … ça change des macarons (tout en présentant le même “raffinement”). Pour le glaçage je vais essayer (j’ai un cobaye tout désigné)

  7. I like using green tea for pastries, as it adds a tad of bitter and controls the sweetness. One thing I really liked about Japanese patisseries is that they usually add little sugar compared to North American ones. Their whipped cream tasted like cream with a hint of sweetness rather than sweet cream.

    A while ago I was trying to make green tea/mango cheesecake, but had no matcha powder. To substitute, I brewed as strong a tea as I could get, and added the chopped the leaves to the batter. While they didn’t look particularly pretty, it made for neat contrast whenever you hit one of them.

  8. waouhh!!!
    ils sont superbes!
    Je n’ai jamais eu l’occasion de goûter ceux de Sadaharu Aoki mais depuis le temps que je les vois et que j’en entends parlé…
    J’ai aussi prévu d’en faire moi-même pour satisfaire ma curiosité…

  9. Superbe et quelle couleur! Pour le glaçage je pense comme Framboise avec du fondant tout prêt pourquoi pas?

  10. La dernière photo est absolument fabuleuse…Je n’apprécie pas vraiment le thé matcha mais j’adore sa belle couleur verte ! J’essaierais bien la version pistache, avec les fraboises, ce serait tout aussi bon je pense…
    Pour le glaçage, je vois ma maman dans une dizaine de jours, je lui poserai la question et reviendrai icic même te donner la solution (son fondant est à tomber…)

  11. en voilà un essai magnifique, tu vas devenir une grande pâtissière. j’aime beaucoup le non glaçage que tu as fait.

  12. Bea
    this is lovely- yes in Asia they have yummy sesame popsicles too! [China] i have a great matcha mousse recipe to share with you- up at almost 5 AM OUR time—-ack.
    nice post!

  13. Bea – my Japanese friend brought me back a bag of matcha few weeks ago, and I would love to try your recipe! Sadly, I left my matcha in Estonia, so it won’t happen before September, when I’m at home again.
    I tried my hand with choux pastry just recently, making small cheesy balls, and cannot wait to try your sweet recipe with a twist next.
    Gorgeous pictures, as usual!

  14. almost the same recipe today!! great idea with the matcha filling. love it! can i have a couple of yours in exchange of a couple of mine? :)) hugs

  15. Ho la la j’adore ça!
    La première fois que j’en avais mangé c’était à Kyoto, c’était tellement bon! D’ailleurs j’en parle aussi sur mon blog :)
    J’aime beaucoup ta version avec les framboises, très joli!!

  16. I love matcha- it’s slightly bitter taste is a wonderful addition to most pastries (which lately I find too sweet) and the color is a little out of the ordinary.

  17. Avec les macarons, la pâte à choux est la deuxième chose qui m’effraie en pâtisserie et pourtant que j’aime les éclairs!! Ta version est très belle j’imagine le goût du matcha tellement subtile et frais et que dire de l’élégance de ce vert!! Oh, je crois bien que là, il va falloir que je me lance!!!

  18. Look fantastic Bea, love the contrasting raspberries on top!
    I bought my first tin of matcha a few days ago – haven’t opened it yet, however I can’t wait to try making some pastries with it!

  19. Thanks Sam! You are paying me a very nice compliment! I don’t find it boring! ;-)

    Thanks again Kat

    Keiko, I need to visit Tokyo! Thin rice cakes sound very interesting. How did you make them? I like the raspberries on top against the Matcha tea

    Jeff, ahah indeed!

    Framboise, mais que oui, bonne idée. Je ne sais pas où l’acheter cela dit aux US. Des idées ?

    Gattina, thanks so much my dear. You helped to fix the issue!

    Mini-me, Nice! I like that!

    Béate, tiens-moi au courant de tes expériences avec la glaçage.

    Nico, great idea indeed. Nice to remember things like this. Thanks!

    David, mais que oui !

    Loukoum, mais oui, fais la curieuse !

    Choupette, oui c’est vrai. Je dois penser aux raccourcis.

    Ingrid, j’attends de savoir ce que ta mère te dit!

    Anne, tu es trop gentille. J’ai des progrès à faire !

    Kim, yes would love to hear about your recipe, as usual.

    Pille, thank you! September is really at the corner!

    Francesca, I will have to go and see! I knew you liked Matcha tea! ;-)

    Thanks Paz.

    Ooishigal, ah chouette. Kyoto, pas mal pour une première fois.

    Liz, yes agree!

    Alhya, oui oui, lance-toi. Tu verras, c’est facile.

    Kim U, thanks for your nice note.

    Bron, yeah! You have to make me something when I come to visit in March ahahahah ;-) Cannot wait!

  20. wow, that´s a really amazing way to go when in need of an eclair fix. I usually settle for a probably very inferior pasteleria version, but who knows, maybe I´ll try them one day.

  21. Beautiful as always Bea! You know, i’d been eyeing a particular page in one of my cookbooks for ages – it’s caramel eclairs! Your matcha eclairs is definitely speeding up the process!

    Absolutely stunning photos – i’d like to grab one off the screen :)

  22. superbe ce vert! pourquoi ai-je laissé mon thé matcha à Paris???? :-) quasi impossible d’en trouver à Rome ou je n’ose pas imaginer le cas échéant le prix prohibitif (oui c’est pire qu’à Paris! quoiqu’au Lafayettes Gourmet, je ne l’ai pas payé si cher)
    bonne journée!
    ciaooooooooo

  23. not pretty? travesty, i think they’re absolutely beautiful. i love the dose of colour that perks it up immensely. there’s something about green that makes everything absolutely edible. beautiful job!

  24. I need to try because in UK they put some chantilly instead of a creme patissiere and it’s not really good…

  25. Your eclairs look beautiful! I haven’t played with choux pastry before and this recipe looks too good to pass up! I think it’s time for me to give it a try! ;)

  26. Lobstersquad, well yes, I guess I really needed it. I rarely have them to almost never in the US.

    Mae, I cannot wait to see yours!

    Peggy, merci. Dommage que tu ne puisses pas en trouver à Rome ! Peut-être un autre parfum alors !

    Vanessa, thanks ;-)I still want to improve on the icing part though.

    Mily, that is interesting. Chantilly is different from what we know for sure.

    Geneve, yes come on! You will love it.

    Sophie, merci!

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  28. Bea,
    The first item I went to at your site was the choux pastry and with the photos it makes me want to try this recipe out!
    When I was a child I remember eating these little choux pastries at Bastani’s and Kayani’s bakeries located just nearby to Metro cinema in Bombay, (now Mumbai) in India. Their pastries were really yummy, crisp on the outside and filled with a nice creamy vanilla filling that tested just like pudding inside and one bite was heaven.
    So to all the Mumbaiites this will recapture memories of days gone by.
    Thanks for your recipe.

  29. superbes malgré ta critique et excellents sans aucun doute.
    Les éclairs verts sont toujours un pur régal pour ma part.

  30. je viend de les faires ils sont super bon , mais j’aie un peu louper mes eclair il n’ont pas monter beaucoup

  31. Donc je suis pas tellement original, heureusement! J’ai google “eclairs au cafe” avec l’idee de les convertir en “au matcha” – plus besoin! merci! quelle beaute – ils ont l’air super. on va les faires tantot.

  32. your eclairs are beautiful! is matcha the “it ingredient” for 2008? i’ve seen them on many blogs this week and now I feel like making me some matcha truffles : )

  33. Bonjour Bea !
    J’aimerais realiser cette recette et je me demandais s’il etait possible de realiser la pate a choux et la creme la veille et si oui comment conserver les choux prealablement cuits ?
    Oui, il n’y a pas d’accent dans ce message parce que comme toi, je suis une francaise expatriee, vivant a Washington DC !
    Merci pour ton aide !
    Belle soiree
    Marion

  34. LOVE this recipe. I made it with a white chocolate / lime zest/juice frosting, which worked really great.

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