Extract from The Great Australian Bake Off Companion (Hachette Australia, November 2016)
Pumpkin Pie Eclairs
For the éclairs
175g unsalted butter, at room temperature
200g whole milk
225g cake flour
For the pumpkin mousse
500g Kent pumpkin
320g whipping cream
90g caster sugar
12g gelatine sheets, silver grade
180g egg yolks
120g white sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon freshly grated whole nutmeg
½ teaspoon vanilla paste
For the caramel chocolate décor
250g caramel chocolate melts
10g cocoa butter
For the pepita praline crumb
100g white sugar
- Preheat the oven to 165°C and place a shallow pan at the bottom. Line two baking trays with silicone baking mats. Bring 200ml water, the butter, milk, salt and sugar to the boil. Meanwhile, sift the flour and reserve. When the liquid comes to the boil, remove from the heat and quickly stir in the flour all at once. Return to the heat and continue to cook, stirring continuously for a couple of minutes or until the mixture begins to stick to the bottom of the pot. Put the hot mixture into a stand mixer with a beater attachment and mix for a minute or two to release steam and cool slightly. Gradually add the eggs while mixing on medium speed until smooth and glossy. Add a little more egg if required to reach the correct consistency.
- Put the pastry mixture into a large heatproof piping bag fitted with a large round nozzle. Pipe 15cm lengths onto the prepared baking sheets. You should have enough batter for eight per sheet. Using a wet finger, dab any peaks of pastry. Bake for 40 minutes with a little boiling water poured into the preheated pan at the bottom of the oven.
- When cooked, remove from the oven and slit each éclair with a bread knife and open out to expose doughy middles. Return to the oven for another 10–15 minutes to completely dry out. Remove and cool on wire racks for 10 minutes then place in the refrigerator until required for assembly.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. To make the pumpkin mousse, remove seeds and skin from the pumpkin and slice into 1cm thick pieces. Arrange the pumpkin on a lightly greased tray and bake for 20—25 minutes or until soft. Meanwhile, whip the cream with the caster sugar until soft peaks form and reserve in the refrigerator. Bloom the gelatine sheets in iced water.
- Make a pâte à bombe by whisking the egg yolks and 120g white sugar in a bowl over a hot water bath until thick and frothy. Remove from the heat.
- Remove the pumpkin from the oven and blitz with a stick blender. Sieve to obtain 250g puree. Remove the gelatine sheets from the cold water and squeeze out excess water. Mix the gelatine with about 50g puree in a small glass bowl and microwave for 20 seconds to melt the gelatine, then stir.
- Whisk the remaining pumpkin, spices and vanilla paste into the pâte à bombe in a stand mixer then add the gelatine mix. Transfer the mixture to a shallow dish to cool quickly in the refrigerator. The mixture should be approx. 20°C. Stir a small amount of reserved whipped cream into the cooled pumpkin mix to loosen then add the remainder, folding through. Be sure to add the cream before the mix sets. Place in the refrigerator to firm up until ready to assemble
- For the pepita praline crumb, heat a small saucepan over medium–high heat. Add 10ml water and sugar. Cook to a light caramel, rolling the syrup around the saucepan to ensure it cooks evenly. Add the pepitas and stir. Pour onto a silicone mat to cool. When cool, break up into pieces, put into a heavy plastic bag and smash with a meat mallet to create a coarse crumb. Reserve for assembly.
- To make the caramel chocolate décor, place the chocolate melts in a microwave proof bowl and cook at a low power for about 3 minutes or until just melted (approx. 46°C). Allow to cool to about 34°C before proceeding. Mix in the cocoa butter and stir until fully combined. Let cool to 30°C, stir thoroughly and pour into a silicone piping bag.
- To assemble the pumpkin pie éclairs, fill a large piping bag fitted with large star nozzle with pumpkin mousse. Fill the éclairs with the pumpkin mousse. Sprinkle pepita praline crumb over the top of the mousse. Finish the éclairs with thin stripes of chocolate.