Recipes: Desserts & Baking/ Recipes: Treats & Snacks

Salted Caramel Popcorn Éclairs

Popcorn Kitchen

I’ll be honest with you, although I absolutely love Christmas, I’m a bit of a humbug when it comes to Christmas food – I don’t like Christmas cake and I’m not that keen on mince pies either. So during the festive season I’m always looking for showstopping bakes (preferably involving chocolate) to serve up instead.

When Popcorn Kitchen got in touch and asked if I fancied getting creative with their Salted Caramel Popcorn, I immediately had a vision of these éclairs: fluffy and golden, filled with billowing clouds of salted caramel Chantilly cream, and topped with dark chocolate and a sprinkle of popcorn. It’s the perfect combo because the cream-filled eclairs are gloriously squishy, while the popcorn is crisp and crunchy (not to mention delicious, not overly sweet and incredibly moreish – highly recommended for snacking on with a Christmas movie, if you can’t be bothered to make my éclairs).

Since you can make the eclairs ahead of time and then just fill and decorate them before serving, they’re perfect for dessert on Christmas Day, or you could make mini ones as a dessert canapé for parties. Do note that you’ll need a piping bag for this with a round nozzle about 2cm in diameter, and a flower nozzle.

Popcorn Kitchen
Shortly after this picture was taken, I scoffed it, and it was delicious

Salted Caramel Popcorn Éclairs

Print Recipe
Serves: 12

Ingredients

  • For the choux pastry:
  • A pinch of salt
  • 75g butter
  • 175ml water
  • 100g plain flour
  • 3 eggs
  • For the Chantilly cream:
  • 35g butter
  • 25g light brown sugar
  • 25g caster sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • 250ml double cream
  • To decorate:
  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 100g Popcorn Kitchen Salted Caramel Popcorn

Instructions

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1. Start by making the éclair shells. Chop the butter into small pieces, and pop into a small pan with the water and a pinch of salt. Heat slowly on the hob, stirring every now and then, so that all the butter melts without the water boiling. While you’re doing this, weigh out the flour so it’s ready.

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2. Once the butter has melted, bring the water to the boil, then remove from the heat and immediately add the flour all in one go. Stir briskly with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together in a ball, then turn out into a large mixing bowl and put aside to cool.

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3. Beat the three eggs together. Once the choux mixture has cooled to room temperature, add the beaten eggs a little bit at a time and use an electric mixer to combine them. You should end up with a stiff, glossy paste.

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4. Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan), and prepare a couple of baking trays by lining them with greaseproof paper. Fill the piping bag with the choux paste, and then pipe your eclairs onto the prepared trays, making them around 3cm across and 12cm long. Leave plenty of space in between because they’re going to puff up (that’s why I’ve suggested using two trays).

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5. Place the trays in the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes. During this time you must NOT open the oven door or the eclairs will sink – so no peeking! After 15 minutes, open the door to let the steam escape, then close it again gently (banging the door can also cause the eclairs to sink), turn the heat down to 180°C (160°C fan) and bake for another 15 minutes.

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6. Finally, poke a little hole in the end of each éclair and return to the oven for just 5 minutes more, to make sure they’re baked all the way through the middle. Transfer them to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

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7. To make the filling, first make a salted caramel sauce. Warm the butter, brown sugar and caster sugar in a little pan on the hob, until the butter has melted and you’ve got a smooth, dark brown sauce. Remove from the heat and stir through 100ml double cream. Leave it to cool and thicken.

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8. Whip the remaining cream until soft peaks are just starting to form, then stir through the salted caramel sauce – you might not need all of it, so add a bit at a time, making sure the cream is still stiff enough to be piped.

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9. Cut each éclair open, and pipe the salted caramel whipped cream inside. Melt the chocolate in the microwave and spread it on top, and then finish with a sprinkle of salted caramel popcorn.

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