Mini Vanilla Creme Filled Chocolate Eclairs


French patisserie is not usually my style… Generally because every recipe is made up a of multitude of steps that generally involve waiting in the middle, and I am not patient. In fact, I am probably one of the least patient people you will ever meet. But… my husband loves eclairs… and I do have to admit, they are quite yummy. Eclairs generally include three main steps, making a choux pastry (which also doubles as a upper arm complete workout), making a “creme patissiere” and finally, making the chocolate coating…

Mini Chocolate Eclairs

Mini Chocolate Eclairs


For the Choux Pastry:

  • 65 grams of butter
  • 1 1/4 cups of cold water
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 3 eggs
Choux Pastry

Choux Pastry

For the Creme Patisserie

  • 1/2 litre of milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 100 grams of sugar
  • 40 grams of flour
  • 30 grams of butter
  • 1/2 vanilla pod

For the Chocolate Coating

  • 1 cup of chocolate broken into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons of cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
creme patisserie

creme patisserie


For the Choux Pastry: Start by taking your right arm and stretching it over your shoulder… Once well stretched, you can start your workout. Ok ok, well I might be exaggerating a little, but a good choux pastry also involves a little work.

  1. Heat the oven to 200°C
  2. Place the water and butter in a pot and bring to a gentle boil, until the butter has melted
  3. Remove the pot from the heat and “shoot” the flour into the pot in one time, start stirring immediately and vigorously
  4. Let the mix cool slightly (this ensures the eggs don’t cook when you add them)
  5. Add the egg one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one. You will notice that after adding each egg, it forms a weird ‘layered’ consistency, so keep mixing until it is smooth, trust me, I will arrive
  6.  Now, take a piping bag and pipe small lines onto a baking tray covered in baking paper
  7. Bake for around 10 minutes or until golden with a nice crispy look

For the Creme Patisserie

  1. Place the milk and vanilla seeds in a pot on a medium heat
  2. At the same time, beat the eggs and sugar until it forms a nice light moussey texture
  3. Add the flour to the egg mix and mix until smooth
  4. By this time the milk should be nice and hot and the vanilla should have released it’s yummy flavour, so remove it from the heat and add the to egg mix and stir
  5. Return everything back into the pot on a low heat and stir with a wooden spoon until it starts to thicken
  6. Once it has thickened remove from heat and leave to cool, then place in the fridge
  7. Once both the eclairs and and creme are completely cold you can fill the eclairs with the creme using a piping bag

The Chocolate Coating

  1. Using a bain marie, melt the chocolate then add the cream and vanilla and stir until dark and glossy
  2. Pick up each eclair and dip a side into the chocolate mix
  3. Et voila! You have your vanilla creme chocolate eclairs

You can also using the choux pastry to create profiteroles or even a croquembouche (profitrole tour with spun toffee threads)



Mixed Berry Pana Cotta, Crunchy Almond Creme Caramel with Berry Coolie and Passionfruit Sorbet


You have made it through the entree, munched down the main… then you arrive at dessert time and you are feeling more like a lie down on the sofa than chomping through another meal. Not to fear! This fresh little dessert provides a yummy finish to any meal and can be made even outside of the berry season, using frozen berries. I can hear my idol Chef Theirry Marx right now, shaking his head in disappointment, but let’s be honest, we can always cook seasonal produce… And yes, Chef Marx, you are my ultimate hero.

Mixed Berry Panacotta with Berry Coolie and Passionfruit Sorbet

Mixed Berry Panacotta with Berry Coolie and Passionfruit Sorbet

Ingredients (serves 2)

For the berry pana cotta

  • 1 and a half cups of mixed berries pureed(fresh or frozen: blue berries, red currents, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries)
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1 cup of cream
  • 3 sheets of gelatin
  • 2 large tablespoons of vanilla sugar

For the crunchy almond cream caramel

  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 50 ml of cream
  • 1/2 cup of blanched almonds

For the berry coolie

  • 1 cup of mixed berries, mashed
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • A dash of berry liquor

Other stuff

  • 4 strawberries
  • 4 rows of milk chocolate
  • Passionfruit sorbet


  1. Start with your panna cotta by placing the berries and sugar in a pot and heat until simmering
  2. Add the milk and cream and simmer for a few minutes
  3. Mean while, place the gelatin sheets in a bowl of cold water to soften
  4. Next, remove the berry cream mix from the heat, squeeze the excess water from the gelatin sheets and stir through the berries until dissolved
  5. Pour into 2 ramekins and place in the fridge for a couple of hours or until set
  6. Next, prepare your crunchy cream caramel by bring the cream and the sugar to the boil in a small pot
  7. Leave to simmer until it turns golden, then remove from heat and stir through almonds
  8. Place the mixture on a sheet of baking paper, cover with another sheet and roll smooth and flat using a rolling pin. Place in the fridge on a flat surface
  9. Next prepare the coolie by placing the mashed berries in a pot and bringing to a simmer, add the sugar and liquor
  10. Remove from heat and place in fridge
  11. Now, using a bain marie, melt the chocolate and dip in the strawberries to coat, place on baking paper and put them in the fridge
  12.  Lastly, using the remainder of the melted chocolate, swirl onto baking paper and place in fridge to set
  13. By this time everything should be all ready! Remove the crunching almond cream caramel and break into two large pieces and multiple smaller pieces
  14. Tip out the panna cotta onto the almond sheet, cover with coolie and top with the chocolate and more broken almond pieces
  15. Add your strawberries and using two spoons shape your passionate fruit sorbet
  16. Dig in and enjoy!!
Mixed Berry Panacotta with Berry Coolie and Passionfruit Sorbet

Mixed Berry Panacotta with Berry Coolie and Passionfruit Sorbet

Striped Veal Wellington stuffed with boudin blanc, shallots and cognac accompanied by spatzel, creamed spinach and asparagus with a mushroom sauce.

Mmmmm… I have to admit, I am not a big meat eater, unlike my husband would fit nicely next to a T-Rex at the dinner table… But even I have to admit that veal is one meat that never fails to be tender, delicious and an all round winner in the kitchen, even for someone who  would choose a bowl of boiled broccoli over an eye-fillet steak any day. What can I say? I just love veges! Especially since I have been pregnant (oh yeah, I am pregnant 8 months down already) and being only able to eat meat that has been cooked to the verge of fossilisation has turned me almost vegetarian! Anyway, enough moaning from a pregnant woman and back to this yummy dish! The boudin blanc, or “white sausage” is the similar to a boudin noir, aka blood pudding, however is much lighter and goes really well with the light, fresh veal and you won’t have to tell you dinner guests they are actually eating a mouthful of blood…
Veal Wellington stuffed with Boudin Blanc

Veal Wellington stuffed with Boudin Blanc

Ingredients (serves 2)
  • 1 fillet of veal (a little bit pricey but totally worth it)
  • 10 cm piece of boudin blanc, cubed (small cubes)
  • 2 Shallots, diced
  • 1/2 a wine glass of Cognac
  • 1 sheet of flakey puffed pastry, sliced into strips
  • A good knob of butter for cooking
  • 2 handfuls of mushrooms, sliced
  • 3/4 cup of cream (1/2 cup for the sauce, 1/4 cup for the spinach)
  • Pepper corns
  • A bunch of green asparagus, peeled
  • One large bunch of baby spinach (we all know… it starts out looking look you could feed a village, then turns into nothing)
  • A pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/2 packet of spaeztle (or if you are really keen make it yourself using flour, eggs and milk and butter)
  1. Start out by preparing the veal fillet, make a small incision at the top of each half and gently work to make a cavity for the stuffing (the meat should be super tender, so this shouldn’t be as hard as it sounds, just be careful not to make a hole)
  2. Next place a small amount of butter in a pan, heat then add shallots and cook until translucent, but not browned.
  3. Add the boudin blanc to the pan and brown slightly
  4. Pour the cognac into the pan and then set alight and stir gently with a wooden spoon until flame diminishes, then disappears (by this time, the smell will be incredible)
  5. Remove the boudin and shallots from the pan, leaving th pan on the hot heat
  6. Place the empty veal fillets in the pan and brown very very quickly, as to ensure the meat does not shrink
  7. Remove from pan and stuff with boudin mix
  8. Wrap the strip of pastry around the stuffed fillet and place in a bake proof dish
  9. Place the veal in a 200°C oven and cook until pastry has turned golden
  10. Next, bring a pot of salty water to the boil and add the spaetzle
  11. Heat large pot 1/4 filled with salted water and add spinach, cook for around 5 minutes or until the spinach has wilted and reduced dramatically in size, the drain and chop
  12. Return the chopped spinach to the pot and add the cream, salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg, reduce heat a simmer gently until the liquid has evaporated
  13. Now prepare the asparagus by blanching them in boiling water for around 4 minutes, then placing them in the a bowl of icy water
  14. By this time the meat should be ready, remove from oven and rest
  15. Now bring a pan with a knob of butter to a hot heat and add asparagus.
  16. Next prepare the sauce using the cooking juices from the veal and placing them in a hot pan
  17. Add mushrooms and flame with cognac
  18. Add cream and simmer until thickened
  19. Drain your spaetzle and plate up!
Veal Wellingtons

Veal Wellingtons