For my self-designated French week, one must make choux! There are a lot of components to these eclairs; the French certainly don't do pastry by halves. Was it worth it? Mais oui!

Makes around 20

Choux pastry:

200 ml water

80 g butter

pinch salt

pinch sugar

1 1/4 c flour

4 eggs

Creme patisserie

1 1/4 c milk (I used homemade almond)

1 tsp vanilla paste or extract or 1/2 vanilla pod, seeds scraped

3 egg yolks

1/2 c sugar

1 1/2 Tbsp flour

1 1/2 Tbsp cornflour

Chocolate ganache:

150 g dark chocolate

1/2 c cream (I used coconut)

1/2 c hazelnuts, dry roasted and chopped

Make the creme patisserie first or the day before.

In a medium saucepan heat the milk and vanilla on medium heat until just boiling.

In a medium bowl whisk together egg and sugar until pale and creamy, then mix in flours. The mixture should leave a ribbon trail.

Take milk off the heat and pour a little into the egg mixture to loosen it. Mix in rest of hot milk, then pour back into the saucepan.

Return to medium heat, constantly whisking until thickened into custard, up to 5 minutes. Transfer into a bowl and cover with cling film, pressed directly onto the custard so it does not form a skin on top. Let cool to room temperature then chill in fridge. Creme pat can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. Whisk again or sieve to remove any lumps before using. Do not freeze.

To make the choux, put the water, butter, salt and sugar in a medium saucepan and heat until just boiling. Take off the heat and add in sifted flour all at once. Stir with a wooden spoon until a dry ball of dough forms that doesn't stick to the sides of bottom. Leave to cool.

Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Preheat oven to 210C.

Crack eggs into a small bowl and whisk lightly. Reserve 2 Tbsp of egg into a small bowl, mixed with 1 Tbsp water to make an egg wash and set aside. Add the eggs little by little into the dough, whisking constantly. You can do this by hand or electric mixer, or transfer dough to a food processor and drip the egg in slowly. Mix until a glossy thick batter forms. Let cool. Secure the baking paper to the trays with a tiny dab of batter on each corner. Spoon choux into a piping bag with a 2 cm wide nozzle. 

Pipe strips of choux on your trays approx 10 cm long, 8 to 10 per tray. I used kitchen scissors to cut the choux off as my piping skills aren't great. Brush with egg wash.You can use the brush to tidy up the shape your eclairs and flatten any bumpy bits.

Bake for 15 minutes then reduce oven to 190C and bake for a further 20 minutes until dark golden brown. Rotate trays halfway through.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Fill the choux by either cutting down the underside to open the eclair and spooning the creme pat in or put creme pat in a piping bag with a long thin nozzle and inject into the underside of the choux to fill it.

Make the chocolate ganache by melting the chocolate and stirring in the cream until incorporated. Spread ganache over the eclairs  and sprinkle with hazelnuts.

Eat straightaway or store covered in the fridge for up to 2 days.