This is homage to 2 separate sweet dishes from France. The eclair, which we know often becomes the vessel for countless delicious flavours and toppings and crepe suzette. Plus an impressive flambéed dessert often cooked at the table. When orange pastry cream meets caramel frosting and candied orange, all encased with crisp golden choux pastry you know you've yet French heaven!
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Add 250ml of water to a pan with the butter and a pinch of salt and heat to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the plain flour until the mixture is coming away from the sides of the pan.
Move to a big bowl and whisk in the eggs one at a time until completely incorporated and glossy, use a machine if you have one for ease. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag.
Pipe the pastry into lines approximately 10cm long and 2cm wide on a lined or non-stick baking tray, keeping plenty of space between them. Bake the pastry for 15 minutes, until puffed up and golden brown.
Peel the skin from the orange used for the candied orange using a peeler or a knife and cut those peeling into very thin julienne. Dump into a saucepan with the 100g of sugar & 100ml water and heat to a boil. bubble the rind for 10 minutes, then leave to cool.
Beat the egg yolks for the pastry cream with the sugar, vanilla and orange zest in a bowl, then whisk the flour and cornflour into the egg mixture.
Heat the milk in a pan to a boil. Remove the milk from the heat and pour over the egg mixture as you whisk..
Return the custard to the pan and gently cook until it thickens and is not at all runny, unlike crème anglaise this can bubble and boil since the flour stabilises it. Put the pastry cream in the fridge to cool. Stir the orange liquor into the cooled pastry cream (optional).
Slice the cooled éclairs lengthways, about half way through to create a pocket. Spoon the orange cream into a piping bag and pipe into the pocket of each one.
Melt the butter and milk for the frosting in a pan and add the brown sugar. Heat until bubbling, then remove from the heat and beat in the sifted icing sugar. Dip the top of the éclairs into the caramel frosting, taking care not to get any on your fingers and put them aside to set.
Decorate with the candied orange peel, cut even smaller if you prefer. Makes 24