I recently visited Toronto (what an amazing city) & returned home with a suitcase full to bursting with cans of maple syrup and packets of maple sugar. I made these maple and pecan eclairs the day I got back in an attempt to get over my end of holiday blues and to help with my jet lag! They did their job perfectly – who wouldn’t be happy and relaxed whilst feasting on maple & pecan eclairs.
Maple sugar is expensive but oh so worth it. It can be substituted one to one for white refined sugar but having said that I find it sweeter so I tend to use less.
Maple sugar is made by boiling almost all of the water off the sap of the sugar maple tree until it makes syrup & then stirring the syrup when hot until all that is left is sugar. A more detailed description on how maple syrup and sugar is made can be found here. I’ve decided that my next trip to Canada must include a visit to a maple sugar farm (are they farms???) – the smell of those places must be amazing! Anyone got any suggestions on where to go?
Pâte à Choux also known as choux pastry is such a versatile pastry. It can be piped to make eclairs, profiteroles & Paris Brest or dolloped in mounds to make cream puffs and many more delicious things. It can be a little tricky to master but once you get the hang of it you’ll want to make it over and over again.
I decided to make gluten free choux pastry as I had some gluten free pastry flour which I wanted to use up! They turned out really well but I did find that once the pastry was filled it tended to become soggy if not eaten fairly quickly. I haven’t had this problem with choux pastry made with gluten flour! Perhaps a bit more research needs to go into this and to try and find a remedy – a great excuse to make batch after batch of eclairs and play around with yummy fillings!
Anyway, I hope that you enjoy these small but tasty refined sugar free, gluten free pastries!