Mini Mulled Wine Custard Éclairs Topped with Caramelised Pecans

Ingredients

For the caramelised pecans

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 50g pecan halves
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon

For the Choux pastry

  • 70g plain flour
  • ½ tsp caster sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 65ml milk
  • 50g butter
  • 65ml water
  • 2 eggs

For the Mulled wine custard

  • 50g caster sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 8 drops Mulled Wine Natural Flavour
  • 4 tsp plain flour
  • 4 tsp cornflour
  • 300ml milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/Gas 7.
  2. In a large frying pan, melt the butter with the sugar over a medium heat. Add the pecan halves and cinnamon and stir until the pecans are well coated. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring continuously, until the mixture has caramelised. Transfer to a baking tray lined with baking parchment and set aside to cool.
  3. To make the choux pastry, mix the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Gently heat the milk, butter and water in a saucepan so the butter melts but the liquid doesn’t bubble. Once the butter has melted, increase the heat until the liquid starts to boil. Immediately turn off the heat, tip in the flour mixture and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until a smooth dough is formed.
  4. Spread the dough over a large dinner plate to cool to hand-hot, then scrape it back into the pan. Using a wooden spoon, beat in the eggs one at a time until you have a smooth, shiny mixture. Spoon into a piping bag with a 1cm hole snipped off or use a 1cm nozzle. Pipe the mixture into a silicone eclair mould then place the clair tray onto a baking tray and bake for 20-25 minutes, reducing the temperature to 200°C/Gas 6 as soon as the tray goes into the oven.
  5. Remove from the oven and split the clairs down the middle with a small serrated knife then return to the oven for 5 minutes until crisp and golden. Set aside to cool.
  6. Meanwhile, make the custard filling by mixing the sugar, egg yolks and mulled wine flavour in a bowl. Stir in the flour and cornflour, a couple of teaspoons at a time, until you have a smooth paste. Heat the milk in a saucepan over a medium heat until almost boiling. Gradually whisk the hot milk into the custard mixture then pour back into the pan and cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly for 3-4 minutes, until thick and smooth. Lay a sheet of clingfilm directly onto the custard surface to prevent a skin forming and chill until you are ready to fill the clairs.
  7. Spoon the custard into a piping bag with a 1cm hole snipped off. Carefully pipe the custard into the clairs and top with a sprinkle of chopped caramelised pecans.