Eclair is the “new black” of the pastry world

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Macarons and cupcakes have had their day – the éclair is the sexy “new black” of the Pastry world. The re-birth of the classic 19th-century éclair has surpassed the once uber popular macaron to be the most talked-about and coveted French pastry. With their luminous fondant coats and bold-flavoured fillings, it now features in the front row  of top boutique pâtisseries windows in Paris. New generations are discovering the new éclair while older generations are rediscovering the delicious possibilities of the éclair’s contemporary re-incarnation. They are now in Sydney at La Maison de L’éclair concept store.

An éclair is a finger-shaped pastry made with choux dough, the same as that used for profiteroles, and baked until it is crisp and hollow inside. It is then filled with a cream (crème pâtissière or chiboust cream) and topped with fondant icing. It’s a delicious French classic.

‘Éclair’ is also the French word for lightning. It is believed that the pastry received its name because it glistens when coated with a shiny glaze.

The éclair was born in France around the turn of the nineteenth century when it was called “pain à la duchesse” or “petite duchesse”. Some food historians speculate that éclairs were first made by Antonin Carême (1784–1833), the famous pastry chef for French Royalty and father of the elaborate pastry tower known as the piece montée.