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Peppermint Crisp Caramel Éclairs

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When meeting up with fellow South African expats overseas, the conversation inevitably steers in the direction of what we miss most about our home country, and more often than not, involves food – snacks in particular. Right at the top of the list is usually Peppermint Crisp. If you’ve never had the pleasure, it’s essentially luminous green, crunchy, mint-flavoured candy enrobed in milk chocolate – and is available at every corner shop, tuck shop and supermarket in the country. Unsurprisingly, the Peppermint Crisp has been reincarnated as a tart of the same name, which has been tweaked and innovated countless times over the last few decades. But after the last time I indulged in one of those delicate designer pastries in Paris, it occurred to me that I’ve never had Peppermint Crisp eclairs. What a perfect Mother’s Day treat!

Peppermint Crisp Caramel Éclairs

TIME: 2 hours | SERVES: 12

INGREDIENTS

for the peppermint caramel filling

1 x 360 g tin Nestlé Caramel Treat Mint Flavoured Dairy Dessert

250 g cream cheese

125 ml cream

1 x 49 g Peppermint Crisp chocolate, finely chopped

180 g Nestlé Caramel Treat Mint Flavoured Dairy Dessert

for the chocolate coconut biscuits

90 g (100 ml) butter

105 g (125 ml) caster sugar

1 egg

210 g (375 ml) cake flour, sifted

20 ml cacao, sifted

30 ml desiccated coconut

for the éclairs

250 ml water

100 g (110 ml) butter, cubed

140 g (250 ml) cake flour

pinch of salt

3 eggs

METHOD

for the éclairs

Heat the oven to 180 °C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Draw 2 horizontal lines 13 cm apart. Place the water and butter in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the flour and salt all at once and stir until a smooth ball forms. Remove from the heat and let it stand 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a 1,4 cm star nozzle. Pipe a long shape between the two lines and place in the oven. Bake for 25 minutes. Take out and prick holes on top with a toothpick. Place back in the oven for another 5 minutes. Take out and let it cool.

for the peppermint coconut filling

Place the caramel and cream cheese in a bowl. Whisk with an electric beater until smooth. Whisk the cream until stiff peaks form and fold into the caramel mixture. Place in a piping bag fitted a plain nozzle. Keep in the fridge until needed. With a small, serrated knife, cut a long rectangle in the top of each éclair. Pipe the peppermint filling into the centre of the eclair and top with finely chopped Peppermint Crisp chocolate. Pipe the mint caramel on top of the crushed-up chocolate and place a coconut chocolate biscuit on top.

for the chocolate coconut biscuits

Heat the oven to 180 °C. Place the butter and sugar in the mixing bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a flat beater. Cream until light and fluffy. Add the flour cocoa and coconut and mix until a dough forms. Cover in cling film and place in the fridge for 20 minutes. Roll the dough out so it’s about 1 mm thin. Cut out long oblong shapes that will fit on top of the éclair. Place on a baking tray that is lined with baking paper. Place in the oven and bake for 8 minutes. Take out and let them cool on the baking tray. Pipe the filling on top. Dust the one half on top with cocoa powder and garnish with edible gold leaf.

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