Vietnamese Coffee Eclairs

Anyone who has ever visited Vietnam will have come across the mini top hat shaped coffee filters which sit above small glasses filled with a tablespoon or so of condensed milk.  It makes for a dark, creamy and sweet coffee which is enjoyed hot or poured over ice.  These eclairs are a nod to both that wonderful coffee and the French influence which is quite apparent in Vietnam.

Makes 10
For the choux pastry:
60g of salted butter
130ml of water
80g of plain flour, sifted
3 large free range eggs

For the condensed milk filling:
300ml of cold water
200g of condensed milk (1/2 a tin)
2 large free range eggs
2 tablespoons of cornflour
1 teaspoon of good quality vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste

Vietnamese coffee glaze:
150g icing sugar
1 tablespoon of melted butter
3 tablespoons hot vietnamese coffee (normal coffee will substitute)

Chocolate icing:
50g dark chocolate, chopped
1tsp water
30g butter
85g icing sugar
 
Preheat the oven 220˚C and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Place the butter and water in a saucepan and bring to a steady boil until the butter is melted.  Remove from the heat and add the flour, beating with a wooden spoon until a dough comes together.  Place back over the heat and beat the dough in the saucepan for about 40 seconds.

Remove from the heat and set aside.  Beat one of the eggs in a small bowl.
Add the the remaining two eggs to the warm dough, one at a time, beating thoroughly until completely incorporated after each addition.  Add a little of the beaten egg at a time until you have a consistency that will hold it’s shape when piped.  It should be smooth, shiny and just about fall from the spoon.

Using a spatula, scoop the dough into a large piping bag fitted with a large round piping nozzle and pipe 10cm lines on the lined baking sheets, leaving about 4cm in between each line to allow for spreading.  Brush each one with the little leftover beaten egg.

Place in the oven, reducing the heat to 190˚C, for approximately 25 minutes until they have risen and are golden and crisp.

Transfer to a wire wrack.  Using a sharp knife pierce the bottom of the buns in three places and and allow to cool completely. 
For the filling, place the condensed milk and water in a saucepan, whisk together and bring to the boil.

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, cornflour and vanilla extract.  Pour in the hot condensed milk mixture and whisk constantly.  Return the liquid to the sauce pan and place over a medium heat whisking continuously until thickened.  Remove to the bowl, dust with icing sugar and cover directly with clingfilm and allow to cool completely until you are ready to fill the eclairs.

For the coffee glaze, whisk together the icing sugar, melted butter, and coffee.

For the chocolate icing, add the chocolate, butter and water into a heatproof bowl and place over a pot with a little simmering water.  Stir gently until melted. Gradually add the icing sugar, mixing through until combined.  Transfer the chocolate icing to a piping bag.

Fill a piping bag with the condensed milk filling and fill each eclair using the holes in the buns you created.  Set aside on a wire rack.

Spread the coffee glaze over each eclair with a small off set spatula and pipe over the chocolate icing.

Allow to set for about 1 hour and then serve or the eclairs will keep for 1 or 2 days in the fridge.