The name éclair comes from French meaning “flash of lightning” and it’s named this way because well, it’s eaten in a flash. Some people also believe that the pastry received its name because it sparkles when coated with confectioner’s glaze.
Not much is known about the origin of the éclair, but it is known to have originated in France around the turn of the nineteenth century. Many food historians speculate that Éclairs were first made by Marie-Antoine Carême, a famous pastry chef for French royalty.
So, what exactly are the éclairs? A true éclair is a long, thin pastry made with choux pastry filled with a cream and topped with icing.The dough, which is the same as that used for profiterole, is piped into an oblong shape with a pastry bag and baked until it is crisp and hollow inside. Once cool, the pastry then is filled with…pastry cream (crème pâtissière), custard or whipped cream, and topped with fondant icing.”
Of course, if that seems a bit long, this definition for the éclair seems rather concise: according to the Chambers English Dictionary, an éclair is “a cake, long in shape but short in duration.”
Eclairs are becoming increasingly trendy, sporting new shiny coats and fluffy fillings with flavors like matcha (green tea) and lemon cream.
And it’s delicious paired with Ultime Muscat, Jaillance!