Can anyone tell me why it’s creepy to eat a banana and make eye contact with someone at the same time? I mean I know why, but why only bananas? I feel so sorry for bananas and their porno reputation when there are clearly other foods out there that are more deserved of the title. I’m looking at you, Sausages.
Now this reminds me of how much I love those sausage buns from Breadtop or the $2 hotdogs from IKEA. I wouldn’t go to IKEA specifically for a hotdog, but I have to admit that I do enjoy an occasional trip to the giant blue and yellow box (not on Sundays though, going there on a Sunday is a death wish). I always leave IKEA with unnecessary random purchases, like 1000 tealight candles, a bag of Swedish meatballs and a BILLY bookcase. We all have my sister to thank for doing such an excellent job with the store’s interior design that we will buy any damn thing that’s stacked up in a pyramid or looks perfect when set in those little pretend rooms that we forget look nothing like our actual rooms at home. I also like to deviate from those directional arrows on the floor and take free measuring tapes and tiny pencils without any intention of ever using them. Do people actually use them? How much is it costing IKEA every year in measuring tapes and pencils? I only ask the most pertinent questions on this blog.
UPDATE: My sister just told me that people do use the pencils but mostly to draw penises on everything. How old are IKEA customers for God’s sake? I’d be lying if I didn’t think that was funny though. Sorry IKEA.
Ok so for these éclairs you will need to buy some bananas and basically let them brown in your fruit bowl. In fact, let them go all the way to black. This way you’ll get a deep banana flavour and you’ll need less sugar to sweeten the delectable banana cream (it’s actually a custard if you want to get technical) which will be sneakily pumped into the éclair from the base for a professional finish. I use the word professional loosely because as you can see, these would hardly pass inspection at Fauchon but I would argue that they taste just as good as their perfect little designer éclairs, so there’s that.
The éclair buns are fun to make if you like this sort of thing, there’s something so satisfying yet slightly frustrating about piping what you believe to be uniform shapes and then witness them turning into something definitely non-identical in your oven. The worst is if you can’t even do any decent piping because it’s one of those days when your hand-eye co-ordination is so off that it feels like you’re being forced to perform microsurgery with a hangover and oven mitts. You can make them any size you like, but I prefer this smallish size worth about 3 or 4 bites depending on how big your mouth is.
The glossy butterscotch glaze is insanely good, you dip the top of the filled bun into the glaze and then lick the inevitable sticky drops off your hand later. It will harden to a thin Krispy Kreme donut level of glaze which is perfect. And there will be lots left over for pouring on ice cream or spreading over anything and everything. Or you can do what I did and keep dipping the banana éclair as you eat it into the butterscotch as if it’s a spring roll or something. Hey it’s my pot of butterscotch so I’ll do whatever the hell I want with it.
Bananas and butterscotch are a match made in heaven. Other things I can think of that are a match made in heaven include Beyonce and Jay-Z, fish and chips, and me and Bergdorf’s.
BUTTERSCOTCH GLAZED BANANA CREAM ECLAIRS
120g unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into small pieces
½ teaspoon salt
150g plain flour
5 very ripe (brown/black skin) bananas
300ml pouring cream + additional 200ml pouring cream
¼ cup white sugar
50 gm cornflour
6 egg yolks
½ tsp sea salt
2 cups pouring cream
2 cups brown sugar
For the choux pastry buns, preheat oven to 210 degrees Celsius and grease and line a baking tray with baking paper. In a saucepan bring the water, milk, butter and salt slowly to a boil, stirring so that the butter is dissolved before it boils. Draw the pan away from the heat and add all the flour at once; stir immediately to make a smooth paste. Place over low heat, stirring constantly until a ball is formed that leaves the pan clean (about 45 – 60 seconds). Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool for 5 minutes before beating in the eggs individually, making sure each is absorbed before adding the next. The past should have a ‘dropping’ consistency’ (a spoon full of the dough held over the bowl should fall slowly off the spoon). Place pastry into a piping bag fitted with a large round nozzle and pipe into approx. 8cm lengths with about 3cm between them to allow for expansion. Bake for 15 minutes until risen, reduce temperature to 170 degrees and bake for another 10 minutes until golden and crisp. Remove to cool on a rack.
For banana cream, purée bananas, 300ml cream in a blender until totally smooth, add sugar, cornflour, yolks and ½ tsp sea salt and blend until homogenous. Transfer to a saucepan and whisk continuously over low-medium heat until thickened. Bring to the boil, whisking continuously to cook out starch (2 minutes). The mixture will resemble thick glue. Leave to cool. Whisk 200ml cream to soft peaks, fold into the banana mixture. Fill a piping bag fitted with a small round nozzle with the banana mixture and poke a hole into the base of the éclair and fill the éclair until it feels quite full but take care not to overfill.
Heat cream and butter in a saucepan until simmering and butter melted. Add brown sugar and stir until dissolved. Bring mixture to bubbling whilst stirring continuously. When the glaze coats the back of a spoon (about 2 minutes), take off the heat. It will continue to thicken as it cools, gently reheat if it is too thick to glaze the éclairs. Dip tops of the filled éclairs into the glaze. Serve immediately.