In celebration of the first day of Spring, these Java Coconut Éclairs are the perfect way to prepare for the warmer days to come!
Éclairs have long been one of my favorite desserts to order at a bakery, but I was always afraid to make them at home. I’d heard that they were somewhat difficult to make, so I always avoided them. I’d occasionally pick up the recipe and think about it, but it would always end up back in the recipe box. Well, during last week’s snow storm, I decided I needed to make something that reminded me of Spring. I needed something fun and delicious. I needed something to make me forget about the snow piling up in my driveway. So I pulled out my éclair recipe and decided to give it a shot. Well guess what? Éclairs are way easier to make than I thought! In honor of Spring, I used Keurig Green Mountain’s new Island Coconut coffee for the cream filling. Coconut, coffee and chocolate? How can you go wrong?
The dough used to make éclairs is called pate a choux (paht-a-shoo), which is actually French for cabbage paste. Geez, I know the French are renowned for their pastries, but they sure know how to make them sound unappetizing! The term actually comes from the fact that this same dough is also used to make cream puffs, and cream puffs resemble little cabbages. If you’ve never made pate a choux before, then you’ll be a bit surprised by it. It’s probably not like any other dough you’ve ever made. It actually starts in a saucepan on the stove, and it ends up as a very smooth and soft mixture that is almost closer to a batter than a dough. The dough is then actually piped out of a pastry bag onto a parchment-lined sheet pan. Yup, I told you it was different! But with that said, pate a choux is incredibly easy to make. Plus, it’ll impress the heck out of your family and friends when you pull out a batch of these homemade Java Coconut Éclairs!
Instead of the traditional vanilla pastry cream, I made a coconut + coffee cream using Keurig Green Mountain’s Island Coconut coffee. Island Coconut is a seasonal coffee, and it just so happens that it will be released this coming Monday (March 24th). I don’t know about you, but I’ve been daydreaming about warmer weather since, oh, January. I’ve been enjoying this Island Coconut coffee in the mornings recently, and it’s been a delicious change of pace. I can almost imagine sitting on a sunny beach surrounded by palm trees. Warmer days are coming! But in the meantime, a batch (or two) of these Java Coconut Éclairs is a great way to celebrate the first day of Spring.
Note: I received free samples of Island Coconut Coffee from Keurig Green Mountain, but I was not compensated for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.