A Whirlwind Of Chocolate And Éclairs

Savour Chocolate and Patisserie School was fortunate to host master patisserie Christophe Adam, who mentored Australia’s top pastry chefs to hone their abilities to perfection throughout nine days of classes in July.

Christophe is the former executive pastry chef of Fauchon in Paris, where he reigned for 15 years. It is well noted that Christophe is responsible for re-launching the humble éclair into the spectacular creations we are seeing coming out of shops today.

Christophe has published four books, with his fifth book on éclairs on the way. Unfortunately, they are all in French.

Two years ago Christophe launched his first patisserie “Éclair de Genie”, which exclusively makes éclairs. Since its opening, Christophe has created 80 varieties of éclair with his top selling caramel éclair followed closely by vanilla and chocolate.

Christophe employs 10 pastry chefs to service the two Éclair de Genie stores, with each selling between 600 and 2000 éclairs a day depending on the season. Interestingly, in our discussions, he mentioned the kitchen size is the same of a standard domestic kitchen in Australia. With no freezer, everything is made fresh and sold immediately.

Christophe is also known as a hard judge and host on the French television series Qui sera le prochain grand patissier or, in English Who is going to be the next top pastry chef. The series showcases France’s top patissiers who battle it out to win the title. Although it is in French, if you can secure a copy of the series, the footage of patisserie products is incredible.

At Savour, Christophe taught three hands-on classes (éclair’s, entremets, and tarts ) each running for three days. Christophe’s unique approach to teaching gave the classes flexibility to enable the students’ creativity to flow. To adapt to Australia’s customs and flavours, Christophe created a lamington and honeycomb éclair.

I believe the popularity of the éclair is going to increase dramatically in Australia if we follow similar trends to France. Companies that are making large quantities of macarons that are piped mechanically can use the same machine to pipe éclairs.

Savour has a range of both choux pastry and éclair classes that incorporate modern techniques and creative finishes to enable patissiers to jump on board and be one of the first to launch éclairs in store.

Here are some tips we’ve learnt to creating the perfect éclair: Every oven is different so you will need to work out what temperature and method best suits your oven. Deck ovens are the best to bake éclair’s. Also they must be piped with an éclair piping tube, rather than a star piping tube. With a star piping tube, the ‘v’ shapes are too deep and the éclairs will tend to crack. Éclairs must be eaten the same day they are filled, as the pastry will absorb too much moisture from the filling if left to sit too long. They can be stored in the freezer before being filled.

Be one of the first to create a range of éclairs or open an éclair store! If you would like to see Christophe in action at Savour, we have YouTube clips available atwww.youtube.com/savourschool.

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