Savour Chocolate & Patisserie School was fortunate to host master patisserie Christophe Adam for nine days of classes in July. In a whirlwind of chocolate and eclairs Christophe mentored Australia’s top pastry chefs to hone their abilities to perfection.
Christophe is the former executive pastry chef of Fauchon in Paris where he held rein for 15 years. It is well noted that Christophe is responsible for re-launching the humble eclair 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 all in French).
Two years ago Christophe launched his first patisserie “Eclair de Genie” that exclusively makes eclairs. Since its opening, Christophe has created 80 varieties of eclair with his top selling caramel eclair followed closely by vanilla and chocolate.
Christophe employs ten pastry chefs to service the two eclair de Genie stores, with each selling between six hundred and two thousand eclairs a day depending on the season. Interestingly, in our discussions, he mentioned that 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 (Eclair’s, Entremets, and Tarts ) each running for three days. Christophe’s unique approach to teaching gave the classes flexibility to enable the student’s creativity to flow. To adapt to Australia’s customs and flavours, Christophe created a lamington and honeycomb eclair.
I believe the popularity of the eclair 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 eclairs.
Savour has a range of both choux pastry and eclair classes that incorporate modern techniques and creative finishes to enable patissiers to jump on board and be one of the first to launch your own éclairs in store.
Some tips to creating the perfect eclair: 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 eclair’s. Also they must be piped with an eclair piping tube rather than a star piping tube. With a star piping tube the V’s in the tube are too deep and the eclairs will tend to crack. Eclairs 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.
The French meaning of the name eclair is lightening. Be one of the first to create a range of eclairs or open an eclair store!