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James Martin’s Coffee Éclairs


Be the first to try the coffee éclair recipe from James Martin’s brand new desserts book Sweet

Coffee éclairs from James Martin’s new recipe book Sweet

Makes: 12-14 medium éclairs
Preparation time: 50 minutes
Cooking time: 25-30 minutes


250ml water
100g cold butter, diced small1
tsp caster sugar
pinch of salt
150g strong flour
4 eggs


For the vanilla cream:
1.2 litres double cream
2 vanilla pods, split and seeds removed
butter, for greasing


For the icing:
350g fondant icing sugar
3 tbsp water
2 tbsp Camp Coffee essence


How to make
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas mark 4 and line a baking sheet with silicone paper

2. Pour the water into a pan and add the butter, sugar and pinch of salt. Bring to the boil slowly and boil for 1 minute

3. Add the flour in one go and cook for a few minutes, beating all the time, until the mixture comes away from the sides of the pan cleanly and is smooth. Tip out onto a silicone-lined tray and leave to cool for 5 minutes

4. Transfer the cooled mixture to a kitchen mixer or large bowl and beat in the eggs, one at a time, then continue to beat until the mixture is smooth and shiny – about 2 more minutes

5. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a large, plain nozzle, then pipe 10cm-long éclair shapes onto the prepared baking sheet. Smooth out any bumps with the tip of a wet finger 

6. Bake in the oven for 25–30 minutes until golden brown and crisp

7. Remove from the oven and transfer the éclairs from the baking tray to a wire rack to cool. Turn the oven up to 220°C/425°F/Gas mark 7 and grease a baking tray

8. To make the vanilla cream filling, pour the cream into a large bowl, add the vanilla seeds and whip to soft peaks

9. To make the coffee icing, sift the icing sugar into a large bowl, add the water and coffee essence and whisk together

10. Using the tip of a sharp knife, pierce a hole in the rounded end of each éclair. Place the éclairs on their sides and return to the oven for a further 5 minutes so that they become dry and crisp. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack

11. Transfer the vanilla cream to a piping bag fitted with a 6mm plain nozzle. Pipe the cream into the éclairs through the hole, then dip them into the icing to cover the top evenly

12. Leave on the wire rack until the icing is set.


Top tip: When the times comes to fill the éclairs with cream, the trick is to fill them from the top (rather than slicing them open or putting holes in the base). This way, the coffee icing seals in the filling, so that when you bite into an éclair, the cream doesn’t shoot out of the other end.


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Recipe taken from Sweet by James Martin, published by Quadrille
Publishing Ltd
Photo: Peter Cassidy

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