The Eclair: A History, a Recipe, and a Nod among the “World’s Best”

Executive Chef Tariq Hanna: He Does Eclair

Executive Chef Tariq Hanna swears by the éclair rule: “a bakery is only as good as its éclair.” Check out his interview with below!

Hey y’all! It’s been way too long. But don’t worry, this post is chalk-full of (cream-filled with?)  excitement. Since our last post, our éclairs were named among, “the world’s best” by Food and Wine Magazine. Now, not only can you pick up one of these delicious pastries in our boutiques, you can also get them delivered directly to your door via Good Eggsour official partner for local delivery here in New Orleans!  We strongly recommend this post be enjoyed with éclair in hand.

Sucré Does Eclair

After the nod (seems like more of a head banger?) we received from Food & Wine Magazine, we got to thinking: what exactly makes one of these french classics a   contender among one of the world’s best? Chef Tariq has been telling us for years that the éclair is the cornerstone to any great patisserie. It only took a month of exclusive dedication to the pastry in our stores to convince our local fans, but it seems the rest of the world has finally caught on, too. So what is it about this unique, torpedo-shaped pastry that differentiates it from any other pastries you may find it nestled between?

What’s in a Name?

Much like anything characteristically french, its origins are romantically shrouded in mystery, blurred by local legends and competing tales. Whose bakery? Which monarch? How much flour? There’s even disagreement around the origin of it’s name éclair— the french word for lightning. Some contend it’s due to the bright, glossy glaze, while others fiercely assert its due to the speed at which they’re usually consumed. Maybe in this case, we agree to disagree?

A name you’ll often come across (or maybe not so often, since the odds of you googling “history of éclairs” are slim to none), is that of Marie-Antoine Carême, a famous pastry chef among French nobility during the 19th century. Perhaps THE most famous. This guy was internationally renowned, or as internationally renowned as you can be in the 1800s, and he did it all without the help of Food Network and in the wake of the French Revolution. And have you ever seen one of these chef’s hats? Yeah, he created that too.

Keep it Simple: Pâte à Choux

For a man who is credited with the creation ofthe recipe for éclairs is surprisingly simplistic. Pâte à choux, the foundation of any éclair (as well as gougères and profiteroles) is a dough made of butter, water, milk, sugar, and eggs. Similar to the way Louisianans concoct a roux, the dough begins with milk and/or water being added to butter in a pan. Flour and a pinch of sugar and salt follows. The mixture is then piped into the oblong shape synonymous to éclairs.

And the final touches? The filling, the glazing, the toppings, oh my! This is truly where an éclair “finds itself.” Traditionally, éclairs are filled with chocolate or vanilla pastry cream, and topped with a ribbon of chocolate ganache. Yet in true haute cuisine fashion, the rule is such, that there are no rules. Chef Tariq has dreamt up éclairs encapsulating everything from s’mores to apple pie. L’Atelier de L’élclair in Paris sells only éclairs and is credited with the invention of the savory version of this light and airy treat, with “fixings ranging from foie gras to smoked salmon. For now, I think we’ll stick to the classics!

New Additions to Sucré’s Menu: Strawberry Fest and Easter

Strawberry Fest: The All-New Strawberry Macaron

At Sucré, we are dedicated to constant improvement and understand that the road to perfection is a never-ending one. We aim to deliver the most delicious treats to our loyal customers, and with Strawberry Fest in mind, what better time to give our classic favorite Strawberry Macaron a sprucing up?

First off, what is Strawberry Fest? From March through May, Ponchatoula strawberries, (the tastiest of strawberries, in our humble opinion) come into season. Part of Sucré’s mission is to serve decadent desserts centered around fresh local ingredients. The plump, juicy, sweet Ponchatoula Strawberry is a Louisiana delicacy – it’s the state fruit! – and Ponchatoula has earned the title of “Strawberry Capital of the World.” To celebrate this local staple, Sucré offers a variety of strawberry-themed entremets, from a fairly traditional Strawberry Mascarpone Éclair to an exciting and refreshing Strawberry Lychee Berry Verrine. There’s a strawberry treat for everyone!

This year, the Strawberry Macaron got a makeover, and she’s tastier than ever. Oprah called Sucré’s Strawberry Macaron “almost too pretty to eat” in O Magazine, and she couldn’t have said it better! We’ve made a few changes to what we call our “Southern Belle” of macarons.

Prior to this year’s Stawberry Fest, Sucré’s Strawberry macarons were filled with a buttercream mousseline mixed with homemade Ponchatoula strawberry preserves. Chef Tariq Hanna, always the perfectionist, has diligently worked to introduce a sweet cocktail of fillings that perfectly compliment and enhance the Ponchatoula strawberry’s deliciousness, and of course, he added a little glitter to the mix! The new and improved sparkly pink shells are filled with a swirl of white chocolate, strawberry ganache, and a center of fresh strawberry jam. Sounds delicious? Trust us, it is!strawberry collection

As we bid farewell to the beloved “old” Strawberry Macaron, we embrace new traditions and always look toward celebrating classic favorites in exciting and different ways. Our chefs are always on the lookout for interesting new recipes to push the boundaries, so stay tuned for more innovative sweet treats from Sucré!Strawberry_Entrement

Easter: The All-New Easter Macaron Collection

At Sucré, we like to change things up and offer seasonal collections available at different times of the year. Our chefs create macarons specifically for many of holidays we celebrate, and these range from Christmas to Mother’s Day. What better way to celebrate than with a limited edition macaron? They make great gifts that are best enjoyed with friends and family. This Easter, we’ve come up with two new Easter Macarons to add to our Easter Macaron Collection!
To accompany the crowd-pleasing Carrot Cake Macaron (gluten free carrot cake blended into a cream cheese buttercream), our chefs have come up with a Coconut Pineapple Macaron as well as a Meyer Lemon Macaron. We think you’ll like these new additions!

The Coconut Pineapple Macaron comes in an appropriately brilliant shade of blue. It is a creamy coconut ganache filled with pineapple marmalade. These 2 flavors are paired perfectly together for a macaron that is guaranteed to be one of your favorites.

The Meyer Lemon Macaron is a tart lemon ganache surrounding a center of Meyer lemon curd. It’s quite the treat for lemon lovers! It comes in an inviting yellow hue and tops off this pastel-covered collection perfectly.

Lemon curd, pineapple marmalade, and cream cheese buttercream make for a complete family of fillings available in our Easter Collection. All of these Macarons have a strong personality that shine on their own. Together, they are simply irresistible. Their vibrant colors make for a gorgeous collection perfect for Easter! These are only available until Easter, so get your hands on them while you can!

Chef Tariq’s Affinity for PB&J

What is more American than apple pie?  How about peanut butter and jelly?  And why has it taken so long for this beautiful collaboration of peanut butter and jelly to come alive at Sucré?  Wait no more because we have introduced two new signature items to the Sucré line.  Chef Tariq’s unique play on Peanut Butter & Jelly has created two very different cookies; one’s a little bit “old school” and the other one a little bit modern.

The first of these PB&J masterpieces is better known as the “Big Awesome Cookie,” in short “BAC.”  This delicious giant is a peanut butter cookie with a sweet raspberry jam center, topped with just a touch of oatmeal streusel.   My favorite way to enjoy this little monster is to put it in the microwave for 25 seconds until it’s warm and gooey in the center. Then, I top it off with a scoop of strawberry ice cream or gelato and finish it with a little drizzle of chocolate sauce. Warning – this is dangerously delicious! Take a peak and see

Tariq’s peanut butter and jelly “BAC” Big Awesome Cookie was just a warm up… The rival is the peanut butter and jelly macaron. This delicate cookie sandwich is brought to life by a sumptuous roasted peanut butter mousseline and fresh strawberry jam.  We assemble them in a clever sort of way, the peanut butter mousseline is piped in a ring on the outside and the strawberry jam rests in the middle. Then, the macaron shells are finished off with dusting crystallized sugar. My favorite way to enjoy this jewel is with a glass of warm milk. Try it. You will be transported in time to a delicious experience. See for yourself

Peanut Butter and Jelly isn’t just for a children’s school lunch any more.  These are sweet confections that everyone can enjoy.  The modern take with the slightly more sophisticated macaron will have you redefining your idea of PB&J.  The PB&J macaron will have you calling up your parents, grandparents, brothers, sister, and friends just to tell them about what you have discovered.

In contrast to the delicate sophistication of the macron is the “BAC.”  It tells you everything you need to know right in its name.  It’s BIG, it’s AWESOME, and it’s a COOKIE.  I loved my mom’s peanut butter cookies growing up, and biting into the “BAC” takes me back to a happy warm fuzzy place, eating a warm cookie right out of the oven or sitting in elementary school enjoy the simplicity of the peanut butter and jelly sandwich before recess.  These two sweet confections will simultaneously take you back to a simpler time while breaking your preconceptions of what the PB&J is.

#1 Top Secret Recipe

Famous French Macaroons

250g TPT = almond powder and icing sugar – sifted
100g sugar
100g egg white
25g sugar
* add color as desired

200g pistachio paste or other flavoring
200g butter cream
* Amounts of flavors, pastes etc. will vary with personal taste

To make the macaroons, sieve the sugar and the TPT very fine. Put aside.
Now whisk the egg white together with the second part of sugar at middle speed.
Gradually whisk the egg white mixture to become very stiff. * if cooking the sugar for the meringue cook to 245° F and follow the standard procedure for making a cooked meringue adding color in the end.
* Add natural powder color

Fold the TPT mix into meringue.

Setting: With a whole nozzle pipe, pipe small discs on a baking parchment. Bake for 2-3 minutes at 200° C/ 392° F closed, 8-10 min at 170° C/ 338° F open. Remove from the oven and let the macaroons cool. Whisk the pistachio paste with the butter cream and pipe the mix on the macaroons.Pipe the filling between two macaroons and sandwich them.

VOILA! Enjoy your perfect macaroons with a glass of cold milk!

And… just in case temptation has gotten the best of you after reading this and you don’t feel like being Betty Crocker anytime soon, choose from a selection of our delicious macaroon collections, delivered right to your front door within 48hrs!

Sucré Sour Cream Muffin Recipe

Sour Cream Muffins
Yields 24 muffins

12 ounces butter
11 ounces sugar
5 whole eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
20 ounces sour cream
15 ounces cake flour
¾ tablespoon baking soda
1 cup blueberries

Cream butter and sugar well. Add eggs and vanilla gradually. Add sour cream. Add dry ingredients. Fold in blueberries. Scoop batter into muffin cups. Set in muffin pan. Bake in pre-heated oven at 325 F for 35 minutes.

Rich Dark Xocolat Mousse Recipe

xocolat sucréDark Xocolat Mousse
Yields six 6oz portions

1½  cups heavy cream
4T corn syrup
12 ounces extra dark, high quality couverture
1 ½  cups heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks

Chop couverture into half-inch pieces and place into mixing bowl. In a saucepan over high heat, bring the first measurement of heavy cream and corn syrup to a boil. Pour over chocolate. Stir together until melted. Allow to cool at room temperature for thirty minutes. Gently fold whipped cream into chocolate mixture. Pour into cups, refrigerate until set, and serve.