The perfect Christmas canapé – the classic flavour pairing of smoked salmon and horseradish has been used to make these savoury eclairs all the more special. An elegant Christmas party food idea that's sure to impress your guests.
- Preheat the oven to gas 7, 220°C, fan 200°C and line a baking sheet with baking paper.
- Sift the flour with a pinch of salt into a small bowl. Put the milk and butter into a small saucepan and gently heat so the butter melts but the liquid doesn’t bubble. Once the butter has completely melted, increase the heat until the liquid is boiling. Immediately turn off the heat, tip in the sifted flour and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until you have a smooth dough that comes away from the sides of the pan. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes or until cool enough to touch.
- Once the dough has cooled, beat in each egg, one at a time, until you have a smooth, shiny mixture.
- Spoon the choux mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm (1/2in) wide nozzle. Pipe 12 x 8cm (3 1/2in) long eclairs, well spaced apart on the prepared baking sheet. Turn down the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C and bake for 20 minutes or until golden and puffed up.
- Remove from the oven, split down the middle with a small sharp knife while still hot and set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, make the filling. In a bowl, mix together the cream cheese, crème fraîche, horseradish, chopped dill and a squeeze of lemon juice and season. Spoon the filling into the cleaned piping bag with the same 1cm (1/2in) wide nozzle and pipe about 1 tablespoon of the filling down the middle of each eclair. Top each one with a few strips of smoked salmon and a few dill fronds and serve.
Freezing and defrosting guidelines
Freeze the eclairs without the filling. Bake according to the recipe and allow the split eclairs to cool completely. Put into a freezer-proof box and freeze for up to 3 months.
Take the eclairs out of the box and leave to defrost at room temperature for several hours before serving. If you wish to serve the baked goods warm, place them on a baking sheet for 10 minutes in a moderate oven. After they have defrosted thoroughly, fill them as instructed in the method.
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