« L’éclaire » appears around 1850 in Lyon. We don’t know who invented it but it is a choux pastry filled with pastry cream flavored with vanilla, chocolate or coffee in classic recipes and covered with icing of chocolate fondant.
In 19th century, the greatest specialist of the choux pastry was Antoine Carême. He developed many inventions; one of them was “La duchesse”. This choux pastry was coated of almond. Later, Antonin Carême moves the almonds and makes the paste of apricot marmalade and pastry cream of chocolate or cream with icing sugar. Although this dessert does not yet have the name of “Eclair”( it happens 20 years later, after the death of Antoine Carême). We also do not know where the eclaire’s name comes. “Eclair” in English means “a lightning”. Many historians said that the name comes from the phrase:”This cake is so good that you can eat at the speed of light”. Others cite the “éclaire” is so bright that it evokes the light of the lightning.
In foreign countries this cake preserves its name. Today, it goes beyond the traditional chocolate, coffee or vanilla of our grandmother’s recipe: “éclairs” with white chocolate, truffle, red berries, caramel… the pastry creativity has no limits and we continue to eat a good “éclaire” at the speed o f light!
Pictures from Pinterest, Fauchon et le Nôtre.