Food

Roselle's Banana Cream Pie Éclairs are just what your next special occasion is calling for

Make this divine, decadent dessert for your very lucky party guests.

Make this divine, decadent dessert for your very lucky party guests

(Photography by Ryan Szulc)

From the moment we spotted these beautiful banana éclairs in Amy Rosen’s cookbook, Toronto Eats: 100 Signature Recipes from the City’s Best Restaurants, we just knew we had to share them with you. A staple on the menu at Roselle, a pint-sized bakery on the city’s east end, these creamy, sugar-topped pastries are exactly what your next big celebration is calling for. Customizable, freezable and perfect for a big crowd of very lucky guests, they’re easily worth the effort. And then some. Read on for a taste of this Toronto gem and the recipe for this divine treat.

Roselle’s Banana Cream Pie Éclair

Intro by Amy Rosen | Recipe by Stephanie Duong and Bruce Lee

If this cheery dessert spot in Corktown isn’t the definition of a hidden gem, I’ll eat one of their Earl Grey shorties (and happily, as they’re tea-infused shortbreads sandwiching white chocolate and candied orange). Chef-owners Stephanie Duong and Bruce Lee had always imagined a place of their own —“where people can chill out and have great pastries,” says Duong. In sharp contrast to Restaurant Régis & Jacques Marcon and yam’Tcha (the Michelin-starred restaurants in France) and Robuchon and Tim’s Kitchen in Hong Kong where they worked (Bruce on the culinary arts side, Stephanie on the pastry side), Roselle has a breezy demeanour, complete with a soft-serve machine and a bench out front.

But don’t let it fool you. The homemade soft-serve boasts infused cream, toasted milk powder and injections of fresh lemon curd. There are buttery caramels and exquisite cakes, but no pies. “I don’t really like pie, except for banana cream pie,” says Duong. “We do a Toronto take with our Banana Cream Pie Éclair.” To make them, a choux paste is covered with crunchy craquelin, baked and then filled with caramelized and flambéed bananas and a whipped white chocolate ganache. “This éclair represents our philosophy at Roselle: simple flavours, a little bit of skill and a whole lot of love.” It’s all about exquisite pastries, for the people.

Ingredients

Craquelin:

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar, less 1 tbsp
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

Choux pastry:

  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup 2% milk
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 5 eggs

Vanilla pastry cream:

  • 1 cup + 4 tbsp 2% milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
  • 4 egg yolks
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup whipping (35%) cream

Whipped ganache:

  • 3 cups whipping (35%) cream
  • 14 oz white chocolate, roughly chopped

Caramelized bananas:

  • 2 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 6 very ripe bananas, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup gold rum

Assembly:

  • Icing sugar, for dusting

Preparation

For craquelin:

Combine sugar and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes, until creamy. Gradually add flour on low speed, until well combined. Divide dough in half.

Roll one portion between two pieces of parchment paper until ⅛ inch thick. Repeat with the other half. Transfer to a baking sheet and freeze for 20 minutes, until firm.

Remove parchment paper and transfer each portion to a lightly floured work surface. Cut each portion into 6 x 1 ½-inch rectangles and discard any scraps — you should have about 3 dozen portions. Freeze until ready to use.

For choux pastry:

Preheat the oven to 400°F (preferably on convection setting, if available). Line 4 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine water, milk, butter, sugar, and salt and bring to a boil on medium-high heat. Remove the pan from the heat (but keep burner on). Add flour and stir, until doughy.

Return the saucepan to the heat and cook for 5 minutes, stirring continuously, until dough is cooked through. (It should pull away from the sides of the pot, and a thin film should form on the bottom of the pot.)

Transfer dough to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on low for 5 minutes, until slightly cooled. Add eggs, one at a time, and mix until shiny and smooth.

Transfer mixture to a piping bag fit with a star tip #32. Pipe 5 ½-inch long lines of dough, 2 inches apart, onto the prepared baking sheets (you should have about 3 dozen lines of dough).

Lay a piece of craquelin over each line of dough and bake for 15 minutes, until éclairs are fully puffed. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and bake for another 12 to 15 minutes, until evenly brown.

For vanilla pastry cream:

Pour milk into a medium saucepan, scrape in seeds from vanilla bean, and bring to a boil on high heat. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, until ready to use.

In a medium bowl, combine egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch and whisk until combined. Gradually whisk 3 tbsp hot milk into the egg mixture, then add the rest. Return mixture to the saucepan and cook, whisking constantly, on medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, and then cook for 2 minutes.

Transfer custard to a shallow bowl, cover custard surface with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour, until cool.

Transfer cooled custard to a food processor and whirl until smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl.

Pour whipping cream into a separate bowl and whip until medium peaks form. Fold cream into custard until evenly combined, and refrigerate until chilled and you are ready to use.

For whipped ganache:

Pour 2 cups cream into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil on medium-high heat. Remove from the heat, then add chocolate and set aside for 5 minutes, until chocolate is almost melted. Use a hand blender to combine until homogenous and smooth. Add remaining cup of cream and blend for 1 minute, until smooth. Refrigerate for at least 5 hours before using.

For caramelized bananas:

Heat 1 cup sugar in a shallow pan on medium-low. Do not stir. (To prevent dark spots from forming, push the sugar around with a spatula to redistribute.) Once most of the sugar has melted, sprinkle in the remainder and cook until caramel turns a deep golden brown.

Stir in bananas until they are fully coated. Add rum. Carefully ignite using a barbecue lighter and cook for 5 minutes, until the flames dissipate and bananas have softened. Scoop bananas into a strainer and discard liquid.

For assembly:

Transfer ganache to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip on medium-high until medium peaks form. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a star tip (any size will do).

Using a serrated knife, slice an éclair in half lengthwise. Spread vanilla pastry cream onto the bottom half, then add a generous portion of caramelized bananas. Pipe swirls of whipped ganache over top. Sandwich with remaining half of éclair, then dust with icing sugar. Repeat with remaining éclairs.

Tips:

  • Baked éclairs freeze extremely well in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Refresh in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes, when needed.
  • Pastry cream can be easily infused with other flavours. Simply replace the vanilla bean with teas or spices in the milk infusion.

Copyright 2017, Amy Rosen; reproduced with permission of Figure 1 Publishing. Recipes copyright by individual restaurants.

Servings: Makes about 3 dozen éclairs

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