Eclair renaissance to electrify cake lovers
The pastry prodigies at Sydney’s Banksia Bakehouse are aiming to rekindle our love for the eclair, following in the footsteps of Paris and London, where fancy French patisserie has been enjoying something of a renaissance. After the success of its Tiramisu Eclair in 2020, the Banksia Bakehouse team has unveiled its newest creation – the Biscoff Eclair. And true to the origins of the pastry’s name – “eclair” is French for “flash of lightning” – this new eclair will be no doubt be eaten in a flash. It certainly will if we have anything to do with it.
The eclair has been gracing patisseries for around 200 years. Until 1850, it was known as “petite Duchesse” and “pain à la Duchesse” before it was renamed “éclair”. While some believe it was given this name because it’s eaten so quickly, others think the name refers to the pastry’s shiny, flash-like chocolate icing. The Chambers English Dictionary cleverly defines it as “a cake, long in shape but short in duration”. Sounds about right.
Like many of Banksia’s draw-droppingly delicious pastry creations, the chefs have given their newest eclair a unique twist: the Biscoff Eclair has choux pastry filled with Lotus Biscoff cream and Callebaut dark chocolate crisp pearls, all topped with torched Italian meringue and a Lotus Biscoff biscuit.
“Callebaut chocolate and Lotus Biscoff were the inspirations, as we wanted to create a unique eclair that combines traditional French pastry with two of Belgium’s most popular sweet treats,” explains Banksia Bakehouse’s Chris Sheldrick. “Our team are all big fans of Callebaut chocolate and Lotus Biscoff – as are our customers – and these two ingredients together in one pastry creation make it irresistible.”
As any pastry chef worth his salt knows, choux pastry – the same pastry used in profiteroles – is the key to creating authentic eclairs. Banksia Bakehouse’s eclairs are made with traditional-style choux pastry from high-quality ingredients.
“Our pastry chefs perfected their pastry recipe to ensure all our eclairs have a crisp outer shell that keeps its shape and light and airy inner layers,” Sheldrick says.
Banksia Bakehouse opened in August 2020 and offers a daily selection of unique and traditional-style cakes, pies, pastries and croissants – all made on premises by highly-skilled pastry chefs. Banksia boasts the largest bakehouse window in the country, giving customers a front-row seat to the art of croissant rolling, cake decorating and pie and cruffin (a hybrid of a croissant and a muffin) filling.
Founded by the team behind cake stores Passiontree Velvet, Banksia Bakehouse has become a destination venue for tourists, is the go-to for the city’s lunchtime crowd and a favourite choice for corporate catering and celebration cakes, and is the best croissanterie in Sydney. The Bakehouse is known for its unique and delicious creations, including the signature Apple Delight, a photogenic cake that resembles the Australian Granny Smith.
“Our team are giving eclairs a makeover – and they have some imaginative flavours planned this year,” Sheldrick says. “The proof really is in the pastry.”
The Biscoff Eclair is available now from Banksia Bakehouse, located at Grosvenor Place piazza, 225 George Street, Sydney. You can also drool over all of the bakehouse’s creations at their Instagram page.