CHRISTOPHE ADAM created weekend éclairs, launched in 2008, for Fauchon. It was only natural that, when opening his own establishment, the pastry chef only kept to this one product that he knows perfectly. In the Marais neighbourhood, L’Éclair du génie is a little boutique with a single product and every day offers a rich panoply of choux pastries freshly assembled throughout the day. Garnished with seasonal products, piped with finely worked toppings, the éclairs form a line of savvy, coloured geometrical forms that are unique and complex.
I use a lot of it. This is because it’s a product that can be lightened, flavoured, seasoned and quickly provided with a new texture. For me, cream is a base that serves to create a lighter texture. I use it especially in the finished product in the form of Chantilly, which I love especially for its porous qualities.
I never use it hot. For a Chantilly, I put a well-chilled, 35% UHT cream in the processor, add sugar and possibly white chocolate or mascarpone – a minimum of butterfat is necessary for it to hold up. This keeps chilled all day and the éclairs are put together at the last minute. Crème fleurette (liquid heavy cream) is much lighter and more fragile and is reserved for mousses (but we don’t make mousses…).
In and on éclairs: as a cream and as piping. The strawberry shortcake éclair (with a pistachio-vanilla base + white chocolate cream) or the chestnut-clementine, for example, have a lot of cream. It’s very rare for me to make a recipe with pure Chantilly but I use it to aerate a cream cake. Ganaches are also beaten with cream, then put back into the mixer to aerate them. Before, we made mousses; today, we make Chantilly bases. By mixing them with caramel or chocolate chilled at 5-8°, we obtain rather dense mixtures. In addition, we use it with white chocolate or mixed with mascarpone as an emulsifier in view of textures that are thicker or more aerated, especially for decorative piping.
Before, at Fauchon, I created an entire line of great classics with Chantilly cream (cream puffs, millefeuilles, verrines) that we sold all at the same time.
I love it passionately, definitely! Everybody loves cream. A strawberry, a little bit of Chantilly with a little bit of vanilla and everybody is delighted, it’s always an instant hit. There’s no need to make it more complicated than that.
Chantilly with strawberries or red fruits!
L’ÉCLAIR DE GÉNIE