Fad or Future

Can the eclair move beyond its sweet image?

Patisserie specialists Maître Choux have created a range of savoury eclairs, but does Sparkie think they have staying power? 

10 June 2019
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It seems no sweet pastry is safe from a savoury overhaul.

Maître Choux has taken a French classic, the eclair, and given it a twist by creating a savoury range.

This quirky idea is the brainchild of chef Joakim Prat, a pastry chef with experience at Michelin-starred eateries like London’s The Greenhouse and Barcelona’s Can Fabes (now closed). Prat opened Maître Choux in 2015 alongside business partner Jeremie Vaislic.

The four new eclairs combine choux pastry with vegetables, fish and even chicken.

Crunchy Spring Vegetable, topped with slices of carrot, broccoli and cauliflower in a secret marinade, is filled with a smooth earl grey and carrot puree. There’s also a Smoked Salmon, Yuzu Cream Cheese & Avocado eclair and a Chicken Mayo & Avocado version, filled with a layer of avocado puree and topped with marinated roasted chicken and parmesan. Last of all is a simple affair involving sun-dried tomatoes and feta cream.

The savoury eclairs are perfect for the warmer months, according to Maître Choux – though each one costs a fair chunk of change at £5 (£6 if eating in). The inventive morsels will be available through the brand’s shops in London, including Soho, Chelsea and South Kensington, as well as in Bicester Village in Oxfordshire.

Pastry playfulness

The appetite for pastry mash-ups shows no sign of abating.

Just last month, Gail’s and Radio Alice launched pizza profiteroles, which will be available throughout the summer.

Cheeky versions of the croissant also continue to pop up, with both the crossushi and tacro hitting headlines in the last couple of years.

So is Sparkie salivating for a savoury eclair?

 

Sparkie says:

As long as they don't use the sweet version of the pastry to go with these, they will likely be good.

The issue that I foresee is that this shop is very upmarket and high priced, so can afford to do this kind of thing really well using expensive ingredients. It would likely be harder to do something of a similar quality cheap enough for mass market.

Consumers might also have an issue with the name, associating eclairs with sweetness. It might be worth considering a name change so as not to scare off the audience – we have enough other savoury products that use choux pastry, so it shouldn't be too hard.

Overall, I think it has potential, if it’s given some attention. 

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