Culinary Dragons

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Dragon QUEST has truly transformed Saturday mornings at the Dragon as children engage in a wide variety of exciting activities to expand their horizons. New activities like Fire-Breathing Dragons (firing up Japanese pottery in the kiln), Magical Dragons and The Great Dragon Debate are all run by teachers keen to share their passions.

Culinary Dragons is run under the expert guidance of Holroyd Howe’s Head Chef and cookery teacher, James Blackwell. Not only do the children learn about the origins and versatility of various ingredients, but they also explore how different cultures around the world embrace food and using their own unique dishes and customs, focussing on a different recipe each week.

James shares his very popular recipe for Dragon QUEST éclairs below.

Is there a School meal you remember well, or a recipe you’d like from your Dragon days? Get in touch; we’d love to hear from you.

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Ingredients (makes 12):

The choux pastry
65g plain flour, sifted
pinch salt
50g unsalted butter, diced, plus extra for greasing
2 free-range eggs, beaten
120ml water

The filling
200ml whipping cream
5 tsp icing sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract

The icing
100g chocolate, chopped

 

Method

+ Heat the butter, salt & water until the butter has melted. Bring to the boil then add the flour. Stir vigorously as you bring the pan off the heat. When a paste has formed, put it back on a low heat to cook out the flour for a couple of minutes.

+ Beat the eggs in a bowl until combined, then gradually beat them into the dough with a wooden spoon, beating well after each addition. (You may not need all the eggs.) The dough should be very shiny and paste-like, and fall from a spoon when lightly shaken. Spoon into a piping bag.

+ Sprinkle the tray, not the pastry, with a few drops of water, and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Then, without opening the door, reduce the oven temperature to 170C/325F/Gas 3 and bake for 10 minutes, or until golden-brown and crisp.

+ Remove the tray from the oven and carefully make a small hole in the side of each éclair to allow steam to escape. Return to the oven and bake for a further five minutes, or until the pastry is completely crisp. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

+ For the filling, whip the cream with the sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl until just stiff.

+ Once the éclairs have cooled, cut down the length of one side of each éclair and pipe in the whipped cream.

+ Melt the chocolate over a double boiler or a bowl suspended over a pan of simmering water (do not allow the bottom of the bowl to touch the water) and allow it to cool slightly. Dip the tops of the éclairs in the chocolate and let the chocolate set before serving.