Eclair with a Twist

7 January 2006

Before I start, I wanted to thank you all of you who nominated this site for the 2005 Food Blog Awards, hosted by Kate at Accidental Hedonist. I’m honoured to be one of the finalists in Best New Food Blog and Best Food Blog – Photography categories. As you know, there are so many wonderful talents – and not just among the finalists – and I’m flattered to be one of them. Have a look at all the great sites, you can vote here until midnight (PST) on January 18.

Anyway, this is my first dessert of the new year – as you can see, I wanted to add a little Japanese touch to it as I really miss the new year in my country. Unfortunately I didn’t have many ingredients for desserts but I was hooked by this recipe as soon as I saw it in the latest issue of Japanese Elle a table and I was lucky to have all the ingredients. A Japanese patissier Hironobu Tsujiguchi, who runs the popular shop Mont St Clair in Tokyo, writes dessert recipes for the magazine every month – usually classic French desserts but with a Japanese twist. These are basically matcha eclairs but with an extra twist – sandwiched by the matcha pastry cream is rice cake (Mochi) – which is something not to be missed when celebrating Japanese new year. Thinly sliced and blanched rice cake with bitter pastry cream (to be honest I was a little sceptical about the combination at first) worked surprisingly well together with the airy choux pastry. I can definitely use this chewy, sticky rice cake for something else, I think the unusual texture has potential!

So I’d say this first dessert of 2006 went well… except for a thoughtful comment from Matthew who saw the batch of choux pastries on the baking tray and said ‘Worms!’.

Food - Sweet        39 comments    Permalink

  • Gourmet jelly worms....

    Posted by | 7 January 2006 #
  • Ok, confession...I thought what, worms? But I think that’s my lack of cultural awareness. After reading the post--I want to experiment!

    Posted by Jeanne | 7 January 2006 #
  • Beautifull... I’m hungry for a sweet treat now (that sooooo unfair !).



    Posted by Fred | 7 January 2006 #
  • I think they both need a pair of eyes!

    Posted by sam | 7 January 2006 #
  • congrats Keiko and I hope you win in all the categories you’re nominated for and I thought you’d get more.

    When I saw the pics I thought wow brilliant - eclairs with matcha custard but the Mochi makes it more enticing I think ;-) and definitely more original!MMMMM I am thinking of the exquisite texture....

    Posted by Lisa | 7 January 2006 #
  • fantastic

    and happy new year

    Posted by AnneE | 7 January 2006 #
  • I would say they look more like little cute dragons :)

    I like your new photo blog, it is a very nice addition. Will be great to see more of your photography! Also, congrats to the nominations and I hope you get a happy and beautiful new year

    Posted by carin | 7 January 2006 #
  • Hello Keiko,

    Your photography and sense of colour is being such a talented pastry chef...amazing! Best of luck with the awards, but know that you’ll always take top prize in your readers’ hearts no matter what.


    Posted by Moira | 7 January 2006 #
  • Beautiful! If only all worms in my garden looked like this!

    Posted by Béa at La Tartine Gourmande | 7 January 2006 #
  • I have tasted mochi when my friend took me to Japanesse town in LA.

    Worms? haha certainly cute and lovable worms....

    Congratulations once again!

    Posted by sha | 7 January 2006 #
  • Hi Keiko- first of all I want to say congratulations and a Happy New Year as well. Wow, what can I say about the dessert....the eclair was really unique from the flavor combination down to the shape itself, what more can I say! Who would have though of using rice cakes in eclairs, and you’ve got the guts to try it. I am not a big fan of matcha to be honest and I never liked the flavor, but Iam sure if I saw these eclairs I am gonna try it. Its the first time that I encountered such combination, and I know that Mont St Clair was one of the most famous patisserie in Japan, no doubt that the chef is a genius. I also saw Sadaharu Aoki using matcha in his eclairs as well as PH using matcha with chestnut in his macaron. Thank you and more power.

    Posted by Cathy | 8 January 2006 #
  • To be perfectly honest, when I first saw the photo, I thought for a fraction of a second, “Is 2006 year of the snake?” Sorry!! ;) But matcha cream with mochi must be really good. I tasted the combination once before, though it was a crape, not éclairs, and I loved it immensely.

    Posted by obachan | 8 January 2006 #
  • hi keiko, congratulations! the nominations are incredibly well-deserved! what gorgeous looking eclairs - and men! w always has some sort of "thoughtful" comment to contribute too...

    Posted by Joycelyn | 8 January 2006 #
  • Just found you via the Accidental Hedonist. Your photographs are an inspiration!

    Posted by Kathryn | 8 January 2006 #
  • Congratulations on your nominations. Your photography is very high quality!! Love your first dessert of 2006.

    Posted by Kat | 8 January 2006 #
  • lol... obachan is funny, but keiko, i love the look of this and it sounds yum (as i love mochi!)... and by the way, you’ve got my votes! good luck!!

    Posted by Lil | 8 January 2006 #
  • I love the look of those matcha snakes, too;) Beautiful and humorous picture!

    A Japanese friend of mine is bringing back some matcha powder later this month, so I can finally try some pastries with it as well.

    Posted by Pille | 8 January 2006 #
  • Happy New Year! You’ll definitely have my vote. And what a cheeky start to the year with those gourmet worms!!! hee ;-)

    Posted by steffles | 8 January 2006 #
  • He-he, and they are smiling too with their green tongues.

    Sounds very nice!

    I voted for you too, of course.


    Posted by Dreska | 8 January 2006 #
  • Hi

    I found your site through the food blog awards--it’s abolutely beautiful, well designed and I really like your writing.

    Congratulations on the nomination and for such yummy food!


    Posted by jasmine | 8 January 2006 #
  • Congratulations, Keiko, on your well-deserved nominations! I’m not the least bit surprised! And worms or otherwise, those eclairs are beautiful. If Matthew doesn’t want his, please pass it this way...

    Posted by Molly | 9 January 2006 #
  • Congratulations for the nomination, you deserve it, no doubt about it ! Good luck ... the eclairs are absolutely gorgeous

    Posted by bonheursdesophie | 9 January 2006 #
  • Keiko, Congratulations! I’m new here, and I can tell right away from the first page that it is an award winning blog :-) Thanks for visiting my blog and therefore I have found your blog. I’m adding it to my bookmark. I will read it beyong first page...Congratulation again, you deserve it. Yummy pictures...another great food blog definitely. You’re very talented. Thank you for sharing it all here...

    Posted by Maya | 9 January 2006 #
  • Keiko I keep seeing mention of Elle à table but haven’t yet been able to find the italian version here although I’ve read somewhere that they publish in several countries. It’s a GORGEOUS magazine and I go nuts whenever browsing through the one french copy that I picked up last year!

    RYC: You know, when I was picking out the sea urchin eggs I almost set some aside for uni sushi... god, that stuff rocks!!!! Congratulations for being in the top of the top. You definitely deserve it!

    Posted by rowena | 9 January 2006 #
  • Happy New Year, Keiko!! Those are delectable looking worms. ;) Gimme one please!

    Hope I can see you in the spring when we start driving around when the weather’s warmer.

    P.S. I already voted for you.

    Posted by celiaK | 9 January 2006 #
  • Think i should make learning japanese language my new year resolution (again) this year. So that I’m able read numerous beautifully photographed japanese cookbooks available in singapore. though i have tried & failed, looks like it worth going to give another shot.:)

    Congratulations to the nominations, you have my vote of course. you deserved it!

    these twisted eclair certainly looks & taste far better then the bamboo worms, silkworm papue I had in Bangkok ;P

    Posted by slurp! | 10 January 2006 #
  • They ask me every now and then whether or not I like green tea. And I simply tell them that I love it.

    Posted by Mishal | 10 January 2006 #
  • Keiko san

    Happy new year and congratulation!!

    Of course I voted your site although others were good ones.

    Matcha Eclair...looks so yummy!

    Posted by aya | 10 January 2006 #
  • So beautiful ! of course I have voted for you !

    Posted by mercotte | 10 January 2006 #
  • What a beautiful picture!!

    I want to twist my eclairs now ;)

    Posted by Scherneel | 10 January 2006 #
  • Great dof and lighting. Very nice shot.


    Posted by Sakana | 10 January 2006 #
  • seriously you have done an amazing job with this site as well as your food. If only you had a resturant to serve all the kind of food the way that u have photographed it.

    Posted by kanikaa | 11 January 2006 #
  • LOL! Well, they are a little snaky. ;-) But gorgeous and as delectable looking as ever.

    Congrats on the nomination! You definitely get my vote. :-)

    Posted by Christina | 11 January 2006 #
  • Hi Keiko

    Thanks for your note on my blog. I appreciate it... Thanks

    I like you photo blog, it looks very good. Those eclairs look strange too me.Just because we aren’t used too these colors on eclairs. But i bet they taste delicious.

    Congratulations with your nomination. Keep up the good work!

    Lots of greetings


    Posted by Shanna | 11 January 2006 #
  • "NORDLJUS," northern lights? Are you from Lappland as I am. If so we share the delight in the very best of the culinary arts (now practiced also in Lappland!). And, if you are not, forgive me for digressing, nordljus refers to the aurora borealis, a frequent occurance in Gellivare, my home town (

    Posted by May-Britt Patterson | 12 January 2006 #
  • Hi there, thank you so much for all your kind notes. *I* didn’t think they looked like worms/snakes, but as almost everyone agrees with Matthew, I’m starting to doubt my own taste...

    Sam - I’ll put eyes on them and send a pic for you.

    Lisa - I know it sounds adventurous, but it worked really well!

    Carin - thank you for your notes. I’m looking forward to seeing more of your gorgeous photography.

    Moira - you’re always so kind, thank you.

    Bea - every time I see worms in our garden, I scream and run away...

    Sha - did you like it?

    Cathy - I understand it looks/sounds weird to you especially if you don’t like matcha, but I was quite impressed with the combination of flavour and texture. I’ve never tried the shop, but his recipes always sound, uh, interesting. I’ve had quite a few of Sadaharu Aoki’s matcha cakes/ice-cream but I found them a little too sweet.

    Obachan - if you’ve approved this combination, it *must* be good ;)

    Joycelyn - oh, I can’t believe w says anything about your creations, which are absolutely stunning!

    Lil - I’m glad to know you like mochi :)

    Pille - I didn’t mean humorous...! Looking forward to seeing your lovely creations with the tea.

    Dreska - green tongues!

    Maya - I *had to* visit your site, I hope I didn’t offend you though...

    Rowena - I didn’t know you can get Italian version of Elle à table, I subscribe Italian Elle Deco though! Let me know when you find it. You made me homesick again, I don’t think I’ve seen anyone selling sea urchins here...

    Celia - yes, we must plan for that, I’m really looking forward to it!

    Slurp - don’t you think that you might be able to make something from Japanese cookbooks as they almost always have ’step-by-step’ pictures on each recipes? Worth a try and you can always ask me if you need any help :) What are bamboo worms like by the way? Do you eat them? (I don’t really want to know, but I never heard of it...)

    Mishal - yes, green tea is good for you!

    Scherneel - I hope you enjoy *twisting* :)

    Shanna - I’m thinking about you and woezie, look after yourself.

    May-Britt - No, I’m from Japan but I love Scandinavia and just the sound of the words (and would love to see northern lights one day). I’ve never been to Lappland, it must be a fascinating place... Thank you for the link, the town looks really lovely, but I just saw the temperature there - I can’t imagine what it is like to be in minus 30 degrees!

    Posted by keiko | 20 January 2006 #
  • HI Keiko, having discovered your blog today I am now visiting various posts I love the look of your recipe. When I first looked at it I wondered in my mind whether the filling had pistachio paste. Would you know if I can find the recipe in English as I would love to give it a go.

    Posted by valentina | 22 January 2006 #
  • Hi Valentina - it’s basically the same as a normal eclair, you just add a little matcha (mixed in a little water first) into the custard.

    Posted by keiko | 2 February 2006 #
  • Hello, i’m a pastry student in Ontario, Canada, and have advanced to a provincial pastry competition. one of my bits it to make 12 choux paste pastries. i have been looking for a recipe that will not open up when baked. i need it to keep it’s shape when baking. (my dream is for them to look like sadaharu aokis) but the picture on your website looks like it would keep it’s shape well. It would be much appreciated if you could post the recipe, or email it to me.

    Posted by Allison | 26 March 2008 #

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