When it comes to innovation, I think the Japanese people wins it hands down. From ramen to curry, the Japanese has adopted foreign food and transformed it into a whole new level. Now, it's the French eclairs.
One of my most respected pastry chefs, Hironobu Tsujiguchi, has invented this Eclair Rusks that look exactly like eclairs but NEED NOT be refrigerated. They can be thrown around like baton sticks but will not be distorted.
Why? Simply because the choux puff pastry has been transformed into rusks (dry cookies with zero moisture) by subjecting them to longer hours of baking. Instead of fresh cream or custard, buttercream is used for the filling. Yet, it does not taste greasy at all. Think of those Japanese raisin buttercream cookie sandwich that stays in shape as long as they are left in room temperatures and not directly sunlight. There are 10 different flavours (5 made with plain choux and 5 made with chocolate choux).
Citrus Orange(Candied Orange Peel, Lemon Cream, Caramel Chips, Pate a Choux Chocolate)
Fraises Senga (Rich European Senga strawberry cream, Kirsh-marinated strawberries, Pate a Choux Chocolate)
Cinnamon Almond ( Cinnamon Cream, Caramelized Almonds, Pate a Choux Plain)
Tenku Matcha Hazelnuts (Tenku Matcha Cream, Hazelnuts, Pâté a choux plain)
**Tenku Matcha is a special type of tea leaves that grow in fields at an altitude of 1000m. This matcha tea farm is also operated by Chef Tsujiguchi himself.
Another good thing is that they have a longer shell life of about 3 weeks from the date of purchased. I must confessed that these eclair rusks are tastier than the real eclairs because they are more fragrant, crunchy and less cloying.
Colorful, delicious and portable, they definitely make a good omiyage aka travel souvenirs which can impress your friends & family.
Just don't forget to reserve some for yourself!