One of my favorite things to do when traveling in France is to duck into a charming pastry shop and treat myself to a delicate chocolate eclair. It has to be one of the greatest pleasures in life! Well, you need not travel to France to get the same effect 🙂 You can make your own!
Intimidated by the process? Don’t be! Watch my step-by-step process below. SUBSCRIBE TO MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL and never miss a recipe! (It’s free!)
The trickiest part of this recipe is piping out the shells, but not to worry I’ll give you my top tips in the video.
And there’s nothing more gratifying them seeing them puff up in the oven.
Then comes the fun part filling them and dipping them in chocolate! Take your time and have fun! 🙂
- FOR SHELLS:
- 9 tbsp (135 g) butter
- 1 cup (240 ml) of water
- ½ tsp (2.5 ml) of salt
- 2 tsp (10 ml) sugar
- 1 cup (120 g) of flour
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- FOR PASTRY CREAM:
- 2 cups (480 ml) milk
- vanilla bean, seeds and bean
- 4 egg yolks
- ⅓ cup ( sugar
- ⅓ cup (40 g) cornstarch
- 1 tbsp (15 g) butter
- 1 ½ (360 ml) cup semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
- 1 cup (240 ml) warm heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 400F (200C) degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- Mix together the dry ingredients. Set aside.
- Place water and butter in a pan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and with a wooden spoon stir in your flour mixture, until it turns into a ball and pulls away from the sides. Allow to cool slightly and then make a flat indentation in the dough ball and gradually stir in the 4 beaten eggs, it will be hard to combine and slimy at first but not to worry keep stirring, changing to a whisk if needed, and it will come together into a sticky paste. Allow to cool slightly.
- Transfer the dough into a pastry bag, fitted with a ½ inch round tip. Pipe out 1 4- inch line Form into place with a wet spoon or wet fingers. As dough cools it's less sticky and easier to handle! You should get 10-12 eclairs
- Bake 400F/(200 C) 15 mins. DO NOT OPEN DOOR. Then reduce oven to 350F (176 C) and bake for another 20-25 mins.
- Once golden brown and puffed, turn oven off, open door. Make small incisions (1/2 inch) in the side of each eclair to release the steam. Keep door propped open for 10 minutes.
- TO MAKE PASTRY CREAM:
- In a heat safe bowl add the egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch, whisk until a smooth paste forms. Set aside.
- Then in a large saucepan heat milk, vanilla paste and pod until simmering. Strain out the bean. Allow to cool slightly. Add the warm milk slowly to the egg mixture whisking all the while until combined. Wash out the saucepan.
- Pour egg mixture through a fine mesh sieve back into the clean saucepan. Heat custard on medium high until boiling, whisking all the while until thickened. Remove from heat. Allow to cool slightly. Add the butter, whisk until smooth. Transfer to a shallow container, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
- TO FILL SHELLS:
- Pierce bottom of éclairs with ¼” serrated tip, screwing the tip into the éclair to form a hole. Make 3 holes, equidistant.
- Transfer pastry cream to a pastry bag fitted with the same tip and fill each hole with the cream until éclair feels full and heavy.
- TO MAKE GLAZE:
- In a large heat safe bowl place the chocolate chips, pour the hot cream over the chips and allow to stand for 2-4 mins. Whisk chips and cream together until a smooth ganache forms.
- Place bowl over a simmer saucepan filled with 1-2 inches of water to keep chocolate in liquid form.
- Place each éclair topside down in the chocolate about ⅓ of the way to coat the tops with chocolate, remove éclair and place on cooling rack to allow chocolate to set.
- Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.