Have you ever tried to make French pastry at home? Like the kind you buy in a bakery or better yet – a real patisserie? Sounds like a challenge, doesn’t it. Add creamy filling and melted chocolate and it’s the kind of a challenge I like to take on. Especially if the idea comes from my Husband. 🙂 He requested these as a “fancy breakfast treat to go with my coffee”. He knows my weak spots. 🙂
So Eclairs it was.
A little bit of research ( just to know what I am getting into ) and I was whipping up pastry cream in no time. Then came the pate a choux. There is quite a bit of steps when making eclairs but boy, are these worth it!!
We are talking delicate light pastry filled with vanilla pastry cream and topped with melted chocolate.
You will be surprised how easy these are to make! The magic happens when the steam raises the dough and creates empty pockets in your eclairs. For a reason of course. Vanilla pastry cream is the traditional filling used in eclairs. I tried whipped cream but it just doesn’t have the same body to fill the pastry.
Pate a choux is a basic pastry dough, cooked before baked. It’s used to make cream puffs, profiteroles, croquembouche, cygnes (pastry swans), gougeres and eclairs. I hope you do give it a try and make some delicious pastry treats yourself. It’s fun and highly self-esteem boosting. 🙂
It’s easy for me to go a little over board when pouring melted chocolate over my treats. I went easy on the first few eclairs. And then added just a little bit more. 🙂
This recipe makes 30 eclairs.
- 1 stick of unsalted butter , cubed
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 c water
- 1 and 1/4 c all-purpose flour
- 4 eggs
- 1 c milk
- 1/4 c granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 c chocolate chips or chunks
- 2 tsp coconut oil (optional)
- !for egg wash:
- 1 large egg
- dash of salt
- 1 tsp milk
Make pastry cream: in a medium saucepan, mix milk, half the sugar and salt. Cook until it comes to simmer. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together egg yolks, cornstarch and remaining sugar. Whisking constantly, slowly pour the milk mixture into egg yolk mixture. Cook over medium heat, until thickens. Whisk constantly. Transfer to a mixing bowl of a stand mixer, add the butter and mix until butter is melted and the cream cools, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a smaller bowl and cover with seran wrap. Refrigerate for up to two days. Whisk before using. Mixture should be chilled before filling eclairs.
Make pate a choux: place butter, sugar, salt and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil. Remove from the heat. Sift the flour over the mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until it pulls away from the sides and a thin film forms on the bottom of the saucepan. Transfer the mixture into a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer and mix on low speed until the mixture cools to room temperature, about 1 minutes. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside. Raise the speed of your mixer to medium and add eggs one at a time. Mix until soft peaks form. Transfer the dough into a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip or a Ziploc bag with a snipped corner (1" deep). Pipe 4 inch long and 1 inch wide pieces onto prepared baking sheets, leaving at least 2 inches of space between them (they will double or even triple in size). Brush with egg wash. Bake eclairs for 18 to 20 minutes, until golden brown and cracks formed along the pastry. Cool on baking sheets for 3 minutes and transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely before filling and glazing.
For the glaze: microwave chocolate and coconut oil in a microwave-safe dish until melted. Stir till smooth.
Assembly: slice each eclair horizontally, fill with pastry cream and glaze.