Easy Eclairs Recipe

Image credit: Baker Bettie

Know someone you like with a sweet-tooth? Well, here’s your sign to d’eclair your love to them with some eclairs. This sweet treat is a traditional French pastry. The pastry’s shell is rectangular and formed with pate a choux, often known as choux pastry. The shell is traditionally filled with a vanilla custard called pastry cream, and dipped in a chocolate glaze. Make your batch of delectable chocolate eclairs today with this easy recipe.

Easy Eclairs

Image credit: Baker Bettie
Total Time 2 hrs

Ingredients

For The Pastry Cream Filling

For The Shells

For The Chocolate Ganache To Dip The Shells

Instructions

The Pastry Cream

  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar with a whisk until doubled in size.
  • Whisk the cornstarch and the salt into the egg/sugar mixture.
  • In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the milk and vanilla to a boil. Discard the vanilla bean pod if used.
  • Wrap a damp towel around the bottom of the mixing bowl to stabilize it. Slowly pour half of the hot milk mixture into the mixing bowl while whisking continuously to temper the egg yolks.
  • Pour all of the mixture into the saucepan with the rest of the milk and cook, whisking continuously, until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens.
  • Pour the hot pastry cream through a fine mesh sieve to remove any lumps. Add the butter and stir until melted.
  • Put a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the custard and refrigerate until cooled, at least 1 hour.

Choux Pastry For The Shells

  • Preheat the oven to 218°C.
  • In a saucepan over medium/high heat, combine the water, milk, butter, salt, and sugar. Heat until the butter is melted and the mixture comes to a boil.
  • Take the boiling mixture off the heat and pour all of the flour into the pot all at once. Stir vigorously until the mixture becomes smooth.
  • Flatten the mixture to the bottom of the pan and put it back on medium heat. Listen until it starts making a crackling sound. Pull the mixture back and check if there is a thin film on the bottom of the pan. If not, cook a little longer.
  • Remove the mixture from the heat and stir until all of the steam has evaporated off.
  • Off the heat, add one egg at a time and stir until it is completely absorbed into the batter before adding the next egg. When the batter is smooth and glossy looking, it is ready.
  • Move the choux pastry to a piping bag with an open round tip (or a ziplock bag with the corner snipped off). On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, pipe the shells about 2.5 cm wide and 10 cm long. The shells will puff up significantly in the oven. Use a damp finger to smooth out the tails on the shells. They will not all fit on one baking sheet so wait to pipe the next batch until right before they go into the oven.
  • Put the shells into the oven and immediately increase the oven temperature to 232°C. The active heat will help the shells puff up. Bake at 232°C for 8 minutes. Drop the heat down to 177°C for 13-15 minutes, until the shells are golden brown and crisp on the outside. Let cool before filling.

The Chocolate Glaze

  • Make the glaze right before assembling. Place the chocolate chips or chopped chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Set the cook time to 2 minutes and stop and stir the chocolate every 15-20 seconds to evenly distribute the heat and ensure the chocolate does not burn.
  • When the chocolate is almost completely melted, remove it from the microwave and stir in the butter and salt until you have a smooth glaze.

Assemble The Eclairs

  • Transfer the cooled pastry cream to a piping bag with a small open tip (or a ziplock bag with the corner cut off). With a sharp knife, either poke two small holes in the bottom of the shells at each end to pipe the pastry cream into or cut the whole shell in half lengthwise and pipe the pastry cream in the middle.
  • Dip the top of the shell in the chocolate glaze.
  • Enjoy!

Notes:

  • If you want to prepare these eclairs a day or two ahead of time, only make the pastry cream and shells ahead of time, keep them separate, and create the glaze shortly before assembly. 
  • The shells should be kept in the freezer and taken out about 30 minutes before filling. 
  • The pastry cream can be made up to 3 days ahead of time and refrigerated.

Recipe credit: Baker Bettie

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