Do you want a fun, edible project to tackle this weekend? Then try making these delicious chocolate eclairs for your family. They are only slightly harder than making basic brownies, only because there are three components to prep instead of one. You will need a few tools like sil pats, pastry bags and star tips to make this. There are plenty of stores like Michaels or Sur La Table where these easy to find items can be located if you do not have them already. The results will be worth any frustrations you may experience.
Choux pastry takes a little practice to cook perfectly; you will need to cook it longer than you think to fully dry the pastry out. Pour yourself a glass of wine, put on some relaxing music and let’s jump right in. The first step is to make the choux pastry as per the recipe below. It is fairly straight forward and impervious to failure as long as you follow my instructions and use common sense as your guides. There are two key parts to getting it right; first is to cook the dough fully after the flour has been added. You will continue to cook the dough till it pulls cleanly away from the sides of the pan. Secondly, after you pipe the dough out, you will need to bake it fully. Choux pastry is the great pretender, it will look done and if you fall for its bluff the pastries will collapse on your counter.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with a silpat. Put a large star tip into a pastry bag and fill with choux pastry. Pipe three inch fat strips of dough spaced 2 inches apart onto the silpat, bake at 400 degrees for ten minutes then reduce heat to 350 degrees for 25 minutes. At this time the dough should be nicely brown and puffed, lulling you into believing it is done quicker than I said. Resist temptation and leave in the oven another 15 minutes to fully dry the center out. Remove from oven and take a big sip, you just completed the hardest part.
Next make both the pastry cream and chocolate glaze. When the pastry cream is room temperature you are ready to finish your eclairs. Put a small plain pastry tip into your pastry bag, and fill with pastry cream. Use a sharp paring knife to poke a small hole in the bottom of the eclair. Jam the tip of the pastry bag into the hole and fill with your luscious pastry cream. Repeat till all the eclairs are at this point. Dip top of eclairs into chocolate glaze and allow to cool.
Eclairs will keep for two days BUT are best eaten on the same day. Enjoy! If you make this recipe please share with us! We love to see your creations on social media #pistouandpastis!
- 1 cup water
- 4 ounces unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup flour
- 4 eggs
- Boil water, butter, sugar and salt.
- Add flour in one lump and mix with a wooden spoon till well incorporated. Continue mixing over low to medium heat till dough pulls from pan cleanly.
- Put dough into a stand mixer and add eggs one by one till well incorporated.
- 2 cups milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 5 tablespoons butter
- Bring milk and vanilla to a boil, then remove from heat.
- Whisk eggs and yolks, sugar, flour and cornstarch together. Add half of milk and whisk till smooth.
- Pour into pot with remaining milk and bring to a gentle boil, whisking constantly. We are talking three minutes, max.
- Pull off of heat and whisk in softened butter.
- Let pastry cream cool to room temperature. You will need to stir occasionally, otherwise the pastry cream will form a skin. If it forms a skin you can simply puree in a food processor.
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
- Boil cream and pour over chocolate chips.
- Stir till smooth.
- Keep warm till ready to use.