For the Pastry Cream:
2 cups whole milk
1/2 vanilla bean split lengthwise, seeds scraped
½ cup, plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
5 tablespoons cake flour
Pinch of salt
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
¼ cup, plus 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1 cup water
1 stick unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
For the Chocolate Glaze:
4 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Make the pastry cream:
- In a medium saucepan, bring the milk, vanilla bean, and vanilla bean seeds to a boil.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, cake flour, and salt.
- Add the egg and egg yolks.
- Slowly stream in the hot milk, whisking rapidly until thick, being careful not to scramble the eggs.
- Strain the cream through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cool, about 30 minutes.
Make the choux pastry:
- In a medium saucepan, bring the butter, sugar, salt, and 1 cup of water to a boil over medium heat.
- Remove the pan and add the flour. Stir quickly with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes until the dough comes together.
- Transfer dough to the bowl of a standing mixer and beat at medium speed until slightly cooled, about 1-2 minutes.
- Add eggs one at a time, stirring until well combined.
- Transfer choux pastry to a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip.
- Pipe 5 inch-long logs onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.
- Leaving eclairs in the oven, turn down the temperature to 325°F and bake shells for 30 minutes more, until golden brown.
- Transfer shells to a wire rack to cool.
Meanwhile, finish the pastry cream:
- In a mixing bowl, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form.
- Whisk the cooled pastry cream to get it moving and then gently fold the whipped cream into the cream until combined.
- Transfer the pastry cream to a piping bag.
Make the chocolate icing:
- Place the chocolate and butter in a wide heatproof bowl.
- Melt in the microwave in 15 second bursts, whisking after each time to make sure the chocolate doesn't burn.
- Make a small hole in either end of the éclair shells with the small end of a small piping tip or chopstick.
- Pipe pastry cream into each end of the éclair, being careful to fill it all the way without overstuffing.
- Dip the tops of each shell into the chocolate glaze, and serve.