Chocolate Éclair

Ingredients


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


Choux Pastry:


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


Directions


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Make the pastry cream: 

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the milk, vanilla bean, and vanilla bean seeds to a boil. 
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, cake flour, and salt. 
  3. Add the egg and egg yolks. 
  4. Slowly stream in the hot milk, whisking rapidly until thick, being careful not to scramble the eggs. 
  5. Strain the cream through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. 
  6. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cool, about 30 minutes.

Make the choux pastry: 

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the butter, sugar, salt, and 1 cup of water to a boil over medium heat. 
  2. Remove the pan and add the flour. Stir quickly with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes until the dough comes together. 
  3. Transfer dough to the bowl of a standing mixer and beat at medium speed until slightly cooled, about 1-2 minutes. 
  4. Add eggs one at a time, stirring until well combined.
  5. Transfer choux pastry to a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip. 
  6. Pipe 5 inch-long logs onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. 
  7. Leaving eclairs in the oven, turn down the temperature to 325°F and bake shells for 30 minutes more, until golden brown. 
  8. Transfer shells to a wire rack to cool.

Meanwhile, finish the pastry cream: 

  1. In a mixing bowl, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. 
  2. Whisk the cooled pastry cream to get it moving and then gently fold the whipped cream into the cream until combined. 
  3. Transfer the pastry cream to a piping bag.

Make the chocolate icing: 

  1. Place the chocolate and butter in a wide heatproof bowl. 
  2. Melt in the microwave in 15 second bursts, whisking after each time to make sure the chocolate doesn't burn.

Assemble éclairs: 

  1. Make a small hole in either end of the éclair shells with the small end of a small piping tip or chopstick. 
  2. Pipe pastry cream into each end of the éclair, being careful to fill it all the way without overstuffing. 
  3. Dip the tops of each shell into the chocolate glaze, and serve.
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