Classic French Chocolate Éclair Recipe

chocolate-eclairs
Eclairs Chocolat. Getty Images
Ratings (27)
  • Total: 2 hrs 20 mins
  • Prep: 2 hrs
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 8 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
326 Calories
24g Fat
23g Carbs
4g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 326
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 24g 31%
Saturated Fat 10g 48%
Cholesterol 18mg 6%
Sodium 91mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 23g 8%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Protein 4g
Calcium 30mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

if you have ever looked in the window of a French Patisserie shop you will almost always see a row of glistening, chocolate covered, cream filled chocolate éclair. They are a true classic and I do not know ​anyone who does not enjoy eating them. How could you resist?

This traditional chocolate éclair recipe uses vanilla pastry cream as a filling and rich, almost ganache-like chocolate glaze. Make this treat using a super simple choux pastry dough for a base and you will have the exact pastry seen in bakery windows worldwide.

Not a seasoned baker? This chocolate eclair recipe is beyond delicious, very easy to make, and attractive, even if you're not a pro.

Ingredients

  • For the Choux Pastry Dough
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs
  • For the Pastry Cream
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/8 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • For the Chocolate Glaze
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this classic French chocolate eclair dessert is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.

Make the Choux Dough

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter in the water.

  3. Add salt and flour, and stir until a sticky batter is formed.

  4. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until the batter is smooth.

  5. Preheat oven to 425 F and lightly grease 1 baking sheet.

  6. Spoon the prepared basic choux pastry dough into a pastry bag fitted with a wide, plain tip and pipe eight 5-inch lengths onto the baking sheet.

  7. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the éclairs puff up and turn golden brown.

  8. Remove them from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes before filling.

  9. Makes enough dough for 8 medium-sized pastries.

Make the Pastry Cream

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a small saucepan, warm the milk over low heat until it is just hot enough to steam.

  3. While the milk is warming, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, flour, and cornstarch until the mixture is completely smooth.

  4. Once the milk is steaming, add half of it, whisking constantly, to the egg mixture.

  5. Add the milk and eggs back into the hot milk, continue stirring, and heat it for 1 to 2 minutes, until the custard reaches 170 F on a digital thermometer and is very thick.

  6. Remove from the heat, stir in the vanilla extract, and chill before filling pastry.

Make the Chocolate Glaze

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. While the éclairs are baking and cooling, place the chopped chocolate in a heat-safe bowl and set aside.

  3. In a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream just to boiling over low-medium heat and remove from the heat immediately.

  4. Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and stir until it forms a thin, smooth consistency.

  5. Set the chocolate glaze aside at room temperature for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Assemble the Éclairs

  1. Fit a pastry bag with a medium-sized plain tip and fill it with vanilla pastry cream.

  2. Insert the tip of the bag into the end of an éclair and pipe about 2 1/2 tablespoons of pastry cream into it.

  3. Gently spread 1 tablespoon of chocolate glaze onto the éclair or carefully dip the top of each filled éclair into the glaze before serving.

  4. Serve and enjoy!

Alternatives to a French Chocolate Eclair

This recipe is truly a classic recipe and as such, however, a few little tweaks here and there can be fun and rings the changes:

  • Add a little espresso powder to the pastry cream to create a coffee flavor.

  • Add cocoa powder to the pastry cream for an overall chocolate taste.