|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 24g||31%|
|Saturated Fat 10g||48%|
|Total Carbohydrate 23g||8%|
|Dietary Fiber 2g||7%|
|*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.|
if you have ever looked in the window of a French Patisserie, you will almost always see a row of glistening, chocolate-covered, cream-filled chocolate éclair. They are a true classic, and we 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 éclair recipe is beyond delicious, very easy to make, and attractive, even if you're not a pro.
- For the Choux Pastry Dough:
- 1/2 cup unsalted 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
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons 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
Note: While there are multiple steps to this recipe, this classic French chocolate éclair is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.
Make the Choux Dough
Gather the ingredients.
Combine the butter and water in a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil.
Add salt and flour, and stir continuously with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together in a ball and pulls away from the sides, and a film develops on the bottom of the pan, about 1 minute. Continue to stir the dough for another minute (it'll be an arm workout) to cook the dough and evaporate moisture.
Remove from heat and let the dough cool down, stirring once in a while, about 5 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until the batter is smooth.
Preheat oven to 425 F, and lightly grease a baking sheet.
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.
Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until the éclairs are puffed, golden brown, hard on the outside and dry inside. If the interior is moist, the eclair shells could collapse.
Remove them from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes before filling.
Make the Pastry Cream
Gather the ingredients.
In a small saucepan, warm the milk and sugar over medium heat until it is just hot enough to steam.
While the milk is warming, whisk together the egg yolks, flour, and cornstarch until the mixture is completely smooth.
Once the milk is steaming, add half of it, whisking constantly, to the egg mixture.
Add the milk and eggs back into the hot milk, and continue stirring. Heat until the custard reaches 170 F on a digital thermometer and is very thick, about 3 minutes.
Remove from the heat, and stir in the vanilla extract. Transfer to a bowl and place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming. Chill in the fridge or over an ice bath until completely cooled.
Make the Chocolate Glaze
Gather the ingredients.
While the éclairs are baking and cooling, place the chopped chocolate in a heat-safe bowl and set aside.
In a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream just to boiling over low-medium heat and remove from the heat immediately.
Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and stir until it forms a thin, smooth consistency.
Set the chocolate glaze aside at room temperature for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Assemble the Éclairs
Fit a pastry bag with a medium-sized plain tip (about 1/4 inch wide) and fill it with vanilla pastry cream.
Poke a small hole with the tip of a paring knife into the end of an eclair and insert the tip of the bag. Pipe about 2 1/2 tablespoons of pastry cream into it.
Gently spread 1 tablespoon of chocolate glaze onto the éclair or carefully dip the top of each filled éclair into the glaze. Chill for a few minutes to set the ganache before serving.
Serve and enjoy!
Raw Egg Warning
- Consuming raw and lightly cooked eggs poses a risk of foodborne illness.
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.
How to Store and Freeze
- These are best the day they are made, but éclairs keep in a covered container for a day or two in the fridge. As they sit, the filling tends to get a little weepy.
- You can, however, make the shells and refrigerate them a day or so ahead of time, along with the pastry cream, and then assemble the day you want to serve them.
- Similarly, if you want to freeze the shells, place them on a baking sheet rimmed with wax or parchment paper until frozen. Transfer to a bag or a container (if you're worried about them getting bumped and broken in the freezer) for up to two months. Re-crisp the shells on a baking sheet in a 350 F oven. Let cool completely before filling with pastry cream as directed in the recipe.