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Sliced chocolate eclair filled with pastry cream.

Classic Chocolate Eclairs

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 24 eclairs
Calories: 153kcal
Author: Shinee
Let's make bakery-style eclairs at home! I promise, it's really easy to make with very basic ingredients. Plus, 8 tips to perfect eclair shells every time!
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Ingredients

For Pastry Shells:

  • 1 cup (240ml) water
  • ½ cup (115g) unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour
  • 4-5 large eggs at room temperature

For Pastry Cream:

  • 2 cups (500g) milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup (70g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) cold heavy whipping cream

For Chocolate Ganache:

  • ½ cup (120ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup (50g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter optional

Instructions

To make the shells:

  • Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, or silicone mat.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine water, butter, sugar and salt. Slowly heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring frequently to dissolve sugar and melt the butter. Once sugar is dissolved and butter is melted, increase the heat to medium high heat and bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Meanwhile, sift the flour.
  • When the butter mixture comes to a boil, remove the saucepan from heat and add flour all at once. Quickly mix the mixture until all the flour is absorbed. (We just made panade!)
  • Put the saucepan back to burner and reduce the heat to medium. Cook the dough, continuously mixing with a wooden spoon. The dough will start to form into a ball. Keep mixing for another 3-4 minutes until light crust forms on the bottom of the pan. (Note: It’s important to cook for at least 3-4 minutes to dry out the panade.)
  • Transfer the dough into a mixing bowl with paddle attachment and mix it for a few minutes on low speed until the mixture is at room temperature, about 2 minutes. (No mixer? No problem. You can mix it with a wooden spoon!)
  • Then add eggs one at a time, mixing the batter well after each addition. This will help to get egg absorbed into the dough quicker. Don’t add more than 2 eggs at a time! This is important, as you might not need to add all the eggs. The dough should be smooth and shiny, thin enough to slowly fall into a ribbon, but too runny.
  • Transfer the batter into a large pastry bag, fitted with a round or star tip. Rest the batter for at least 1 hour at room temperature, or refrigerate for up to 2 days. (Note: Make sure to close any opennings to avoid drying out the batter.)
  • Pipe the batter into 4-inch skinny logs at least 2 inches apart. Level the peaked tops with a wet fingertip.
  • Bake the shells for 30-35 minutes, or until the shells are puffed up and golden brown, one baking sheet at a time. (Note: Don’t open the oven door the first 25 minutes.)
  • Once the shells are baked, cool until safe to handle, cut out 2 wholes on the bottom using a round piping tip, or simply make a small slit on the side of shells, using a small sharp paring knife. Arrange the shells back on the baking sheet with the holes facing up. And bake them again for another 5 minutes. This dries out the inside of pastry shells and make them extra crisp.
  • Transfer the shells onto a wire rack and cool completely before filling.

To make the filling:

  • In a medium saucepan, bring milk and vanilla extract to a boil. Once it boils, turn the heat off.
  • In a separate bowl, beat egg yolks with sugar until pale. And then stir in flour and cornstatrch.
  • To temper the egg yolk mixture, take about ½ cup of hot milk and add it into the egg yolk mixture, while stirring vigorously. 
  • Now, add the tempered egg mixture back into the saucepan with remaining milk. Cook it over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it comes to a boil, about 5 minutes. (Note: It's normal if the mixture looks curdled in the beginning, be patient and it'll smooth out.) To see if the mixture is boiling, stop whisking for a moment. If it's burping bubbles, cook for 1 minute and remove from heat.
  • Run the custard through a sieve, if desired, and transfer into a clean bowl and cover with a plastic wrap, so it touches the cream and refrigerate it for at least 2 hours. (TIP: Don’t be alarmed if your chilled pastry cream looks too thick and lumpy. Simply whisk it until smooth again.)
  • Whip heavy whipping cream till hard peaks form. Fold in the whipped cream into the chilled pastry cream and gently fold until well combined. Transfer the filling into a large pastry bag fitted with a round tip.

To make the glaze:

  • Heat heavy cream until just simmer. Do not boil. Pour it over chocolate chips, and let it sit for good 2 minutes. Then stir it until smooth for couple minutes. Stir in butter to add some shine.

To assemble eclairs:

  • Pipe the filling through the prepared holes on the bottom or a side slit. And then dip each filled eclair in the chocolate ganache.
  • Let the eclairs set for about 1 hour in the fridge before serving.

Notes

Read this Ultimate Guide to Choux Pastry for detailed step-by-step tutorial to make the pastry shells.
Make-Ahead Tips:
· Unfilled pastry shells can be stored at room temperature for 1 day, or frozen for up to 3 months.
· Pastry cream also can be prepared in advance and refrigerated until ready to use. Make sure to cover the filling with a plastic wrap touching the entire surface of the cream.
· It's ideal to assemble the eclairs the day of serving. Assembled eclairs should be refrigerated.

Nutrition

Serving: 1filled and glazed eclair | Calories: 153kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 87mg | Sodium: 83mg | Potassium: 66mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 395IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 1mg