Chocolate Eclair

Chocolate Eclair Recipe

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This classic French treat, the Chocolate Eclair, is a delightful indulgence that brings a touch of Parisian elegance to any occasion. I first fell in love with eclairs during a trip to France with my family. We spent an unforgettable afternoon in a quaint little patisserie in Paris, sampling an array of pastries, but it was the eclair that captured my heart. Since then, I’ve been on a quest to recreate that perfect bite at home.

This Chocolate Eclair recipe has become a family favorite, often requested for special occasions and celebrations. The process of making eclairs might seem daunting at first, but with a little patience and practice, you’ll find it quite rewarding. I love experimenting with variations, such as adding a hint of espresso to the chocolate icing for a mocha twist or infusing the pastry cream with a touch of almond extract for a nutty flavor.

For those looking to lighten things up, try using half-and-half instead of whole milk in the pastry cream or substituting dark chocolate for the semisweet chips in the icing. If you’re feeling adventurous, you could even fill the eclairs with a fresh fruit compote or a luscious caramel cream. No matter how you choose to customize them, these Chocolate Eclairs are sure to impress your family and friends.

So, roll up your sleeves, gather your ingredients, and let’s embark on this delightful baking adventure together. Trust me, the look of sheer delight on your loved ones’ faces as they bite into these homemade eclairs is worth every bit of effort.

Making the Chocolate Eclair

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch

Directions

  1. Heat your oven to 450°F. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt 1/2 cup butter.
  2. Once melted, add the water and bring it to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat, add salt, and mix in the flour gradually, stirring briskly until the dough forms a ball and detaches from the pan. Remove from heat.
  3. Incorporate the eggs one by one, whisking each until the dough is smooth.
  4. On a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, spoon the dough into strips measuring about 1 inch by 3 inches.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes. Then, lower the oven temperature to 325°F and bake for another 20 minutes. Check if the eclairs sound hollow by tapping the bottom with a spoon. If not, bake for an additional 3-5 minutes.
  6. Cool the baked eclairs on a wire rack.
  7. To make the vanilla pastry cream, simmer the milk in a medium saucepan, stirring often.
  8. In another bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add egg yolks and whisk until the mixture is smooth.
  9. Slowly add the hot milk to the egg mixture, whisking constantly to avoid curdling.
  10. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook for 30 seconds, until it thickens to a pudding-like consistency.
  11. Mix in 7 tablespoons of butter and the vanilla extract until smooth. Rub the remaining butter on top, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
  12. Transfer the cooled filling to a piping bag. Poke a hole in the bottom of each eclair and fill them with the cream.
  13. For the chocolate icing, melt the chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons of butter in a microwave-safe bowl, heating in 30-second intervals and stirring until smooth.
  14. Combine the melted chocolate with the powdered sugar and vanilla extract until well blended.
  15. Add boiling water a tablespoon at a time until the icing is smooth.
  16. Dip the tops of the filled eclairs into the chocolate icing, letting any excess drip off.
  17. Refrigerate the eclairs for at least 30 minutes before serving.

How to Make Chocolate Eclair

FAQs:

What is the best way to ensure my eclair dough doesn’t stick to the pan?

After adding the flour to the boiling water and butter mixture, stir quickly until the dough forms a ball that pulls away from the sides of the pan. This helps to ensure it won’t stick. Additionally, make sure the pan is properly greased or lined with parchment paper before placing the dough strips on it.

How can I prevent the eggs from curdling when making the pastry cream?

To prevent the eggs from curdling, gradually whisk the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture, adding it slowly and constantly stirring. This process, known as tempering, helps to slowly raise the temperature of the eggs without cooking them.

What should I do if my eclairs are not hollow when tapped?

If your eclairs do not sound hollow when tapped on the bottom, bake them for an additional 3-5 minutes. This extra time helps to ensure they are fully cooked and have the proper texture.

Can I prepare the pastry cream filling in advance?

Yes, you can prepare the pastry cream filling in advance. After cooking, cover it with plastic wrap, ensuring the wrap touches the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours or overnight before transferring it to a piping bag for filling the eclairs.

What is the best method to dip the eclairs in chocolate icing?

To dip the eclairs in chocolate icing, hold each eclair by the sides and dip the top into the prepared icing. Let any excess chocolate drip off before placing them on a wire rack or parchment paper. This method helps achieve a smooth and even coating.

How long can I store chocolate eclairs, and what is the best way to store them?

Chocolate eclairs can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Place them in an airtight container to keep them fresh. If you need to store them longer, consider freezing the unfilled eclair shells and filling them when ready to serve.

Chocolate Eclair Recipe

Chocolate Eclair

Make classic French Chocolate Eclairs at home with this easy-to-follow recipe, featuring a delicious pastry cream and chocolate topping.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 34 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Servings 24
...

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons water

Instructions
 

For the Dough:

  • Preheat your oven to 450°F. Melt the 1/2 cup butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  • Once the butter is melted, add water and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat and add salt, then gradually mix in the flour, stirring quickly until the dough forms a ball and doesn't stick to the pan. Remove from heat.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, whisking each until fully incorporated.
  • On a greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet, spoon the dough into 1-inch by 3-inch strips.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 325°F and bake for another 20 minutes. Tap the bottom of an eclair with a spoon; if it sounds hollow, they're done. If not, bake for another 3-5 minutes.
  • Cool the eclairs on a wire rack.

For the Vanilla Pastry Cream Filling:

  • In a medium saucepan, heat the milk until it simmers, stirring regularly.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add the egg yolks and mix until smooth and creamy.
  • Gradually whisk in the hot milk to prevent the eggs from curdling.
  • Return the mixture to the saucepan and boil for 30 seconds until it thickens to a pudding-like consistency.
  • Stir in 7 tablespoons of butter and the vanilla extract until smooth. Gently rub the remaining butter on the top, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
  • Transfer the filling to a piping bag. Poke a hole in the bottom of each eclair shell and fill.

For the Chocolate Icing:

  • In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons of butter in 30-second intervals, stirring each time until smooth.
  • Mix in the powdered sugar and vanilla extract until well combined.
  • Add boiling water, one tablespoon at a time, until the icing is smooth.
  • Dip the tops of the eclairs into the chocolate icing and let any excess drip off.
  • Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Keyword chocolate

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