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5 from 4 votes

Chocolate Eclair

The Eclair is a classic French pastry traditionally made with choux dough, pastry cream filling, and dipped in a rich chocolate glaze. They're a fancy dessert that's easy to make at home!
Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time55 mins
Chill Time2 hrs
Total Time1 hr 35 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Servings: 48 mini eclairs
Calories: 83kcal

Ingredients

Pastry Cream

Choux Pastry

  • 8 ounces water
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon water

Chocolate Ganache

Instructions

Pastry Cream

  • Bring the milk, Nielsen-Massey Tahitian Vanilla Bean, vanilla bean paste, and Nielsen-Massey Tahitian Vanilla Extract to a boil over medium heat in a large saucepan, whisking occasionally. Once it starts to boil, immediately remove it from heat and set aside for 15 minutes to infuse.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium-sized bowl or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, vigorously whisk together eggs and sugar for about 2 to 3 minutes. Add in cornstarch and continue to whisk vigorously until lumps are gone.
  • Remove the vanilla bean pods from the milk and throw away or As long as the bean still possesses its characteristic aroma and is moist and pliable, you can rinse, dry and use it again. Then whisk in about a 1/4 cup of the vanilla milk into the egg mixture, measurement doesn't need to be exact, you just need to temper the eggs. Once the milk is fully incorporated, whisk in the remaining milk and set the saucepan aside, you'll need it in just a minute.
  • Pour the mixture through a sieve back into the saucepan, cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until cream begins to thicken and boil. Remove from heat and stir in the butter until completely melted.
  • Pour into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, making sure the plastic wrap gently touches the top of the pastry cream, chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.

Choux Dough

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Combine the butter, water, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan. Place over high heat and bring to a rolling boil. Butter should have melted.
  • Take the pan off the heat and add the flour all at once. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes to form a dough. The dough will resemble mashed potatoes when ready.
  • Transfer the dough to the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or a large bowl using a hand mixer. Beat on medium-low speed to let the heat out of the dough until the dough is just warm to the touch.
  • With the mixer on medium-low, add the eggs one at a time and fully mixing in each one before adding the next. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed between each addition.
  • Transfer the dough to a pastry piping bag fitted with a large round piping tip and pipe the dough in even 3-inch strips. Use clean kitchen shears to snip the dough near the tip when you're done piping each segment to reduce "tails". Make sure strips of dough are 2 inches apart.
  • In a small bowl, beat together the egg yolk and the teaspoon of water and brush the tops of the dough with egg wash: This makes the pastry golden.
  • Bake for 8 minutes at 400°F, then turn down the oven temp to 350°F and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes. Exact baking time will depend on the size and shape of your pastries. Bake until the pastries are slightly puffed, golden-brown in color, and dry to the touch. They will detach easily from the parchment and feel hollow and light when you pick them up.
  • Remove from the oven and "test" one of the pastries, if it still seems a bit soggy/eggy, lower the heat to 300°F and bake for another 5 minutes to help dry out the puffs
  • Poke an end of each pastry with a toothpick to release any lingering steam from the inside and help prevent them from getting soggy.
  • Cool the pastries completely on a cooling rack and bake off the remaining dough.

Chocolate Ganache

  • Add chocolate chips to a small glass bowl and set aside. 
  • Add the heavy cream to a saucepan and bring to a light simmer, immediately remove from heat and pour over the chocolate chips. 
  • Add in the Nielsen-Massey Pure Chocolate Extract and allow the mixture to sit for 3 to 4 minutes before whisking into a rich chocolate ganache.

Assembly

  • Remove the pastry cream from the fridge and whip using a whisk, stand mixer, or hand mixer until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a Bismarck tip.
  • Use a paring knife to slit one end of each of the pastries and insert the piping tip into the pastry to fill it with cream, pulling the tip out as you fill.
  • Gently dip the tops of the eclairs into the ganache and place on parchment paper to let the ganache set. 
  • Enjoy immediately or store in the fridge until ready to consume.

Nutrition

Calories: 83kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 39mg | Sodium: 26mg | Potassium: 44mg | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 155IU | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 0.3mg