My husband took one of my desserts to work recently. His coworkers loved the idea of homemade treats every once in a while so much they started giving him suggestions. Honestly, I’m glad they do! Because that means they really like the things I make ànd it makes it a little easier for me to decide what to bake next. Win-win haha!
One of their suggestions were éclairs. It’s a choux pastry treat almost every bakery in Belgium has. Consider it to be a large, vertical, choux.
This recipe makes a little more éclairs than it does filling but that’s okay. You can easily get 16 beautiful éclairs (the perks of having way more dough is you can pick the prettiest ones 😉) but if you want some more, just make more filling anbe able to fill every last éclair that comes out of your oven.
What we need:
- 100 g unsalted butter
- 100 g milk
- 100 g water
- 150 g self-raising flour
- 7 eggs
- piping bag with round nozzle
- piece of parchment paper
- 1 L milk
- 4 yolks
- 125 g sugar
- 1 vanilla bean
- 80 g cornstarch
- piping bag with round nozzle
- 300 ml heavy cream
- 200 g dark chocolate
- 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- a sift
- Preheat the oven at 200°C
- Bring the milk, water and butter in a saucepan to a boil
- Add the flour once the mixture is slightly boiling
- Mix until combined and let it dry a little over the stove
- Take your saucepan from the stove (don’t forget to turn off the heat) and add the eggs 1 at a time, stirring until combined after each egg
- Line your baking tray(s) with parchment paper. If it helps you, draw some lines on the back of the paper to guide you in piping the éclairs. It’s best to vertically divide the paper in 2 and not pipe all the way till the ends.
- Fill a piping bag with the dough and pipe lines on your parchment paper
- Bake for about 25 minutes
p.s. It’s very important that you take your pan from the stove before adding the eggs. I forgot the 1st time and my éclairs didn’t rise at all. Like, At. All….
- Scrape the vanilla bean
- Put the sugar and the cornstarch in 1 bowl and add the vanilla you scraped from the bean
- Bring the milk to a boil and add the vanilla bean to it
- Add the egg yolks and mix well. Add just a little milk to the mixture and combine.
- Add the eggmixture to the boiling milk and let it thicken a little on the stove.
- Remove from the stove and poor into a casserole so it can cool
- Cover with plastic wrap so the pastry cream doesn’t get a ‘skin’
- You can also put it in the fridge to speed up the cooling process
- Chop the chocolate in small pieces and put in a rather large bowl (square ones are perfect for this)
- Heat the heavy cream in a saucepan
- Poor the hot cream over the chocolate and let it sit for a minute or two
- Stir the chocolate & cream mixture until it becomes a dark and thicker substance
- Sift the cocoa powder over it and mix untill combined
- Set aside so the ganache can get the right texture. It’s way too runny in the beginning and you need it to be a little ferm to make sure it doesn’t slide/drip off the éclair
Assembling the éclairs
- Make a small hole in either side of the éclair
- Fill a piping bag with a round nozzle and pastry cream. Don’t use all of the cream. It’s better to have half a piping bag and fill again than to fill it completely and have the filling coming out on the top because it’s too much
- Fill the éclair with pastry cream
- Hold the éclair at the bottom and flip it over to dip the éclair in the ganache
Other option: pipe some ganache on top of your éclair and flatten out with a spatula
- Put on a tray to let the ganache set
Not serving right away? Put it in the fridge so the cream is nice and cold when your guests arrive 😊
Have a delicious day ❤