Eclairs are a lovely and tasty pastry, very popular in bakeries and sweet shops. My last similar dessert was Mini Chocolate sponge cakes. Those turned out really great so i decided to make eclairs.
An eclair is a pastry product made from choux dough, filled with cream and topped with icing. The dough is the same as the one used for profiterole, formed into an oblong shaped and baked until crispy and hollow inside.
The eclairs are filled with vanilla, chocolate or coffee cream, and iced with fondant icing, that can also be chocolate, vanilla, caramel.
The eclairs appeared in 19th century, France and it were originally named "pain a la duchesse"or "petite duchesse".
As all pastry desserts, eclairs are a bit complicated to make and require a few hours spend in the kitchen.
They are not hard to do if you respect two golden rules: follow my instructions and DO NOT ever open the oven while cooking eclairs. There is also a trick about the heat but i will write that below.
- For the dough:
- water - 500 ml
- flour - 360 grams
- eggs - 6 pieces
- sugar - 50 grams
- margarine - 250 grams, for cakes
- salt - a pinch
- For the cream:
- milk - 750 ml
- eggs - 4 pieces
- flour - 200 grams
- sugar - 270 grams
- vanilla sugar - 40 grams
- vanilla essence - 2 ml
- For the icing:
- cocoa - 30 grams, powder
- oil - 2 tablespoons
- milk chocolate - 120 grams
- water - 1 tablespoon
- margarine - 70 grams
First of all the dough:
- In a heavy bottom pot add water and margarine. Put it on the stove and let it until the margarine melts, it won't take long. Then add salt and sugar. Mix until the sugar melts and then add all the flour at once, mix very well to prevent lumps. I know it might seem weird to add all the flour at once but that is the way to do it. After you mixed very well the flour you obtained a very thick dough and you can take the pot off the stove.
- Let the dough cool completely before the next step, adding the eggs.
- After it has cooled start adding one egg at the time. Add the first egg, mix very well, then add the other and so on. It will be pretty hard to mix at first, but once you add more eggs it will get thinner. Under no circumstances add eggs while the dough is still hot because they will start coagulating due to the heat and it will be a disaster.
- Now the dough is ready to make eclairs. Use a decorating syringe or a piping bag, without the decorating tips. Fill the syringe, or the piping bag, with dough and form 10 cm eclairs. They have to be pretty big so that's why is said without a decorating tip.
- Form the eclairs on a tray coated with oil and covered with baking paper. After you finished forming the first round of eclairs, using a fork soaked in water, make a few strips along the eclair, without pressing too hard.
- Bake the eclairs in the preheated oven, on high heat, at first, for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes reduce the heat to low and continue baking them for 20 minutes. DO NOT OPEN the stove while baking because your eclairs will most probably collapse.
- While the eclairs bake you can make vanilla cream. The eclair shells must cool completely before filling them with cream.
- Add the four eggs in a pot and scramble them like making scrambled eggs. Add sugar, vanilla sugar and vanilla essence.
- Add flour bit by bit and then, in the same way, add milk, after you finished adding all the flour.
- Cook this cream at bain marie, to prevent sticking. Take a pot bigger than the one in which you made the cream and half fill it with water. Place the pot with the cream over the pot with the water and put them together on the stove. Let it cook for 15 minutes until the cream thickens. Mix very well so it doesn't make lumps. After the cream is done let it cool completely before adding it into the eclairs.
- In a sauce pan add water, margarine, oil and chocolate. Put it on the stove and mix until the margarine blends with the chocolate. After that add cocoa powder, mix and take it off the stove after all of the ingredients blended.
Finishing the eclairs:
- Cut the eclairs in half lengthwise, but not all the way through. The halves must remain attached together.
- Add one or two teaspoons of cream in the eclair and arrange it evenly. Close the eclair and ice it.
- Proceed like this until you finish assembling all the eclairs.
- These were my chocolate with vanilla cream eclairs and i hope you liked it.
Chocolate Eclairs with Vanilla Cream Video Recipe