Chocolate eclair recipe is a French dessert that just happens to be my best friend’s all-time favorite chocolate eclairs. It is light as airy choux pastry filled with vanilla cream and dipped in chocolate. Add half a cup of butter in a pan, add in one cup of water, salt and sugar then out that over high heat and bring it to a rolling boil. Take it off the heat and dump in one cup of flour and stir hard with a wooden spoon.
Stir until its all incorporated that is for around 60 seconds then place it back into the heat. Stir until it forms a ball then dump it into a stand mixer and start mixing it on medium heat and crack in one egg at a time. Once the first egg is incorporated, add in another and mix until you have a silky consistency.
Transfer the dough to a piping bag and pipe them nice and pretty on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Make sure to space them a few inches apart because they do get puffy in the oven. The dough will need an egg wash before they go into the oven, it will make them nice and brown. Bake them at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes then reduce the temperature to 375 degrees and bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes until they art nice and golden brown.
For the custard, ut has to chill so you can make them a day before starting with two cups of whole milk, add vanilla bean then bring that to a boil and bring it out of the heat. Separate the eggs and the yolks then add two-thirds cups of sugar in the egg yolks and whisk until light and fluffy. Sift in one-quarter cup of cornstarch and mix them in.
Whisk in a small amount of the milk to the egg yolk mixture just to warm the mixture then carefully add the rest of the milk while vigorously whisking the mixture. Strain the mixture in a bowl and put it overheat and whisk continuously until it starts to thicken up. Place it in a bowl and cover with plastic the let it chill, in the oven for a few hours. For the chocolate glaze, chop up dark chocolate and add in half a cup of hot cream and let it melt.
Fold in whipped cream to the custard and whisk then in, it will make them more pipable. Cut the eclair in half and fill it with the filling however you want then make it like a sandwich. To finish them off, dip in a silky chocolate ganache.
For the Filling;
- 2 cups (500ml) whole milk
- 1/2 vanilla bean split lengthwise
- 6 egg yolks
- 2/3 cup (150 grams) sugar
- 1/4 cup (30 grams) cornstarch
- 1 tbs (14 grams) cold unsalted butter
For the Pastry;
- 1 cup (235ml) of water
- 8 tbs 1 stick (110 grams) unsalted butter
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1 cup (120 grams) all-purpose flour
- 3 eggs plus 1 extra, if needed
For the Egg Wash;
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 tsp water
For the Chocolate Glaze;
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy cream
- 4 oz (112 grams) semisweet chocolate coarsely chopped
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a medium saucepan, heat the milk and vanilla bean to a boil over medium heat.
- Immediately turn off the heat and set aside to infuse for 15 minutes. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the cornstarch and whisk vigorously until no lumps remain.
- Whisk in 1/4 cup of the hot milk mixture until incorporated.
- Whisk in the remaining hot milk mixture, reserving the saucepan.
- Pour the mixture through a strainer back into the saucepan.
- Cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until thickened and slowly boiling.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Let cool slightly. Cover with plastic wrap, lightly pressing the plastic against the surface to prevent a skin from forming.
- Chill at least 2 hours or until ready to serve. The custard can be made up to 24 hours in advance.
- Refrigerate until 1 hour before using it. Whip some cream up and folded it into my chilled custard to lighten the filling up.
For the Pastry;
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- In a large saucepan, bring the water, butter, salt, and sugar to a rolling boil over medium-high heat.
- When it boils, immediately take the pan off the heat. Stirring with a wooden spoon, add all the flour at once and stir hard until all the flour is incorporated 30 to 60 seconds.
- Return to the heat and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Scrape the mixture into a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or use a hand mixer). Mix at medium speed.
- With the mixer running, add 3 eggs, 1 egg at a time. Stop mixing after each addition to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Mix until the dough is smooth and glossy and the eggs are completely incorporated.
- The dough should be thick but should fall slowly and steadily from the beaters when you lift them out of the bowl.
- If the dough is still clinging to the beaters, add the remaining 1 egg and mix until incorporated.
- Using a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip, pipe fat lengths of dough onto the lined baking sheet, leaving 2 inches of space between them.
- You can also make fat dots if you want to make smaller servings. You should have 8 to 10 lengths. If they look horrible like the ones pictured above, don’t worry! The egg wash will fix it.
- In a bowl, whisk the egg and water together. Brush the surface of each eclair with the egg wash.
- Use your fingers to smooth out any bumps of points of dough that remain on the surface.
- Bake 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375 degrees and bake until puffed up and light golden brown, about 25 minutes more.
- Try not to open the oven door too often during the baking. Let cool on the baking sheet.
- Fit a medium-size plain pastry tip over your index finger and use it to make a hole at the end of each eclair.
- Using a pastry bag fitted with a medium-size plain tip, gently pipe the custard into the eclairs, using only just enough to fill the inside.
For the Glaze;
- In a small saucepan, heat the cream over medium heat just until it boils. Immediately turn off the heat.
- Put the chocolate in a medium bowl. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth.
- Set aside and keep warm. The glaze can be made up to 48 hours in advance.
- Cover and refrigerate until ready to use, and rewarm in a microwave or over hot water when ready to use.
- Dip the tops of the eclairs in the warm chocolate glaze and set on a sheet pan.
- Chill, uncovered, at least 1 hour to set the glaze. Serve chilled.