This is the recipe I use to make eclairs. They are rich and so delicious. It takes some time and a little elbow grease, but it’s well worth it. Make the pastry cream the day before so that the flavors can get to know each other better and it’s even better!
- Pate A Choux (the Puff)
1/4 liter water (250 ml) (1 cup)
- 200 g flour (Â¾ cup plus 2 table spoons)
- 100 g butter (7 tablespoons)
- pinch of salt
- 4 eggs
Vanilla Pastry Cream
2 1/4 cups whole milk
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, split in 1/2 lengthwise and seeds scraped out
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1/4 cup cornstarch, sifted
6 ounces chopped 60% cacao chocolate
- 6 ounces heavy cream
- For the Pate A Choux
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Boil water, butter, salt. Take the boiling mixture of the stove and add the flour. Mix it real well to remove any lumps. Put back on the stove and keep stirring until it’s dry and a little hard to stir. This is the important part is removing as much moisture from the mix. Remove to a clean bowl and add the eggs one at a time until each one gets incorporated. It will look like it’s falling apart and will be a little hard to incorporate, but don’t worry it will come back together into a nice thick, creamy batter. Spoon your puffs or put the mixture in an icing bag with the coupler alone and pipe in a quick circular motion about the size of a golf ball. For the Aclairs pipe them in a line about 4 inches long and 1 inch wide rather than a little ball. Bake for 30 at 40 minutes or until they are nice and golden. When cooking them… try not to open the stove just peak from the glass. Take them out of the oven and prick a few holes in the top to allow the steam to escape or they will collapse on you. You can put them back in the oven to dry out further if you want, just watch them so they don’t burn.
- For the Vanilla Pastry Cream
- In a medium, heavy saucepan, combine the milk, sugar, vanilla bean pods and seeds. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, whisking to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and cornstarch until pale yellow, about 2 minutes. Slowly add 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture to the egg yolks, whisking constantly until smooth then add the rest of the hot milk mixture to the bowl whisking to combine. Return to the sauce pan through a fine mesh strainer (make sure to add the pod back as well) and continue to cook over medium heat stirring constantly with a heavy wooden spoon until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Remove from the heat and put into a clean container. Remove the pod. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing down against the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until well chilled, about 4 hours. When ready to use, remove from the refrigerator and beat until smooth. Right out of the fridge it will be a coagulated mass and needs to be smoothed out by beating it with a whisk or with the paddle attachment of your mixer.
- For the Ganache
- Chop you chocolate into a heat proof bowl. Heat the cream in a sauce pan until it just boils. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let sit 2-5 minutes and then stir until smooth.
- To assemble simply cut a slit in the top of the puff, pipe in the pastry cream and put some ganache on top.. Viola!!
You don’t want to know anyway so why are you lookin’?