Éclair is one of those desserts that seem to send “oohs” and “aahs” across the table. It took me almost a day to finish writing this lengthy post. While it may seem daunting, it’s actually quite easy and satisfying to make your own éclairs. Although there are quite a number of components in making these Best Double Chocolate Éclairs, they could be done ahead in advance.
Baked éclair shells can be kept in a Ziploc freezer bag for two days in the refrigerator or up to six weeks in the freezer.
Traditionally, Éclairs are usually filled with vanilla pastry cream but since we are big on chocolate, I went ahead and made chocolate pastry cream instead. IMHO, a good éclair should be light and crisp on the outside filled with rich luscious pastry cream.
Therefore, it is recommended to pipe the cream filling the day before you serve them. For best results, serve these chocolate eclairs at room temp, or chilled, right away, OR within 12 hours of filling.
Choux pastry –
65 g water
65 g milk
65 g unsalted butter
½ tsp salt
5 g sugar
75 g all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
Powdered sugar for dusting
Chocolate crème patisserie filling:
Chocolate Mixture –
50 ml whole milk
20 g cocoa powder
65 g dark chocolate (use 64% to 70%)
3 egg yolks
250 ml whole milk
30 g caster sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
15 g corn starch
75 g dark chocolate chips (64% – 70%)
95 ml whipping cream
1 tbsp corn syrup – for shine (optional)
Makes 20 éclairs
Recipe adapted from here
Bring milk to boil in a saucepan and turn off heat. Add in chocolate and cocoa powder. Mix well.
Bring milk and sugar to boil. Add in vanilla extract.
Whisk the egg yolks, sugar and corn starch together.
Slowly add in half of the hot milk, whisking constantly to prevent the eggs from cooking.
Add the rest of the mixture to the rest of the milk in the saucepan and return to heat.
Stir and cook until the mixture thickens into a paste.
Add in chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth.
Transfer chocolate pastry cream into a large bowl and cover with cling wrap. Cling wrap should be in contact with the surface of the cream to prevent skin from forming.
Chill the pastry cream in the fridge for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight.
Preheat oven at 220°C.
Heat the milk, water, sugar and butter in a saucepan over medium heat to boil. Turn off heat.
Add in flour and stir quickly with a wooden spoon.
Turn on heat to medium low and continue to stir the mixture quickly until it forms into a ball and you can see a thin layer of crust on the base of the saucepan.
Transfer the hot dough into a large mixing bowl and allow to cool for a couple of minutes.
At this point, you can either choose to use a handheld mixer or just your arm muscle to complete the task. I went with using with my trusty hand.
Incorporate 1 egg at a time to the warm dough, mixing it well before adding another egg.
The mixture will look a little loose at the beginning but it will come together nicely in the end.
Fill the choux dough into a piping bag fitted with a 16mm star tip.
Line your baking tray with baking paper.
Pipe the choux pastry about 4-inch length, leaving about 1.5 inch in between each of them. They will expand during baking.
Dust the top of the shells with powdered sugar generously. This will create a caramelized exterior.
Bake at 220°C for 5mins and reduce the temperature to 180°C and continue to bake for another 20 mins or until golden brown.
Turn off oven and leave the oven door slightly open to allow the éclairs shells to dry in the oven for 10 mins.
Remove from oven and let them cool on a wire rack.
To release the steam trapped in the choux pastry, use a toothpick or skewer and poke two to three holes at the bottom of the pastry. Let them cool completely.
Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl.
Bring the cream to a gentle boil and pour over the chocolate. Add in corn syrup if using. Mix until smooth.
Fill a piping bag fitted with a small plain nozzle.
Poke two holes at the bottom of the éclair shell on fill it until full. Wipe off any excess that might flow out with the back of a knife.
You could gauge by the weight of the éclair. Alternatively, you could slice them into half horizontally and pipe the cream.
Dip each éclair top side down into the warm chocolate glaze and tilt it horizontally to allow the rest of the glaze to flow back into the bowl.
Place éclairs into the fridge to chill and firm up, about 1 hour before to serve.