Oh man, chocolate eclairs might just be my most favorite baked treat ever! I think it might be because when you take a giant bite, all of the flavors get squished together and end up tasting a-mazing!
Okay, so they might take a little more planning than say, making a chocolate chip cookie but the end results are worth it. Forget sneaking out to that fancy bakery and spending 3 bucks on one eclair when you can make a dozen or so of your own. And before you say it, yes you do need a whole tray of these sinful chocolate eclairs with custard filling looking back at you when you open the fridge door.
Choux pastry isn’t that hard to make but you have to watch it carefully as it bakes. Getting that hollow middle will depend on baking them long enough so that they dry out and become crispy on the inside but still remain soft on the outside. Whatever your outcome, once you pipe the rich thick vanilla pastry cream inside, you’ll realize that the french totally got this right when they were invented back in the 1800’s. Sit back with a latte and one of these, you’ll love it!
Chocolate Eclairs with Custard Filling
For The Pastry Cream
- 2 cups whole milk
- 6 large egg yolks
- 2/3 cups sugar
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
For The Choux Pastry
- 1 cup water
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 4 large eggs
For The Chocolate Ganache
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 10 ounces dark chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Heat the water until it starts to simmer then add the butter, sugar and salt.
- When the butter has melted, quickly add the flour and mix until it forms a dough.
- Cook the dough over a medium heat stirring constantly for about 5-7 minutes then transfer it to a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
- Beat the dough on low to get some of the heat out then add the eggs one at a time scraping down each time.
- The dough should be thick and smooth and slowly fall from the spatula.
- Using a piping bag, pipe the dough in thick lines onto the parchment paper, about 10-12 eclairs.
- Bake in the oven for 10 minutes then turn the oven down to 350 degrees and bake for another 15 minutes. The eclairs should stand up themselves when they are done and feel hollow. Let cool.
- To make the pastry cream, Heat the milk until it starts to boil. In a bowl whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch together until smooth and well combined.
- Slowly add about half of the milk into the egg mixture, whisking as you do.
- Transfer the egg mixture back into the remaining hot milk and whisk over a low heat until the mixture thickens.
- As soon as it gets thick, take it from the heat and whisk until smooth. if it becomes too thick add a drop of milk to loosen it up. Add the vanilla and mix through. Cover and set aside to cool.
- Heat the cream until bubbles appear around the edges, add the chocolate chips and let them melt, stirring occasionally until all of the chocolate has melted and it's smooth.
- Using the handle of a wooden spoon, poke a hole in one end of each eclair. Using a piping bag, squeeze the cream into each eclair.
- Once each eclair has been filled, dip the top into the chocolate. Let set in the refrigerator and serve cold.
Recipe from Thomas Keller (Bouchon)