The Éclair is an old French pastry that appeared around 1850 in Lyon (France), it is made mainly with choux paste, filled with pastry cream and glazed with a fondant that is totally different from the “fondant” that we use to cover the cake here in USA.
In this recipe, I changed a little bit the original recipe by adding a whipped cream to the pastry cream to make it lighter, I also replaced the Fondant icing by a caramel chocolate icing that is more tasty.
Note: I put eclair in the title because it is the most known, but actually an eclair should have a size of 11 cm to 12 cm, the one that I made in this recipe is called the Caroline (Mini Eclair) which the size doesn’t exceed 6 cm.
I keep the weights of the ingredients in grams to avoid rounding them and giving you wrong measures, I suggest you to use a scale that indicates the weight in grams.
The supplies you will need:
- A stand Mixer
- Bain Marie (Water bath)
- Cooking scale
- Silicone Spatula
- Tips PF16 or PF 14 for the choux paste
- Silicone backing mat (Silpat)
For the Choux paste:
- 250 ml water
- 110 g butter
- 125 g flour
- 5 eggs
- Pinch of salt
For the chocolate cream
- 500 ml Milk
- 125 ml heavy cream
- 6 eggs
- 1 tablespoon Vanilla
- 300 g black chocolate 66%
- 120 g sugar
- 30 g cornstarch
For the Icing:
- 50 g sugar
- 50 g Heavy Cream
- 50 g black chocolate 66%
Making the choux paste:
- In a saucepan bring the sugar, the water, the Milk, the Butter and the salt to a boil over medium heat.
- Remove the saucepan from heat and add the flour, stir well and fast until you get a smooth dough.
- Put again the saucepan over medium heat to dry the dough, Stir vigorously until the mixture detaches from the sides of the pan (This process is really important, it prevents the choux pastry from cracking in the oven).
- In a large mixing bowl, put the dough and start adding the eggs one by one while mixing, the result should be homogeneous.(for best result use a Flat Beater).
- Put the dough in a pastry bag fitted with PF16 tip, pipe strips of dough (About 3 inches for the Carolines and 5 inches for Eclairs) onto the Silicone backing mat leave 2 inches of space between them.
- Bake 30 minutes in a preheated oven 350 F (180c) without opening the oven door.
Making the chocolate cream
- In a saucepan, bring the milk to a boil.
- Combine the 6 egg yolks, the sugar, the cornstarch and the vanilla.
- Add gradually the boiled milk on the egg yolks mixture while stirring then put the mixture on heat in order to get a thick mixture.
- In the Bain Marie (water bath) melt the chocolate, once it is lukewarm, incorporate it to the previous mixture, cover with plastic wrap on the surface, allow to cool.
- Once the cream is cold, whip the heavy cream to get a whipped cream, incorporate it gradually to the cold cream (you should get a light chocolate cream ).
Making the Icing (Chocolate Caramel):
- Over low heat, put the sugar in a small saucepan and let it melt until it becomes a caramel.
- Meanwhile, put the heavy cream in Microwave for 30 seconds.
- Add the heated heavy cream gradually while whisking (beware from splashing), then start adding the chocolate to the mixture with stirring before it gets cold. Once the chocolate melted you should get a beautiful shiny glaze.
Montage of eclairs:
- Put the cream in a pastry bag fitted with the tip that you want to use \ (I used the PF14 )
- Cut the eclairs lengthwise in two pieces and fill one side with the chocolate cream and cover it with the other.
- Dip the tops of the eclairs in the glaze and raise them quickly, Refrigerate until serving.