Hurray for the 100th post of SimplyDelicious! For this post, I chose a dessert that can be served at any occasion or celebration. Pierre Herme’s eclairs are something else. After seeing so many pins of them on Pinterest, I was inspired to make my own version of sophisticated and modern eclairs. The key I found was to use a different type of topping on each eclair so that the finished picture has a lot of variety and complexity to it. You can use whatever you have handy. I had a few blueberries and strawberries so I used those. I also had some green tea chocolate chips I had made and stored so I chopped a few and added those along with some chopped walnuts and chocolate for a complete colorful look overall. The first time I made these I was so surprised at how easy it was! Do not let the long recipe fool you, I just put detailed directions so that the first try is a success. The same eclair recipe can also be used for making cream puffs and filling them with whipped cream. The dough is one of the most versatile as other options include making gnocchi, churros, funnel cakes, or profiteroles.
Pate a Choux
Ratio: 2 parts water, 1 part butter, 1 part flour, and 2 parts egg
Preheat: 425 Fº
- 8 ounces water (1 cup)
- 4 ounces butter (1 stick)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 ounces flour (a scant cup)
- 8 ounces eggs (4 large eggs)
- Add the butter, water, and salt to a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over high heat.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the flour. Stir quickly until the flour absorbs the water and begins to gel turning into a paste. The dough formed will start to pull away from the sides of the saucepan.
- Take the pan off the stove and allow to cool for 1-2 minutes. The dough has to be warm but not too hot.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring until completely incorporated. It is better to transfer it to a standing mixer and use an electric beater, but they can also be mixed in using a wooden spoon.
- The dough will incorporate with the eggs and turn into a paste once the eggs are fully in.
- Using a large round tip, pipe out the eclairs, about 4 to 5 inches long.
- Bake at 425 F for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven heat to 350 F for about 15-20 minutes. To test if they are done, remove one from the oven and wait for a few minutes. If it collapses, it still needs more time.
- Set aside to cool and prepare the pastry cream.
Adapted from Ratio (book)
Pastry Cream (will need half of this cream for the eclairs recipe)
Makes: 3 pounds
- 1 quart milk (4 cups)
- 1 vanilla bean (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
- 7.5 ounces granulated sugar (1 cup)
- 6 ounces egg yolks (10 yolks)
- 2.5 ounces cornstarch (½ cup)
- 2 ounces unsalted butter (½ stick)
- Bring the milk, vanilla bean, and 3 ounces (.40 cups) of sugar to a boil in a large saucepan.
- Whisk the egg yolks in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining sugar and the cornstarch. Whisk the sugar mixture into the egg yolks.
- Add ¼ of the boiling milk to the egg yolks and stir. Return this mixture to the pan and whisk rapidly until it starts to boil. Keep on whisking it for 2 minutes as it starts to thicken.
- Remove the pan from the stove and transfer the pastry cream to a clean mixing bowl.
- Fold in the butter until it is just melted taking care not to over mix.
- Place plastic wrap directly on the pastry cream so a skin does not form and place the bowl into an ice bath.
Makes: 13 oz
- 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
- 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
- 4 ounces butter (1 stick)
- 1 ounces light corn syrup (4 tsp)
- Melt all the ingredients using the double boiler (bain-marie method).
- Remove from heat and stir the glaze until it is slightly thickened.
- Use instantly, before it starts to dry.
Take the cooled eclair shells and pipe in the pastry cream from one end using a piping bag fitted with a circle tip. Make sure the cream fills the whole shell. In a single, smooth stroke, drag the top of the eclair through the warm chocolate glaze. Refrigerate the eclairs and serve within 8-12 hours.
Be creative in your mix of toppings for the eclairs!
Simple eclairs in their purest form.
Finished product with the right pop of color!
What is the most unique twist on eclairs that you have made/tasted?
(could be flavor, filling, toppings, etc.)