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Classic Eclair Recipe .

You haven’t tasted eclairs until you’ve tried fresh, homemade eclairs! Learn how to make eclairs from shell dough, pastry cream and chocolate icing.


Ingredients for Choux Pastry:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 8 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs

Ingredients for Pastry Cream:

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped, (or 2 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature

For the Chocolate Glaze:

  • 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips, *
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream


How to make shell dough :

In a medium saucepan, combine 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup milk, 8 tablespoons butter, 1 teaspoon sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then remove from heat and add flour, 1 cup at a time, using a wooden spoon.

After adding the flour, bake over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes (to let excess moisture escape and partially cook the flour) or until the dough forms a smooth ball and forms a thin film on the bottom of the pan.

Transfer to a large mixing bowl and beat with a hand mixer on medium speed for 1 minute to cool the mixture slightly. Add the 4 eggs one at a time, fully incorporating each egg between each addition. Beat until the batter is smooth and has the shape of a thick ribbon.

Using a 1/2-inch round tip, transfer the éclairs to a silicone-lined baking sheet. Cut 18-20 strips (4″ long and 3/4″ wide) 1 1/2″ apart.

Bake at 425˚F for 10 minutes. Without opening the oven, reduce the temperature to 325˚F and bake for another 30 minutes, until golden brown. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool while preparing the pastry cream.

How to make the pastry cream:

In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups milk, the vanilla bean and scraped pulp to a boil, stirring to prevent a film from forming.

In a separate large bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup cornstarch, and a pinch of salt. Add the 4 egg yolks and whisk until the mixture is smooth, creamy and pale – this will take a few minutes, but the results will show.

Gradually (so the eggs don’t curdle) add the hot milk, beating constantly, until the mixture is smooth. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly, then stir for another 30 seconds until the mixture is thick and pudding-like.

Transfer the custard to a medium bowl (add 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, if desired). Cut the butter into pieces and quickly beat into the cream until well blended. Cover the surface of the cream with plastic wrap, let cool slightly, and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until completely chilled.

Using a small pastry cutter, poke 2-3 holes in the bottom of each chilled cake. Spread the cream inside and scrape off the excess. Let the éclairs cool while preparing the chocolate glaze.

How to make the chocolate glaze:

Place 4 ounces of chocolate chips in a small heatproof bowl.

Heat 1/2 cup whipping cream (in a saucepan or microwave) until it boils, then remove from heat and pour over chocolate chips. Let sit for 2 minutes, then whisk from the center outward until smooth. Dip the top halves of the cooled éclairs into the chocolate sauce and let the excess drip off.

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