Desserts & Sweets

French Eclairs

By Emma :

Everyday Culinary Delights👩‍🍳

French Eclairs

Hello, dear food enthusiasts! Today, I’m incredibly excited to share with you a recipe that’s close to my heart—French Éclairs. These pastries are a staple in French bakeries, and their delicate, creamy texture combined with a rich chocolate glaze makes them absolutely irresistible. As always, I am so grateful for your enthusiasm and support, which inspires me to bring these delightful recipes from my kitchen to yours.

Éclairs might sound fancy, but I promise, with a few simple ingredients and techniques, you can recreate this Parisian favorite right in your own kitchen. Ready to impress your guests and treat yourself? Let’s dive into the world of French baking!

Ingredients

For the Choux Pastry:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • A pinch of salt

For the Pastry Cream Filling:

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

The Chocolate Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

How to Make Instructions

Prepare the Choux Pastry:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine water, butter, and salt. Bring to a boil.
  3. Add flour all at once, stirring vigorously until the mixture forms a ball. Remove from heat.
  4. Beat in eggs, one at a time, ensuring each is fully incorporated before adding the next.
  5. Transfer the dough to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip and pipe onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden and puffed. Let cool completely.

Make the Pastry Cream Filling:

  1. Heat milk and half of the sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until it begins to simmer.
  2. Whisk together the egg yolks, remaining sugar, and cornstarch until smooth.
  3. Gradually temper the egg mixture by adding hot milk in small amounts, then return the entire mixture to the saucepan.
  4. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla extract.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming, and chill in the refrigerator.

Prepare the Chocolate Glaze:

  1. Heat the cream in a small saucepan until it just begins to simmer.
  2. Pour over chopped chocolate and let sit for one minute, then stir until smooth.
  3. Stir in butter until incorporated and glossy.

Helpful Tips

  • Ensure all ingredients are at room temperature for the choux pastry to prevent the dough from seizing.
  • When piping the dough, hold the bag perpendicular to the baking sheet for even shapes.
  • Poke a small hole in the end of each éclair after baking to release steam and prevent them from collapsing.

Substitutions/Variations

  • Vanilla Glaze: Instead of chocolate, try a vanilla glaze with powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract for a lighter topping.
  • Coffee Cream Filling: Infuse the milk with coffee beans while making the pastry cream for a delicious coffee flavor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I make éclairs ahead of time? A: Absolutely! Prepare the pastry and cream a day in advance, but fill and glaze them close to serving time to maintain freshness.

Q: What if my choux pastry doesn’t puff up? A: Ensure your oven isn’t opened prematurely, and check that the dough was properly dried out during cooking.

Storage Instructions

Store unfilled choux pastry in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days or freeze for longer storage. Filled éclairs should be refrigerated and are best enjoyed within 24 hours.

More Relevant Recipes

I hope this guide to making French éclairs brings a little piece of Paris into your kitchens. Whether for a special occasion or a delightful weekend treat, these éclairs are sure to dazzle and satisfy any dessert craving. Happy baking, and as always, bon appétit!

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French Eclairs

French Eclairs


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  • Author: Emma
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 12 éclairs 1x

Description

Dive into the delightful world of French pastries with this classic éclair recipe. Éclairs, a staple in French bakeries, feature a light choux pastry filled with a creamy vanilla custard and topped with a rich chocolate glaze. This recipe breaks down the process into manageable steps, making it possible for home bakers to create these elegant treats.


Ingredients

Scale
  • For the Choux Pastry:
    • 1 cup water
    • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 4 large eggs
    • A pinch of salt
  • For the Pastry Cream Filling:
    • 2 cups whole milk
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 3 egg yolks
    • 1/4 cup cornstarch
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the Chocolate Glaze:
    • 1/2 cup heavy cream
    • 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Instructions

  1. Choux Pastry:
    • Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). In a medium saucepan, bring water, butter, and salt to a boil. Add flour and stir vigorously until a dough forms. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
    • Beat in eggs one at a time, ensuring each is fully incorporated.
    • Transfer dough to a piping bag fitted with a large nozzle. Pipe onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
    • Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  2. Pastry Cream Filling:
    • In a saucepan, heat milk and half the sugar until simmering. In a bowl, whisk yolks, remaining sugar, and cornstarch.
    • Gradually temper yolks with hot milk, then return mixture to the pan. Cook until thick. Off heat, add vanilla. Cool with plastic wrap on surface.
  3. Chocolate Glaze:
    • Heat cream until simmering. Pour over chocolate, let sit for 1 minute, then stir until smooth. Mix in butter.

Notes

  • Poke holes in each éclair shell to release steam after baking.
  • Ensure that the pastry cream and glaze are cooled before assembling éclairs.
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: French

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 éclair
  • Calories: Approximately 300 calories per éclair (varies based on filling and glaze)
  • Sugar: 15g
  • Sodium: 120mg
  • Fat: 18g
  • Saturated Fat: 10g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 6g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 30g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 5g
  • Cholesterol: 135mg

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