The term éclair translates literally to “flash of lightning,” a reference to how quickly these oblong treats are eaten. Our version is a decadent chocolate affair, with a glossy Chocolate Glaze and silky cocoa crème mousseline filling.
Makes 18 to 20 éclairs
- ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon (127 grams)
- unsalted butter
- ½ cup (120 grams) water
- ½ cup (120 grams) whole milk
- 2 teaspoons (8 grams) granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
- 1¼ cups (156 grams) all-purpose flour
- 5 large eggs (250 grams), room temperature
- 1 large egg white (30 grams), room temperature
- Chocolate Crème Mousseline (recipe follows)
- Chocolate Glaze (recipe follows)
- Garnish: flaked sea salt
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Using a marker and a ruler, draw 20 (4¼-inch) lines onto 2 sheets of parchment paper. Turn parchment over, and place on 2 baking sheets.
- In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add ½ cup (120 grams) water, milk, sugar, and kosher salt; bring to a boil. Using a wooden spoon, stir in flour. Cook, stirring constantly, until a skin forms on bottom of pan, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. With mixer on low speed, beat until dough is warm to the touch, about 1 minute. Add eggs and egg white, one at a time, beating until combined.
- Transfer batter to an 18-inch piping bag fitted with 9/16-inch French star piping tip*. Starting on lines farthest from you, start by applying even pressure. Then, hold tip about ¾ inch above parchment paper, and slowly pipe out oblong shapes. Begin to lessen pressure on piping bag as you reach end of line; then, stop applying pressure, and lift up, leaving a small curl at end of éclair. Wet your finger with water, and press down tip on éclair. Repeat with remaining batter.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Rotate pans, and bake until puffed and golden brown, about 10 minutes more. Let cool completely on wire racks.
- Using a ¼-inch round piping tip*, poke 2 holes about ¾ inch from each end on bottom of each éclair. Insert a skewer into holes, and move it around to ensure cream will fill entire éclair. Fill a pastry bag fitted with same tip with Chocolate Crème Mousseline. Place piping tip into one hole, and apply gentle pressure to begin filling éclair. Pipe cream into second hole until éclair feels heavy. Repeat with remaining éclairs.
- Holding éclair by bottom half and parallel to surface of Chocolate Glaze, dip top of éclair in glaze. Still parallel, lift éclair out of glaze. Then, slowly lift one end of éclair, letting excess chocolate run off. Repeat with remaining éclairs. Garnish with flaked salt, if desired. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to serve. Best served same day.
*We used an Ateco #867 French Star Tip for piping and an Ateco #802 Plain Piping Tip for filling.
Chocolate Crème Mousseline
Makes about 6 cups
- 3 cups (720 grams) whole milk
- 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar, divided
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved
- 8 large egg yolks (149 grams)
- ¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons (56 grams) cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, softened
- 1½ cups (255 grams) 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
- 1½ cups (340 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
- In a large saucepan, whisk together milk, ½ cup
- (100 grams) sugar, and vanilla bean and reserved seeds. Heat over medium heat until steaming. Discard vanilla bean.
- In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks, cornstarch, salt, and remaining ½ cup (100 grams) sugar. Gradually add warm milk mixture to egg mixture, whisking constantly. Pour mixture back into saucepan, and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened and boiling,
- to 5 minutes. Strain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl. Stir in softened butter in two additions. Fold in melted chocolate. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap, pressing wrap directly onto surface of pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until an instant-read thermometer registers 65°F (18°C) to
- °F (21°C), about 2½ to 3 hours..
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat room temperature butter at medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Remove pastry cream from refrigerator, and whisk to smooth. (At this point, butter and pastry cream should be same temperature.) With mixer on low speed, slowly add pastry cream to butter, letting each addition fully incorporate before adding the next, stopping to scrape sides of bowl as needed. Use immediately.
Makes about 2 cups
- 8 ounces (225 grams) 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (270 grams) heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon (28 grams) light corn syrup
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter, softened
- Place chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl.
- In a small saucepan, bring cream, corn syrup, and salt to a boil. Pour hot cream mixture over chocolate. Let stand for 30 seconds; slowly stir until chocolate is melted. Add butter, and gently stir to combine. Use immediately.