These elegant desserts are easier to make than they might look. And you can bake the pâte à choux and freeze it for up to 2 weeks before filling.
- Pâte à Choux:
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 teaspoon (4 grams) granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
- 1¼ cups (156 grams) all-purpose flour
- 4large eggs
- Chocolate Pastry Cream:
- ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons (24 grams) cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons (15 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1½ cups whole milk
- 4 large egg yolks
- 3 tablespoons (42 grams) unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon (0.75 gram) kosher salt
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 (4-ounce) bar (115 grams) 70% cacao extra bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- For pâte à choux: In a medium saucepan, bring water, butter, sugar, and salt to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat. Using a wooden spoon, quickly stir in flour. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture pulls away from sides and a film forms on bottom of pan, about 3 minutes.
- Transfer to a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at low speed until slightly cooled, about 1 minute. Increase mixer speed to medium; add eggs, one at a time, beating until a smooth dough forms.
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Line 2 rimless baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Fill a pastry bag fitted with a ½-inch (Ateco No. 806) tip with batter; pipe out oblong shapes, about 3½ inches long and 1 inch wide, 2 inches apart onto prepared pans. Gently run a fork dipped in water along each top, making straight lines to ensure even rising.
- Bake for 10 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes more. Remove from pans, and let cool on a wire rack.
- For chocolate pastry cream: In a large saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and cocoa. Whisk in milk and egg yolks. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in butter, vanilla, and salt until melted. Transfer cream mixture to a medium glass bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing direclty onto surface of custard. Refrigerate until completely cooled.
- Fill a pastry bag fitted with a coupler and filling tip (Ateco No. 230) with chocolate pastry cream. Insert tip into one end of each éclair; fill with cream.
- For glaze: In a small saucepan, heat cream until it begins to bubble but not boil. Place chocolate in a medium bowl, and pour hot cream over chocolate. Let stand until chocolate is melted; stir until smooth. Dip top of each éclair into glaze, and spread with the back of a spoon. Transfer to a wire rack to let glaze set. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.