Chocolate Eclairs Recipe, a classic French dessert made of choux dough, vanilla cream filling and topped with chocolate glaze. These éclairs are a big hit with my family, and it's a dessert we always enjoy at special occasion. Absolutely delicious, and so easy to make.
A classic French Dessert
You will probably hear more about profiteroles, although who hasn't heard about eclairs?!. And while the difference between them is minimal when it comes to texture, they share the same dough: the classic choux pastry (pastry dough).
Of course, the main difference is the shape: the eclairs are long, while the profiteroles are small and round. It's a lot simpler to make them than you would think, and this is the only eclairs recipe you will ever need.
The vanilla cream filling is silky and luscious, the one and only French crème pâtissière recipe, which can be used as a base for so many other desserts, like Cremeschnitte Recipe. Then they are topped with a chocolate glaze/
It's almost a tradition now to make these eclairs for the New Year's Party, mum bakes them every single year without a fail. As a child I used to love giving a helping hand when making them, or shall we say licking the cream bowl clean. Still helping, right?
How to make crème pâtissière (vanilla cream)
- add half of the amount of milk to a pan together with the sugar and vanilla seeds or vanilla extract and bring to a boil
I like to add the vanilla pod too after I scrape out the seeds, it adds even more flavour. But do remove it before adding the flour mixture, otherwise it's a lot more difficult to do so once the cream thickens.
- in a jug, add the other half of the milk, and gradually whisk in the sifted flour, making sure you whisk it well to avoid any lumps forming
- once the sugar milk has come to a boil, mix in the flour milk, and continue to mix until the cream thickens
Note! It is very important to whisk continuously, otherwise you get a lumpy cream.
- leave the cream to cool slightly, then add the cubed butter, and mix well to get a smooth, silky cream. Refrigerate until it's ready to use.
How to make choux pastry (pastry dough)
Once the cream is done, we can get on with the pastry dough. Again, super easy to make, with simple ingredients we all have in the pantry.
- in a pan, add the water, oil and a pinch of salt, and bring to a boil
- add the sifted flour, and use a silicone spatula to mix well, you will get a dough-like mixture
- leave to cool, then add the eggs one by one, mixing well before each addition
- line 2 or 3 baking trays with non-stick baking paper, add about one heap tablespoon of pastry, depending how big you want the profiteroles to be
- bake for about 20 minutes or until golden
Once the pastries are ready and cooled, cut them in half horizontally, fill with the cream, and top with the chocolate glaze and desiccated coconut.
The amount I have listed below give you a pretty large batch, about 15 eclairs, depending on their size. So you will have to use 2 or 3 baking trays to make the choux pastry, or the dough.
Note! Do leave plenty of space between them, otherwise they might stick to each other.
The cream filling, if you happen to have any leftover, can be easily used for any tarts. Or just sandwich some crackers together, dip them in chocolate sauce, and you've got a dessert in seconds.
When you make the chocolate topping, do leave it to cool down, preferably in the fridge, so it can get a chance to harden a bit, otherwise it won't really top the chocolate eclairs, and you'll end up with really messy hands when you eat them.
Don't worry if the choux pastry is crispy when they come out of the oven, the soften nicely once they are refrigerated. And here you have, an indulgent dessert to treat yourself with no matter the occasion.
Can you make them ahead?
No time to bake them on the day of your party? They can be safely made ahead. Just store the cream and glaze in the fridge, and the pastries in a cool place, and they can be filled whenever you need them.
I would suggest you leave them in the fridge for at least 4-6 hours once they have been filled with cream and topped with chocolate glaze, the cooler they are, the more delicious. I guarantee you, these beauties will be the star of any party. They are absolutely amazing!
And there you have, a super easy chocolate eclairs recipe that everyone will just love. Do give them a try, you will make them over and over again for every occasion!
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For the dough:
- 250 ml water
- 150 ml sunflower oil
- 250 g flour
- 5 eggs
- a pinch of salt
For the filling:
- 500 ml milk
- 120 g sugar
- 7 tablespoon plain flour
- 80 g butter
- 1 vanilla seeds from a vanilla pod or vanilla extract
For the glaze:
- 100 g icing sugar
- 3 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 3 tablespoon sunflower oil
- 4 tablespoon boiling water
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. (350 Fahrenheit).
- To make the pastry, mix the water, oil and salt into a pan and bring it to the boil. Remove the pan from the heat, add the flour mixing quickly with a spatula. You will get a dough-like texture. Leave it to cool.
- Add the eggs one by one and mix well until you get a smooth texture.
- Line 2 or 3 large baking trays with greaseproof paper.
- You can either use a piping bag or just a spoon to scoop the mixture onto the baking trays. Make sure you leave about 2 cm between each of the pastries.
- Bake them at 180 degrees C for 20-25 minutes or until golden.
- To make the filling, boil half of the milk with the sugar and vanilla seeds or extract.
- In a separate bowl, mix the flour with the other half of milk.
- Pour the milk and flour mixture over the sugar one and simmer them until the cream thickens.
- Allow the cream to cool a bit, then add the butter and mix well. The cream will become really smooth and delicious.
- For the glaze, mix all the ingredients together.
- Once the pastries are ready, transfer them to a rack and allow them to cool. Half each of the pastries and fill them with cream and glaze with the cocoa powder mixture.
- Click on the US Customary link to see the measurements displayed in cups and ounces.
- The servings can be adjusted by clicking the number next to Servings.
- The amount I have listed below give you a pretty large batch, about 15 eclairs, depending on their size. So you will have to use 2 or 3 baking trays to make the choux pastry, or the dough.
- Note! Do leave plenty of space between them, otherwise they might stick to each other.
- The cream filling, if you happen to have any leftover, can be easily used for any tarts. Or just sandwich some crackers together, dip them in chocolate sauce, and you've got a dessert in seconds.
- When you make the chocolate topping, do leave it to cool down, preferably in the fridge, so it can get a chance to harden a bit, otherwise it won't really top the chocolate eclairs, and you'll end up with really messy hands when you eat them.
- Don't worry if the choux pastry is crispy when they come out of the oven, the soften nicely once they are refrigerated. And here you have, an indulgent dessert to treat yourself with no matter the occasion.