> m.e: Chocolate Éclairs

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Chocolate Éclairs

We are in the middle of winter so sometimes you just need a little bit of comfort food to get your spirits back up.
Mr m.e was looking a bit down the other day, must be those early dark mornings, long (sometimes unglamorous) chef shifts, riding to and back from work everyday, smelling of odd food stuffs at times, dealing with some not very knowledgeable "chefs" and coming home to 2 little cheeky monkeys that seem to have super long lasting, heavy duty batteries.

Well, what can make him smile more than some yummy crème filled french sweets..
So here we are with a first and surprisingly successful attempt at Chocolate Éclairs.

It does look difficult and yes there are a few steps to the process but it definitely isn't that hard and I think it's very well worth it.
If not, just enjoy the pics :)

Recipe from "The Food of France"

Choux Pastry

  • 150g (5 ½ oz) butter
  • 220g (1 ¾ cups) plain flour
  • 7 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
makes 500g (1 LB 2 OZ)

  • Preheat oven to 200 (400 )
  • Melt the butter with 375ml (1½cups) water in a saucepan, then bring it to a rolling boil
  • Remove from the heat and add the flour at once, then return to the heat and beat continuously with a wooden spoon till the mixture comes away from the pan
  • Cool for a few minutes
  • Beat in the eggs one at a time until shiny and smooth. The mixture should drop from the spoon but not be too runny
  • Beat in the sugar
  • Line trays with non stick paper
  • Pipe long lines about 1 - 1 ½ fingers long
  • Bake for about 30 minutes, make sure they are lightly golden and hollow sounding. Leave them in the oven with the door open for another 15 minutes
You can fill them with whatever you like, mascarpone and cream, just whipped cream or enjoy them with a rich crème pâtissière.

(I did find that there wasn't quite enough of the crème to fill all the eclairs so the rest were just piped with whipped cream. If you need to fill them all just double the Crème Pâtissière recipe)

Crème Pâtissière

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 115g (½ cup) caster sugar
  • 30g (¼cup) plain flour
  • 560ml (2 ¼ cups) milk
  • vanilla
  • 15g (½ oz) butter
  • Whisk together the egg yolks and ½ the sugar until pale and creamy.
  • Sift in the cornflour and flour mixture and mix well
  • Put the milk, remaining sugar and vanilla in a saucepan. Bring just to the boil and strain over egg mixture whilst continuously stirring
  • Pour back into a clean saucepan and bring to the boil whilst continuously stirring (keep stirring, it may appear lumpy but it will get smooth)
  • Boil for 2 minutes then add the butter and leave to cool
  • Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin forming
  • Poke the end of the eclair with the piping nozzle and pipe till you can feel that it's full
  • Dip them in some melted chocolate and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!!
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Lyn said...

ohmigoodness! my fave!!
and the photos are sooo beautiful :)

Melinda @ Here We Go Loopy Lou said...

These look ridiculously good! Thanks for sharing x

Maria@TheGourmetChallenge said...

They look fantastic for your first attempt at eclairs. So scrumptious, I think I would eat the entire batch to myself!

Belle@Ooh, Look said...

My guilty pleasure is a cream-filled eclair for lunch (bought from a cake shop). I might think twice about it now I've seen yours - they are so much nicer!

Sandrine said...

Cathie your Éclairs look like they are coming out of one of the lovely glossy magazine, and I bet they were delicious! I find I had few surprises with my choux pastry...I shall try yours and I will be very popular in our house!Isn't the oven temp very important?

Little Eve said...

Looks delicious... often thought of trying to make these since watching the English chef John Burton Race make them in 'French Leave' - love that show and love french pastries!

Tania said...

I so know I would enjoy enjoy enjoy, which is precisely why I'm NOT making them! There's no resistance around here for a whole batch. I'm just going to wait until you sell yours (go on!) at a market I can actually make it to!

stephchows said...

I know for a fact that would brighten my day in no time!

Nikki Cardigan said...

I felt comforted just seeing your Chocolate Éclairs Cathie!

Nicky said...

You did a fantastic job! How great do they look!
I think you inspired me to do some profiter (sp) rolls this weekend mmmmmmmmmm

Kirrily said...

They look fantastic!
I love Crème Pâtissière!

Faith Hope and a whole lotta Love said...

Oh please come to my house!!! I will provide hot cups of tea while you whip those up!!!?!!!

Duchess of Tea said...

Cathie darling, I did it!!! I tried these and they tasted fantastic; however, my dough was a little sticky and difficult to work with, I don't know where I went wrong. Fantastic, I am your number one fan now!!

Duchess xx

Duchess of Tea said...

I must agree, subconsciously I wanted an excuse to make them again. They tasted wickedly delicious. My son didn’t like the time I spend blogging, after having a few éclairs, he now wants me to spend more time on your blog. We all thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe.

Duchess xx