This recipe has been a long time coming.
My mom has been on me about making homemade eclairs more than anything ever. More than cleaning my room, doing chores, finishing homework, doing college apps, studying, you name it.
This is a big deal for her.
Homemade eclairs completely from scratch really take time, so that is something very important to keep in mind before you start this recipe. I did the steps over the course of 3 days, making the eclair shells first, then the custard, then the pourable fondant on the final day. Which was good and bad…I was asked at least 3 times a day about whether they can eat them yet (even when I just had unfilled shells!)
So expect friends and family down your neck. But hey it was super worth it in the end, I felt like I just finished running a marathon!
1/2 cup milk (I used skim)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 cup bread flour
- Preheat oven to 400˚F
- In a large pot combine the water and milk with the butter and sugar and salt. Bring to a rolling boil, and add the flour all at once. With a wooden spoon stir vigorously to moisten the flour. The mixture will absorb as much liquid as possible almost instantly and then turn into a mass of dough that will ball up around the spoon.
- Continue stirring and cooking over med-high heat until is has formed a firm ball of dough that has evaporated out a lot of the excess moisture. The cooking process can take almost 3 minutes. At this point you can transfer the dough to your mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment.
- Mix on low speed to allow much of the excess steam and moisture to escape, while cooking the dough before adding the eggs.
- Once you have slightly cooled this dough for just about 1-2 minutes of low speed mixing, you can begin to add the eggs 1 at a time. Do not add another one until the dough has absorbed the previous egg completely. Your dough mass will seem to separate before it has absorbed all of the liquid from the egg, but it will smooth as you continue mixing. Add each additional egg in the same manner. (You do not want a runny, liquidy dough. You are looking for a fairly stiff dough that when piped into eclairs and puff shells it will hold its shape on the sheet pan. You can test your consistency of the choux paste by lifting the paddle attachment to your mixer and allow the dough to run off in a steady stream that is firm yet elastic.
- Transfer your dough to a pastry bag fitted with a straight tube, or simply the coupler hole with no tip attached will suffice.
- Pipe shells approximately 1″ spaced on a parchment lined sheet pan. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, then lower oven temperature to 350˚F and bake for an additional 20 minutes.
2 cups milk (I used skim)
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- In a medium bowl place the whole egg, egg yolks and cornstarch with 2 Tablespoons of the sugar and whisk vigorously to smooth out any lumps.
- Meanwhile, in a large pot combine the milk and remaining sugar (1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons) and bring to a boil. Once the milk comes to a boil you will remove from the heat and slowly pour the hot milk mixture into the eggs/cornstarch mixture while constantly whisking with your free hand.
- Once you have poured about half of the milk into the eggs, you have sufficiently brought the eggs to temperature and it is now safe to pour the entire egg mixture back into the pot with the rest of the milk. Place back on the stove over high heat and while constantly stirring with a wooden spoon, you will cook until the entire mixture reaches 140˚ Degrees F, coats the back of the spoon, and is thickened. Be careful NOT to overcook the mixture!
- Remove from heat, whisk in vanilla extract. Using a fine mesh strainer you will pour this custard through to get out any cooked bits of egg or any lumps that remain.
- Pour the custard into a shallow dish (like an 8×8-inch baking pan) and cover the surface with plastic wrap. Let cool in refrigerator. When ready to use: whisk custard, place in a piping bag fitted with a 21 or 32 (or similar size) Wilton tip and pipe into eclair shells.
Poured Chocolate Fondant
4 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder (I used dark)
1/4 cup corn syrup, warmed in the microwave for 25 seconds
2 oz. chocolate, melted
1/3 cup warm water
- Sift the powdered sugar and cocoa powder into the bowl of your stand mixer. Pour in the warmed corn syrup and melted chocolate; mix until smooth. Add the warm water starting with1/4 cup first, then add more to adjust to your desired consistency.
- Store this recipe in a clean container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. It can be stored in the refrigerator for longer, up to 6 weeks.
ASSEMBLY OF ECLAIRS
Take baked and cooled pate choux eclair shells and poke a hole on each end of the eclair, using a small kabob stick or flower nail. Take a piping bag, filled with vanilla custard, fitted with a 21, 32, or similar size tip, and insert tip in holes in eclair shells. Squeeze custard into shell until custard starts to poke through, repeat in hole on the other side of the eclair shell. Dip the tops of filled eclairs in prepared pourable chocolate fondant. Keep finished eclairs in fridge; only allow them to sit out for 2 hours, tops. Enjoy!
Random Fact of the Day: 12 newborns will be given to the wrong parents daily.
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