29 January 2017



For 8 eclairs and a few cream puffs:

Pastry cream:
1 large whole egg
2 large egg yolks
1 t kosher salt (or 1/2 t table salt)
1/2 c granulated white sugar
1/4 c corn starch
2 c whole milk
Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
4 T cold, unsalted butter, cubed

You will have some pastry cream left over after filling the above 8+ eclairs.

Pate a choux:

1/2 c water
1 t sugar
4 T unsalted butter
pinch salt
1/2 c flour
2 eggs
Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)

Chocolate ganache:
2 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 - 4 T heavy cream


Make the pastry cream first:

Mix the eggs, salt, sugar and corn starch in a bowl.
Heat the milk and scraped vanilla bean seeds to scalding in a pot.
Pour about 1/2 c of the milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking vigorously.
Pour the egg mixture back into the pot with the rest of the milk and heat on low, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens.
Remove from heat and add the butter cubes, mixing constantly until the butter disappears.
Pour the pastry cream into a bowl, press plastic wrap onto the surface, and chill for at least 2 hours.

In the meantime, make the pate a choux eclair shells:

Pre-heat the oven to 350F.

Heat the water, butter, sugar and salt in a pot until the butter melts.
Add the flour and cook, stirring, until the mixture comes together to form a ball and pulls away from the sides of the pot.
Place the dough in a bowl and stir for a minute to cool.
Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until thoroughly blended into the dough.
Put the dough into a piping bag fitted with a star (or many-pointed) tip, and pipe 4-5 inch wands of dough onto a parchment paper covered baking sheet.
Dust lightly with powdered sugar (I omitted this step).
Bake in an oven preheated to 350F for 40 minutes, propping the oven door open with a wooden spoon after 10 minutes, to allow steam to escape.
Once the 40 minutes have elapsed, turn off the oven.
Pierce each end of the eclairs with a skewer to allow steam to escape, and let the eclairs cool inside the propped-open oven.

Fill the eclairs:

Make 2 holes in the underside of each eclair with the tip you'll be filling them with, each about 1/4 of the eclair's length from the ends.
Briefly whisk the pastry cream to get rid of any lumps, and place it in a pastry bag fitted with the above tip.
Pipe the pastry cream into the eclairs, making sure the cream reaches each end.
Clean up any cream that is protruding from the holes with a butter knife.

Make the ganache:

Heat the cream to scalding in a pot, and pour over the chocolate.  
Let it sit for 5 minutes, then whisk vigorously to combine.
Spoon, pour or pipe the ganache over the eclairs.

Chill for an hour, and enjoy!

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