Chocolate Eclairs

Total Time:
3 hr 55 min
10 min
3 hr 45 min

8 to 10 servings

  • Filling:
  • 2 cups whole, 2 percent fat, or 1 percent fat milk
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter
  • Pastry:
  • 1 cup water
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs, plus 1 extra, if needed
  • Egg Wash:
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons water
  • Chocolate Glaze:
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Filling: In a medium saucepan, heat the milk and vanilla bean to a boil over medium heat. Immediately turn off the heat and set aside to infuse for 15 minutes. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the cornstarch and whisk vigorously until no lumps remain. Whisk in 1/4 cup of the hot milk mixture until incorporated. Whisk in the remaining hot milk mixture, reserving the saucepan. Pour the mixture through a strainer back into the saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until thickened and slowly boiling. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Let cool slightly. Cover with plastic wrap, lightly pressing the plastic against the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Chill at least 2 hours or until ready to serve. The custard can be made up to 24 hours in advance. Refrigerate until 1 hour before using.

Pastry: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. In a large saucepan, bring the water, butter, salt and sugar to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. When it boils, immediately take the pan off the heat. Stirring with a wooden spoon, add all the flour at once and stir hard until all the flour is incorporated, 30 to 60 seconds. Return to the heat and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Scrape the mixture into a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or use a hand mixer). Mix at medium speed. With the mixer running, add 3 eggs, 1 egg at a time. Stop mixing after each addition to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix until the dough is smooth and glossy and the eggs are completely incorporated. The dough should be thick, but should fall slowly and steadily from the beaters when you lift them out of the bowl. If the dough is still clinging to the beaters, add the remaining 1 egg and mix until incorporated.

Using a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip, pipe fat lengths of dough (about the size and shape of a jumbo hot dog) onto the lined baking sheet, leaving 2 inches of space between them. You should have 8 to 10 lengths.

Egg Wash: In a bowl, whisk the egg and water together. Brush the surface of each eclair with the egg wash. Use your fingers to smooth out any bumps of points of dough that remain on the surface. Bake 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375 degrees and bake until puffed up and light golden brown, about 25 minutes more. Try not to open the oven door too often during the baking. Let cool on the baking sheet. Fit a medium-size plain pastry tip over your index finger and use it to make a hole in the end of each eclair (or just use your fingertip). Using a pastry bag fitted with a medium-size plain tip, gently pipe the custard into the eclairs, using only just enough to fill the inside (don't stuff them full).

Glaze: In a small saucepan, heat the cream over medium heat just until it boils. Immediately turn off the heat. Put the chocolate in a medium bowl. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. Set aside and keep warm. The glaze can be made up to 48 hours in advance. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use, and rewarm in a microwave or over hot water when ready to use.

Dip the tops of the eclairs in the warm chocolate glaze and set on a sheet pan. Chill, uncovered, at least 1 hour to set the glaze. Serve chilled.

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4.7 75
So easy, yummy and impressive. Excellent tips! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Id do with a simple Condensed milk buttercream filling. By simple i mean 80% butter condense milk and a bit of strong blended whiskey,brandy or cognac into the cream and it will taste good and why no sugar well the cond.milk already has the needed sugar. It will be an expensiv cream but the taste is just so good. Careful its still a lot of fat and it can be addictive. (200g butter,150 (or 1:1 ratio if want) condense milk, mix the butter untill the butter taste is gone and its white, add the milk and mix it untill there are no clumps finish it with the spirit of your choice). The importan part is that when your going to use it let it cool down and harden a bit otherwhise it will be to soft to use it normaly. item not reviewed by moderator and published
For any METRIC USERS who want a decent eclair recipe: 480ml milk 1/2 vanilla bean 6 egg yolks 135g sugar 30g cornstarch 2g butter 240ml water 16g butter 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 teaspoon sugar 140g flour 3 eggs + 1 1 egg 1 1/2 teaspoons water 250ml heavy cream 115g chocolate "whisk in 60ml of the hot milk mixture" "Preheat to 220 degrees celsius" "leaving 5cm of space between them" "then reduce heat to 190 degrees" Hopefully I didn't mess anything up :) item not reviewed by moderator and published
Love making these, how can I keep my shell from getting soft? item not reviewed by moderator and published
The pastry turned out PERFECT! I was about to give up on eclairs, as I've tried a different recipe about 3 times, only to have it work once. This recipe was much easier and turned out great. Don't open the oven before they're finished baking. Followed the directions to a T. As for the filling, I used the other recipe and messed it up, so I ended up using instant vanilla pudding. I had to mix whipping cream and skim milk (sounds strange) so I would have enough milk to make the pudding. It turned out great, and is a lot less fattening. The glaze turned out good too. I will definitely use this recipe again!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
can u substitute vanilla extract instead of vanilla bean? item not reviewed by moderator and published
EASY and very YUMMY thanks F.N. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have made something like this recipe for years but used Instant Vanilla Pudding as the base and added other things to it. I can't find the recipe. It was very easy and you made a huge round ring and cut the pastry in half and filled it. It was very simple. Any suggestions from anyone? thanks! item not reviewed by moderator and published
awesome recipe but me personally i prefer the taste from chantily cream more then cream pat but thats just imo nice recipe for the choux pastry too ; item not reviewed by moderator and published
Awesome! Each step is not that hard, but my eclairs were a little smaller than suggested (pre-baking, about the thickness of a hot dog and about 4 inches long, so I had to pull the dough out of the oven about 5 minutes early. They do look done on the outside before they are done on the inside - so be sure to check each one. Filling these was the hardest part for me - I used a ziplock baggie with a hole cut on the end to pipe the filling from one end, and tapped the eclair several times in the process of filling, to get the custard to settle to the bottom. Yum! BTW, I did use half and half instead of cream to mix with chocolate chips for the topping, and that worked great. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I was wondering the same. Someone said you can use 1/2 tsp of extract. item not reviewed by moderator and published
chocolate eclair torte item not reviewed by moderator and published

Not what you're looking for? Try:

Mini Chocolate Eclairs

Recipe courtesy of Paula Deen