Basic Pate A Choux Dough for Mini Eclairs

Total Time:
2 hr 30 min
Prep:
45 min
Inactive:
1 hr
Cook:
45 min

Yield:
40 mini eclairs
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons bread flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  • Chocolate Glaze, recipe follows
  • Chocolate Glaze:
  • 1/4 pound sweet chocolate
  • 1 1/4 ounces unsalted butter at room temperature, 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon
  • 2 tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup dark rum
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
Directions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a heavy bottomed 1-quart saucepan, combine the water, butter, sugar and salt. Bring to a rolling boil. Remove from the heat and add the flour, all at once, to the pan and quickly stir vigorously to incorporate the flour into the liquid.

Return the pan to the stove, and over a medium-low heat, continue to cook and stir the dough over the fire. Do this until the dough pulls away from the sides of the pan and forms a ball. Remove the dough from the saucepan, and place in an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix the dough on low speed until the dough is cooled down to about 140 degrees F, which is still quite warm to the touch, but cool enough to prevent the eggs from cooking if added to the dough.

Raise the speed of the mixer to medium, and add 1 of the eggs to the dough and mix until completely incorporated. Continue adding the remaining eggs, 1 at a time, waiting until each egg is incorporated before adding the next egg.

Immediately transfer the dough to a piping bag with a large, round tip.

For the Mini Eclairs:

Form the mini eclairs on the prepared baking sheet by piping short strips of choux pastry that are 3/4-inch thick, and 2 inches long. Do not pipe them too closely together as they will need space to expand as they bake. Place the sheet pan in the oven and bake the eclairs for 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F, and continue to bake the eclairs until they are dried out, about 22 minutes longer. Turn the oven off and remove the eclairs from the oven. Using the tip of a pairing knife, cut a small slit in the side of each eclair, near the bottom. Place the eclairs back on the baking sheet and place back in the oven, propping the oven door open so the eclairs can dry out as they cool, about 1 hour or until the oven is cool.

To make the eclair filling, place the cream and confectioners' sugar in a medium-sized bowl, and beat together using a handheld electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Remove the whipped cream from the bowl, and place in a pastry bag with a star tip.

Chocolate Glaze:

To make the chocolate glaze, cut the chocolate into small pieces and place in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Place the bowl over a saucepan with 2-inches of water in it, set over a low simmer. Melt the chocolate over the saucepan, and once melted, remove from the heat and stir the butter into the melted chocolate.

In a smaller bowl, combine the cocoa powder with the rum, and once incorporated, add the corn syrup and blend it all with the melted chocolate. Reserve, keeping warm, until ready to use.

Using a paring knife, make a small hole in either end of the eclair. Use the pastry bag filled with whipped cream to pipe into the holes to fill the eclairs. Alternately, you can make a horizontal cut across the top of the eclair and remove the upper third of it. Then, pipe the whipped cream in the bottom half of the eclair. Dip the tops of the eclair in the chocolate glaze and serve within the hour.


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