Smoked Sea Salt and Almond Eclairs

Total Time:
2 hr 5 min
1 hr 15 min
50 min

8 eclairs

  • Eclairs:
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups bread flour, sifted
  • 3 large eggs, plus more if needed
  • 2 egg whites
  • Almond Whipped Cream:
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • Chocolate glaze:
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces milk chocolate, roughly chopped
  • Roasted almonds, crushed, for garnish
  • Smoked sea salt

For the eclairs: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F with a rack on the middle shelf.

In a non-reactive saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk, salt, sugar and butter, and bring to a simmer. Once the butter has melted, quickly add the flour and stir constantly with a wooden spoon for about 3 minutes.

Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix to cool down, until the dough mostly stops steaming, 1 minute. Add the eggs and whites, slowly until evenly incorporated and glossy. To check the consistency of the batter, run your finger or spoon through it. It should leave a pathway that slowly falls in on itself. If it's too stiff, you may have to add an additional egg.

Place the batter in a pastry bag or resealable plastic bag and cut a hot-dog-size hole in the corner. On a silicon-lined sheet tray, pipe long and fat hot-dog-size lines about 6-inches long, evenly spaced. Use a wet finger to press down any peaks and lightly mist with water from a spray bottle. Bake until slightly golden and puffed, 20 minutes.

Then lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees F and bake an additional 20 minutes.

For the whipped cream: In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk the cream, confectioners' sugar and almond extract until stiff peaks form.

For the glaze: Heat the cream in a small pot until slightly simmering. Pour over the chocolate in a metal bowl and whisk until smooth. If there are still chocolate chunks in the glaze, heat it briefly on the stovetop and stir until smooth. Set aside.

To assemble: Split the baked pastry and, using a resealable plastic bag or pastry bag with a 1/2-inch hole cut in the corner, pipe in the almond filling. Top with the chocolate glaze, crushed roasted almonds, and a couple pinches of smoked sea salt.

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