You may have seen recipes out there for how to make these lovely creations. They are really very simple to make the paste and bake. And while they bake and cool you will have time to make your filling and ganache! Someday i am going to come back to this post and do step by step photos. The most important really is that you shape them the right way which takes practice but not much.
Your choice of filling is up to you but I am going to offer you a pastry cream recipe for filling. The beauty is you won’t need pastry bag tips for neither the paste nor the filling.
Ok here we go!
Patè a’ Choux (pat-uh-shoo, Eclair Paste, Chef Ian’s recipe)
2 lb Yield (preheat your oven to 400°)
- 1 1/3 C. Milk
- 1/2 C plus 2 TBS Butter
- 1/2 tsp Sugar
- 1/2 tsp. Salt
- 1/2 C. plus 2 TBS All Purpose Flour
- 1 1/2 Cups of eggs (around 7 large eggs)
1. Bring milk, sugar and salt to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly (and for the record people, don’t use a wooden spoon, they just aren’t real good for cooking). Remove from heat, add the flour all at once and stir until combined well. Return pan to heat and cook, stirring constantly until the mixture pulls away from the pan. If you have ever made instant potatoes that what it will look like only it won’t be sticking to the sides.
2. Transfer the mixture to the mixing bowl and beat at low speed with paddle attachment. I did this for 5 minutes. Then I added the eggs one at a time over another 5 minutes. My mixture didn’t use 7 eggs it used more like 4 or 5. You do not want that mixture to be runny.
3. Pipe the dough..You want to use a 1/3 inch opening in your bag at least, and you want to pipe them in rounded rectangles, going down and then backtracking just a tiny bit to create a subtle ripple like this (for creme puffs just make a nice round pile)
and bake at 400° until golden brown. Dont open the door a lot you don’t want it to make the pastry fall. Let cool completely and get started on your filling and ganache.
Crème Pàtissière (Pastry Cream – From the Le Cordon Bleu Cuisine Foundations Book
- 1 C. Milk
- 1 Vanilla Bean
- 2 Egg Yolks
- 1/4 C. Sugar
- 2 TBSP Cornstarch
1. Line a small serving tray or platter with plastic wrap.
2. Pour milk into medium saucepan. Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Stir the seeds into the milk and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add about 1/4 of the sugar to the milk and stir to dissolve it.
3. Meanwhile, place the egg yolks in a small mixing bowl and add remaining sugar. Whisk the sugar into the eggs until it completely dissolves and the yolks lighten in color. Add the cornstarch to the yolks and stir until well combined.
4. When the milk begins to come to a boil, remove it from the stove and pour 1/3 of it into the egg yolks. Stir well to temper the egg yolks, then whisk the tempered eggs back into the remaining hot milk (this saves the eggs from being cooked by the hot milk). Place back onto heat and cook until the creme begins to bubble. Continue whisking (make sure you get the corners!) and allow to cook for one minute to cook the starch. It will be very thick. Immediately transfer the finished creme to the plastic lined serving tray. Pat the surface with a piece of cold butter held on the end of a fork to create a protective film. Completely cover with a second piece of plastic wrap, pressing out any air bubbles. Let cool to room temp before refrigerating.
(Grab that pastry bag and get ready to fill your cooled eclairs)
Super Fast And Easy Ganache – Chef Ian Style
- 1 C. Chocolate, chopped (we used chocolate chips, semi sweet!)
- 1 C. Heavy Cream
- 1/2 C. Butter
1. Cut Butter and chocolate into small pieces and place in stainless steel bowl, cover with the cream.
2. Place on a double broiler and stir with a whisk as it melts. When it all melts it will be glassy and pretty! Remove from heat
Ok now you have your filling and your ganache for the top ready so lets finish! Grab your pastries and make a hole on the end of the eclairs ( or the side of them for creme puffs) with a paring knife. Not a huge one. Grab your pastry bag and fill it 1/2 way and secure the top. then snip the end, again not a huge hole is needed, about a 1/4 inch diameter. Push the end of the bag inside the pastry and squeeze, you will feel it filling up. Don’t overfill.
(Refrain from eating the naked but filled pastries)
Then give your ganache a whisk to make it glassy and pretty again and take your pastries and dip them into the ganache on one side and lay them face up. Refrigerate your eclairs long enough for the chocolate to harden.