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February 02, 2019

Homemade Eclairs, Chocolate Glazed with Vanilla Custard


Homemade Eclairs

Yesterday I went down to The School House and made lunch and eclairs for the girls.  It is fun for me to get out to the country once every couple of weeks to pop-in and enjoy the fun work environment.  It is also fun for me to put the blue kitchen to work.  

Emma and I first attempted the eclairs a couple of weeks ago before she went back to school after Christmas break in preparation for the Valentine's Collection.  We'd been watching The Great British Baking Show and been drooling over the eclairs they'd made.  We whipped these up and they were some of the best things I've had in months.  The luscious pastry cream filling, the chocolate glaze, the overall gooey-ness.  Just so yummy and not as heavy as our typical treats - brownies and cookies.  

They hug the line between breakfast and dessert, so would be a great choice on Valentine's Day as a special treat in the morning.  Make the shells and custard the day before (shells can be kept in a ziplock and custard in the refrigerator), then fill and glaze them in the morning.  

Supplies Used :



Vanilla Pastry Cream Custard

I make this first, then let it cool in the refrigerator while I made the eclair shells.

5 egg yolks
3/4 cups of sugar
1/3 cup of cornstarch
1 1/2 cups of scalded milk*
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla

In the bowl of a mixer, beat egg yolks and sugar for 4 minutes, then add cornstarch.  *Pour milk into a glass measuring cup and heat in the microwave for 2 minutes until steaming.  With the mixer on low, slowly pour in the hot milk mixture a little at a time.  Transfer the milk and egg mixture to a saucepan and cook on low heat for 5-7 minutes until the mixture thickens.  It should be bubbly and thick.  When it thickens, use a whisk to mix and cook for 2 more minutes while whisking.  Stir in the vanilla.  Pour into a glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap directly onto the custard (so a skin does not develop) and put in the refrigerator to cool for 1 hour.

In the meantime, prepare the shells, below.


Pate Choux Dough*
This is a universal dough that can be used to form cream puffs or eclairs.  It comes together quickly and is fairly fool-proof.

1 cup of milk
1 stick of butter
pinch of salt
1 cup of flour
4 eggs

Heat the milk, butter, and salt over medium heat until scalded. When the butter is melted, add the flour all at once and beat it with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together and forms a dough. Cook, stirring constantly, over low heat for 2 minutes. The flour will begin to coat the bottom of the pan. 


Dump the hot mixture into the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the eggs one at a time and mix until the eggs are incorporated into the dough and the mixture is thick.


Spoon the mixture into a Pastry Bag.  Pipe 4-6" pieces onto a Large Baking Sheet lined with Parchment Paper


Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned, then turn off the oven and allow them to sit for another 10 minutes, until they sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.  Set aside to cool before filling.

*adapted from The Barefoot Contessa



When they have cooled, put the pastry cream in a 18" Pastry Bag with the end cut off.


Carefully separate the eclairs and pry open (this will be easier than you think - they are naturally hollow) and pipe in custard.



Chocolate Glaze

2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
2 tablespoons of milk
1-2 cups of powdered sugar

In a pourable glass measuring cup, microwave butter and milk for 1 minute.  Add cocoa powder and microwave for 1 more minute until it is bubbling and thick.  Add powdered sugar, mix well until the sugar is melted in.  Add as much powdered sugar as you would like to get consistency that is pourable/spoonable, but thick. 












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