I am constantly thinking of business ideas wherever I go.
Here is a freebie for anyone who wants it.
Chocolate Eclairs. That’s all.
Made to order with freshly filled custard and then dipped in deep rich chocolate ganache.
Whoever decides to run with this idea, you’re welcome.
Just send me a postcard from the beach resort where you set up your Chocolate Eclairs Shoppe.
And for the rest of us, well….let’s just make them for ourselves and our friends and family in our home kitchens!
Known as Pate a Choux or Choux Paste in the professional kitchen, we must first make the elusive eclair dough.
This is a very egg rich dough that can be tricky to master and it may take more than 1 try to get it right so don’t get discouraged!
This is one recipe in baking that goes against the basic rules of EXACT EXACT EXACT!
But when you think about it, most “doughs” are not really exact after all. I mean when we bake breads or buns we are adjusting the consistency of the dough with the flour isn’t that right?
Well here, we will actually be adjusting the dough with the eggs! yep that’s right the eggs…..the eggs are the ingredient that will make or break this recipe, so pay close attention to the consistency of the dough after I’ve added the eggs because you may or may not add all of it!
I always say errors are our best teachers, so if your first try is not the best, I guarantee you will have learned something with this recipe!
375°F for convection ovens
Note: You may use all water or all milk. You may use All Purpose Flour (or Plain Flour) if you cannot get Bread Flour, if using AP or Plain flour though, you will most likely only use 3 eggs. Bread flour has a higher protein content, which gives it the ability to absorb more liquid, so if you are not using it, you will not absorb as much liquid as necessary and you will then not be able to use as many eggs.
- Water 1 cup (240ml)
- Unsalted Butter 8 Tablespoons (112g)
- Granulated Sugar 2 teaspoons (10g)
- Salt ¼ teaspoon
- Bread Flour 1 cup (130g)
- Fresh Large Eggs 4 (200g)
- In a medium pot combine the water, butter,sugar and salt.
- Bring to a rolling boil, and then add the flour all at once.
- With a wooden spoon stir vigorously to moisten the flour. The mixture will absorb as much liquid as possible almost instantly and then turn into a mass of dough that will ball up around the spoon.
- Continue stirring and cooking over medium-high heat and allow some of the excess moisture to evaporate out.
- The cooking process can take about 1- 2 minutes.
- Transfer the dough to a mixing bowl (for stand mixers use the paddle attachment)
- Mix on low speed for about 30 seconds to allow some heat to escape before adding the eggs.
- Now add the eggs 1 at a time.
- Do not add another one until the dough has absorbed the previous egg completely. Your dough mass will seem to separate into what resembles soft scrambled eggs before it has absorbed all of the liquid from the egg, but it will smooth back to a paste as you continue mixing.
- Add each additional egg in the same manner, but be sure to watch as you get to the last 1 to determine whether the last addition is necessary.
- You do not want a runny, liquid dough. You are looking for a dough that when piped into eclairs it will hold its shape on the sheet pan.
- Transfer your dough to a pastry bag fitted with the coupler and no tip attached.
- Pipe shells 3" in length and the same width as the coupler opening - approximately 1″ spaced on a silicone lined sheet pan. (*if you do not have a silicone mat it's OK- I just find that since we are baking at such a high temperature the parchment paper tends to get crispy before the eclair shells are done baking)
- Bake at 400° F if you have a conventional oven and 375°F for convection type ovens.
- Approximately 35 minutes.
- The high temperature is necessary for your shells to PUFF up from all the steam that is created from the high moisture of the eggs and liquid in this recipe. Once they have risen, you can then turn your oven temperature down to about 350° F for conventional ovens and 325°F for convections to continue baking the rest of the way, approximately 20 minutes more.
- See video tutorial for how to know when they are done.
Filled eclairs are highly perishable and must be kept refrigerated at all times. They will stay fresh for up to 3 days refrigerated, but the choux pastry shells do get soggy after day 1
And if you are making the cream puffs then some whipped cream will be in order!
Have fun with it!