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Homemade Eclairs

Submitted by: | Source: A classic from Culinary School- with my own spin on things of course!

Homemade Eclairs

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2011-06-30 Other
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With a little time and a lot of love, you can give someone a gift of handmade Chocolate Eclairs....they will love you forever!

  • Servings: 2-3 dozen
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

Pate Choux (eclair Dough):
1 cup Water
1 stick Unsalted Butter
1 Tbsp Sugar
¼ tsp Salt
1 cup Plus 2 Tablespoons Flour
4 Large Eggs
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Vanilla Pastry Cream (eclair Filling):
3 cups Milk
1 Vanilla Bean, scraped of seeds
8 Egg Yolks
1 cup Sugar
6 Tbsp Cornstarch
2 Tbsp Butter
-
Melting Chocolate
Melting White Chocolate
-

Directions:

For the Pate Choux:

1. Place the water, butter, sugar and salt in a saucepot and bring to a gentle boil.

2. Remove the pan from the heat, add the flour ALL AT ONCE, stir with a wooden spoon until it forms a solid dough ball.

3. Return to medium heat, and cook gently for 2 minutes to get rid of the "raw flour" taste. Remove from heat and transfer to the bowl of a Kitchenaid Stand Mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.

4. Turn the Kitchenaid on medium speed, and beat until the dough has cooled significantly and is just barely warm to the touch. Should only take a few minutes.

5. With the mixer still running, add one egg at a time until it forms a loose dough (thicker than a cake batter, but thinner than biscuit dough.) Once it has come together, immediately transfer the warm dough to a piping bag (or two) fitted with a large round tip.

6. Pipe the dough in 2" long logs, leaving enough space between the logs to expand, on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush them lightly with eggwash (1 egg mixed with a few tablespoons of water) and bake them in a 425 degree oven for about 12 minutes, until golden brown. Turn the oven off, leave the door open, and let them dry out in the oven for about 30 more minutes. Let them cool completely, then they are read for their filling.

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For the Vanilla Pastry Cream:

1. Place the milk and vanilla bean into a saucepot and bring it to a boil.

2. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks together with the sugar until light and frothy, like a pale buttery yellow. Stir in the sifted cornstarch until evenly combined.

3. "Temper" the hot milk into the egg mixture by slowly drizzling the hot liquid into the eggs. Return to medium heat and stir constantly until thickened like pudding. Remove from heat and stir in 2 Tablespoons of butter to make it super smooth and silky.

4. Place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap directly on the pastry cream, to prevent a yucky skin from forming.

5. Once it has cooled, place it in a piping bag fitted with a very small round tip.

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To Assemble the Eclairs:

Poke a tiny hole in one end of the baked Eclair. Gently insert the tip of the Pastry Cream filled piping bag in the hole, and fill the hollow Eclair with the Pastry Cream.

Melt the Chocolate, and carefully dip the top of the Eclair halfway into the chocolate. Allow them to dry and harden on a baking sheet.

Melt the White Chocolate, put it in a Ziploc bag and snip off a tiny corner. (Or use a piping bag with a tiny round tip). Delicately drizzle the White Chocolate over the hardened Chocolate in a decorative zig-zag pattern. Allow to harden before serving.