1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup water
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon size pieces
1/2 tablespoon (1-1/2 teaspoons) sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, room temperature
Egg wash –
1 large egg, room temperature
1 tablespoon water
Pastry Cream –
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cake flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (bars or chips)
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons corn syrup (optional)
- Begin with making the pastry cream because it has to chill for 2 hours; Whisk together the sugar, cake flour, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks until well combined, about 30 seconds. Slowly whisk in the flour mixture until thick and pasty. Warm the milk in a saucepan over medium heat until bubbles form around the edges (do not let this boil).
- Remove the milk from the heat and slowly drizzle into the milk mixture, whisking constantly (do this slowly, to make sure you don’t scramble the eggs) Scrape the egg mixture back into the saucepan and place over medium heat, whisking constantly until it comes to a boil and thickens, about 3 minutes. Boil, whisking, for 10 seconds (the cream will become thick and glossy) and remove from the heat.
- Pour the cream through a fine mesh sieve set over a medium bowl. Whisk in vanilla extract. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic wrap against the surface of the pasty cream to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
- Whip heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Add 1/4 of the heavy cream to the chilled pastry cream and whisk to loosen it up a little bit. Fold in the remainder of the whipped cream into the pastry cream. Chill until ready to use (the pastry cream will stay fresh for 3-4 days).
- Make the éclair dough – Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bring milk, water, butter, sugar, and salt to a rapid boil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add the flour all at once, lower the heat to medium-low, and immediately start stirring with a wooden spoon. The dough will come together, and a light crust will form on the bottom of the saucepan. Continue stirring for another minute or two to dry the dough. The dough should be very smooth.
- Turn the dough into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (A hand-mixer can also be used). Let the dough sit for a minute to cool down, then add the eggs one by one, beating thoroughly after each addition. (Tip: if you forgot to bring your eggs to room temperature before beginning the recipe, warm up water in a Tupperware container (or bowl) for 60 seconds or until very warm. Add eggs. and they should be room temperature within 15 minutes) Also, don’t worry if the dough falls apart at first; keep beating, and it will all come together.
- Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper (do not use foil). Place the dough in a piping bag fitted with a large plain tip (I used this one). Pipe fat hot dog lengths of dough onto the baking mat (my batch made 8 eclairs, depending on how big you’d like them).
- To make egg wash, whisk together egg and water. Brush the surface of each éclair with the egg wash. Use your fingers to smooth out any bumps of dough that remain on the surface. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 375 and bake until golden brown, 8-10 minutes more. Let cool on the baking sheet.
- To make the chocolate ganache – heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until bubbles form on the edges of the saucepan. Place chocolate in a bowl with the corn syrup. Pour hot cream over chocolate chips/corn syrup, and whisk until smooth.
- Place the pastry cream into a piping bag fitted with a large tip (I used this one). Cut the pastries in half vertically. Dip the tops of the éclairs into the chocolate ganache and place onto a baking sheet lined with foil and topped with a cooling rack. Chill for 45 minutes, or until the ganache has set.
- Fill the bottoms of the eclairs with the pastry cream. Top with the ganache-dipped top. Serve immediately, or within 4-5 hours.
Dough adapted from Dorie Greenspan
Pastry cream adapted from Flour, Too