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Chocolate eclairs

Chocolate eclairs

This might appear to be a straightforward recipe: choux pastry, chocolate confectioner's custard and fondant icing, but in practice it is quite technically tricky and all three stages need care to produce a perfect result.
But don't let that discourage you; there are demonstration videos and I will take you through the whole process, paying particular attention to the most difficult stages.

189,607 34.5/5

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Last modified on: February 6th 2011

For 20 eclairs, you will need:

How long does it take?

PreparationRestingCookingStart to finish
2 hours 37 min.50 min.25 min.3 hours 52 min.
At what time?
When will I finish if I start the recipe at a certain time?
When should I start for the recipe to be ready at a certain time?
Work this out...

Step by step recipe

Stage 1
35 min.
Chocolate eclairs : Photo of step #1 Prepare a confectioner's custard (crème pâtissière) with 250 ml milk, 3 egg yolks, 20 g caster sugar et 20 g cornflour. Stop cooking as soon as it begins to thicken, there's no need to overcook it.

You will notice that this recipe is less sweet than the usual version. This is because we will be adding chocolate.

As soon as the custard is cooked, tip in 80 g chocolate broken into small pieces (you can also use chocolate chips).
Stage 2
20 min.
Chocolate eclairs : Photo of step #2 Mix thoroughly until you have a prefectly smooth chocolate custard.

Cover and leave to cool with the base of the pan standing in cold water to speed this up.

Set aside.
Stage 3
35 min.
Chocolate eclairs : Photo of step #3 Prepare a choux pastry with 70 ml milk, 70 ml water, 60 g butter, 70 g flour, 2 eggs, ½ teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon caster sugar.
Stage 4
5 min.
Chocolate eclairs : Photo of step #4 Cut a sheet of cooking parchment to the size of your baking sheet, and mark lines with a ruler about 8 cm (3 inches) long, a few centimeters apart.

These are to help you pipe the eclairs to the right length.
Stage 5
2 min.
Chocolate eclairs : Photo of step #5 Turn the sheet over and fix it at the 4 corners.

Preheat the oven to 210°C (420°F).
Stage 6
10 min.
Chocolate eclairs : Photo of step #6 Using a forcing bag with a n°10 (10 mm diameter) nozzle, pipe "sausages" of choux pastry 8 cm long following the marks you have drawn.
Stage 7
5 min.
Chocolate eclairs : Photo of step #7 Round off the inevitable imperfections with the back of a small spoon dipped in milk.
Stage 8
20 min.
Chocolate eclairs : Photo of step #8 Continue until all the choux pastry has been used up, preparing more sheets if necessary. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the eclairs are golden.
Stage 9
30 min.
Chocolate eclairs : Photo of step #9 Remove from the sheet and leave to cool on a rack.
Stage 10
Chocolate eclairs : Photo of step #10 Now comes the first tricky stage: filling the eclairs with the chocolate custard.

Use a new forcing bag with a special "filling" nozzle.
Stage 11
Chocolate eclairs : Photo of step #11 When you have filled the bag with custard, take an eclair in your hand and at one end on the top surface, push the nozzle the full length (in the direction of the arrow).

Note: By piercing the top with the nozzle, the hole will be covered by the icing, leaving a perfectly smooth eclair.
Stage 12
Chocolate eclairs : Photo of step #12 Press on the bag to inject the custard, and at the same time, withdraw the nozzle gradually while continuing to fill.
Stage 13
Chocolate eclairs : Photo of step #13 Finish by removing the nozzle when the eclair is completely filled with custard (if it overflows a little, that's normal and shows that it is properly filled).
Stage 14
The short video opposite shows how to fill your eclairs.
Stage 15
30 min.
Chocolate eclairs : Photo of step #15 Do this for all the eclairs.
Stage 16
5 min.
Chocolate eclairs : Photo of step #16 Melt 250 g fondant icing in a bain-marie while stirring. If you have a thermometer, check that the temperature does not exceed (or barely) 40°C (104°F).
Stage 17
5 min.
Chocolate eclairs : Photo of step #17 At this point add 1 teaspoon powdered cocoa and continue stirring until you have a smooth brown icing.
Stage 18
Chocolate eclairs : Photo of step #18 Now comes the second tricky stage: icing.

Remove the bowl of icing from the bain-marie and place on a tea-towel folded in 4.

Take an eclair and dip the top in the icing.
Stage 19
Chocolate eclairs : Photo of step #19 Lift the eclair and turn it to remove any excess icing, then stand it level immediately as the icing sets very quickly.
Stage 20
The short video opposite shows how to ice your eclairs.
Stage 21
30 min.
Chocolate eclairs : Photo of step #21 Do this for all the eclairs.

Keep in the fridge, but take them out an hour before serving so that they are not too cold.

Remarks

You might well be surprised to see that your icing doesn't have the same deep chocolate colour as on eclairs that you buy, but I think commercial bakers must use a special colouring to achieve this (too) rich colour.

You can vary the flavours and make classic coffee eclairs, of course, but give your imagination free rein. I recommend you try lemon eclairs (lemon-flavoured custard and yellow icing), surprising with their yellow colour and, above all, their distinctive taste.

Nutritional information

Whole recipe
CaloriesProteins CarbohydratesFats
296553 gr405 gr126 gr
148 %20 %38 %19 %
Per 100 g
CaloriesProteins CarbohydratesFats
2745 gr37 gr12 gr
14 %2 %4 %2 %
% are calculated relative to a Recommended Dietary Intake or RDI of 2000 k-calories by day for a woman (change to a man).

How much will it cost?

For 20 eclairs : 3.31 €
Per eclairs : 0.17 €

Note : These prices are only approximate.

Change currency:

Source: Home made
Grade this recipe :

More recipes?

This recipe use (among others)
Fondant icingFondant icing: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Arizona cupcakes, Chinois, ... All
MilkMilk: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Pancake batter, Pan-baked hash brown (Hash-brown casserole), Nantes Tourton, How to heat milk without it catching on the bottom of the pan, Loaf for "les filles'", ... All
ChocolateChocolate: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Chocolate mousse with hazelnuts, Chocolate mug cake, Half-cooked chocolate cake with raspberry coulis, Chocolate Chantilly , Chocolate sauce, ... All
WaterWater: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: French baguettes, Sesame fried scampi, Minestrone, Chicken pie, Praline, ... All

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