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.
290K 3 76 4.3
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Last modified on: February 6th 2011

Keywords for this recipe:
For 20 eclairs, you will need:

Change these quantities to make: 10 eclairs 20 eclairs 40 eclairs 60 eclairs
How long does it take?
Time required for this recipe:
PreparationRestingCookingStart to finish
2 hours 37 min.50 min.25 min.3 hours 52 min.
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Step by step recipe

Stage 1 - 35 min.
Chocolate eclairs
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 dark chocolate broken into small pieces (you can also use chocolate chips).

Stage 2 - 20 min.
Chocolate eclairs
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
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
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
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
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
Round off the inevitable imperfections with the back of a small spoon dipped in milk.

Stage 8 - 20 min.
Chocolate eclairs
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
Remove from the sheet and leave to cool on a rack.

Stage 10
Chocolate eclairs
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
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
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
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
Do this for all the eclairs.

Stage 16 - 5 min.
Chocolate eclairs
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
At this point add 1 teaspoon powdered cocoa and continue stirring until you have a smooth brown icing.

Stage 18
Chocolate eclairs
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
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
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.
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.
Home made.
Nutritional information
Whole recipe
Energetic valueProteins CarbohydratesFats
2,919 Kcal or 12,221 Kj50 gr405 gr122 gr
146 %19 %38 %19 %
Per 100 g
Energetic valueProteins CarbohydratesFats
275 Kcal or 1,151 Kj5 gr38 gr12 gr
14 %2 %4 %2 %
Per eclairs
Energetic valueProteins CarbohydratesFats
146 Kcal or 611 Kj2 gr20 gr6 gr
7 %1 %2 %1 %
% are calculated relative to a Recommended Dietary Intake or RDI of 2000 k-calories or 8400 k-joules by day for a woman (change to a man).
Possible allergens in this recipe: Milk, Egg, Gluten
How much will it cost?
  • For 20 eclairs : 3.25 €
  • Per eclairs : 0.16 €

Change currency:

Note: Be careful, these prices are only an estimate, you can consult the table of prices by ingredients used for this estimate.
This recipe uses (among others)
Fondant icingFondant icing: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Fondant-iced pithivier, Arizona cupcakes, Chinois, ... All
MilkMilk: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Doughnuts, Hamburger buns, Choux pastry (pâte à choux), Old style brioche, Cornmeal baps for Anne, ... All
Dark chocolateDark chocolate: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Chocolate ganache, Chocolate tart, Little chocolate and hazelnut fondants, Italian hot chocolate , Chestnut Fudge Cupcakes, ... All
WaterWater: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Puff or flaky pastry (pâte feuilletée), Ali Baba bread, Mustard baps, Nougat, Bacon rolls, ... All
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Your 3 comments or questions on this recipe
  • Same way, but you should cut choux pastry in two before putting ice cream in.Maybe you are talking about profiteroles?
    Posted by jh august 1st 2012 at 16:52 (n° 3)
  • How to fill ice cream instead of custard?
    Posted by Anonymous august 1st 2012 at 16:03 (n° 2)
  • Dear, JH,I have never been able to "master" the art of choux pastry. But, your steps may just change that. Thank you so much for sharing. They look heavenly...
    Posted by Louise february 15th 2011 at 13:43 (n° 1)
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