Introduction: Éclairs

About: Polymath and idiot. Mostly idiot.

Eclairs are a pastry made with a pâte à choux filled with a cream and a topping. The word eclair is french for lightning, because you will eat them all up just as fast.

Servings: ~40

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 11 minutes

Baking time: 25 minutes

Maturing time: 2 hours

Step 1: Ingredients

2 Steps:

Crème pâtissière

  • 250 ml milk
  • 45 g sugar
  • 30 g butter
  • 20 g corn starch
  • 15 g flour (popcorn flour)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 vanilla bean

Pâte à choux

  • 450 ml water
  • 250 g flour (pastry/ all purpose)
  • 150 g dark chocolate
  • 125 g butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 pinch of salt

Step 2: Equipment

  • kitchen scale (buy)
  • measuring cup
  • egg separator (buy)
  • double boiler pot (buy)
  • icing bag/ lekue decomax decorating tool (buy)
  • 2 cooking pots
  • kitchen knifes
  • parchment paper/ silicon mat (buy)
  • cling foil
  • hand mixer

Step 3: Popcorn Flour

If I want to add extra taste to a cream I like to use a very aromatic flour, popcorn flour. Why? Because it is evenly roasted and contains high levels of the chemicals 6-acetyl-2,3,4,5-tetrahydropyridine and 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline which have low odor thresholds to be recognized. It fits great with the smokey aroma from the vanilla bean.

Just prepare some popcorn or buy fresh one and grind it in a coffee mill. You need only 15grams for the crème, not too much of a hassle to grind.

Step 4: Crème Pâtissière

Cut the vanilla bean alongside and scratch the pulp out into a cooking pot. Add the 250ml milk and the empty vanilla bean and boil it slightly by constantly stirring it at a low heat. Remove from the cooker and let it steep for 10 minutes.

Step 5:

Separate the egg yolks from the 2 eggs and mix with the 45grams sugar and a hand mixer until smooth.

Step 6:

Mix the 15grams flour with the 20grams corn starch, add to the egg-sugar and mix until smooth again.

Step 7:

Remove the vanilla bean from the cooking pot and add the milk slowly under continuous stirring to the egg mix.

Step 8:

Put everything back into the cooking pot and under continuous stirring make it simmer for 1 minute. Remove from the cooker and stir in the 30grams butter.

Step 9:

Let the crème pâtissière cool down. Cover it with cling foil in a bowl and put it into the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Step 10:

Before you are going to use the cream, stir it smoothly with the hand mixer again.

Step 11: Pâte À Choux

Bring 450ml water, 125grams butter and a pinch of salt to a boil. Remove from cooker and add 250grams flour. Stir until it doesn't cling to the pot anymore.Beat the eggs and add a bit at a time to the mix.

Step 12:

Preheat the stove to 170°Celsius (340°Fahrenheit). Fill the dough into an icing bag and make 8cm long stripes on the parchment paper. Bake for 25 minutes.

If you want the stripes to have more volume move the icing bag slower and press from a higher angle. At the end push it a bit in to get a rounder end.

Step 13:

Let them cool down and then divide longside in halves with a knife.

Step 14:

Melt the chocolate in the double boiler pot.

Step 15:

After stirring the crème pâtissière again before usage, fill it into the icing bag. Take the halved pieces and spread the cream on one half, then cover with the other one.

To add more style you can also make several little piles.

Step 16:

Lay the finished eclairs close to each other and with a spoon of the melted chocolate you spread spiderwebs of chocolate upon them.

Or you just dunk them in the chocolate.

Step 17: Serving

Serve with blackberry marmelade for full flavour!

Enjoy the eclairs!

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