Hi. You may not know me, but I’m Brenna. I’m the witch in the paranormal series Nikki is working on (cross your fingers she finds someone in publishing to love us soon.) I’m agoraphobic and haven’t left my house in ten years, and no, it makes absolutely no difference to me to know that the fear is in my head. I’ve tried overcoming it and it isn’t happening. So, I have settled for the peace I find running my Bistro with the hands on help of highly trusted family and friends. And hey, the hands-off approach I have to take does give me more time to cook and experiment with pastries.
So, when the happiness spells and wish fulfillment spells and fear banishing spells fail, here’s a fallback that almost always makes me feel better.
The traditional éclair uses vanilla pastry cream as a filling and rich, almost ganache-like chocolate glaze. Make this recipe with basic choux pastry dough.
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours, 20 minutes
Basic choux pastry dough
Vanilla pastry cream
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
Make vanilla pastry cream according to directions and chill.
Preheat oven to 425F and lightly grease 1 baking sheet. Spoon the prepared basic choux pastry dough into a pastry bag fitted with a wide, plain tip and pipe 8 5-inch lengths onto the baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the éclairs puff up and turn golden brown. Remove them from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes before filling.
Make the chocolate glaze while the éclairs are baking and cooling. Place the chopped chocolate in a heat safe bowl and set aside. Heat the heavy cream just to boiling over low-medium heat and remove from the heat immediately. Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and stir until it forms a thin, smooth consistency. Set the chocolate glaze aside at room temperature for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
To assemble the éclairs:
Fit a pastry bag with a medium-sized plain tip and fill it with vanilla pastry cream. Insert the tip of the bag into the end of an éclair and pipe about 2 1/2 tablespoons of pastry cream into it. Gently spread 1 tablespoon of chocolate glaze onto or carefully dip the top of each filled éclair into the glaze before serving.
This chocolate éclairs recipe makes 8 servings.