I wanted to make something out of the ordinary for Easter this year and thought that Eclair's would be a fancy treat. This was the first time i've made this French dessert and although tasty, I think the French bakeries i've been to taste a little better.
Ingredients for dough:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup water
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1.Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Grease a cookie sheet.
2.In a medium saucepan, combine 1/2 cup butter and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, stirring until butter melts completely. Reduce heat to low, and add flour and salt. Stir vigorously until mixture leaves the sides of the pan and begins to form a stiff ball. Remove from heat. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well to incorporate completely after each addition. With a spoon or a pastry bag fitted with a No. 10, or larger, tip, spoon or pipe dough onto cookie sheet in 1 1/2 x 4 inch strips.
3.Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven, then reduce heat to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) and bake 20 minutes more, until hollow sounding when lightly tapped on the bottom. Cool completely on a wire rack.
4.For the filling, see pastry cream recipe below. Cut tops off of cooled pastry shells with a sharp knife. Fill shells with pudding mixture and replace tops.
5.For the chocolate ganach icing, boil 2 cups of heavy cream. Pour cream into a bowl and add chocolate chips. Let chocolate chips soak in hot cream for 2 minutes and then using a whisk, stir vigorously until chocolate thickens. Drizzle over filled eclairs. Refrigerate until serving.
Ingredients for pastry cream:
2 cups milk
1/4 cup white sugar
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1.In a heavy saucepan, stir together the milk and 1/4 cup of sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
2.In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and egg. Stir together the remaining sugar and cornstarch; then stir them into the egg until smooth. When the milk comes to a boil, drizzle it into the bowl in a thin stream while mixing so that you do not cook the eggs. Return the mixture to the saucepan, and slowly bring to a boil, stirring constantly so the eggs don' t curdle or scorch on the bottom.
3.When the mixture comes to a boil and thickens, remove from the heat. Stir in the butter and vanilla, mixing until the butter is completely blended in. Pour into a heat-proof container and place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled before using.