Miniature Eclairs

My husband loves eclairs. Ever since we’ve been married, I’ve been promising to make them for him. Weeks ago, for Valentine’s Day, I finally made them.

I loved them even though I’m not a huge fan of eclairs. (I’d much rather eat a bowl of ice cream.) They were really that good. They were so good, in fact, that they rapidly disappeared from the fridge. I soon found I didn’t have any left to take to my friends to whom I’d promised a few.

Sigh. I wish I had one right this minute.

See this post for a how-to on making choux paste.

Miniature Eclairs
Makes approx. 24 miniature eclairs

Ingredients:
For choux paste:
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup whole milk
8 Tbsp. butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup flour
4 eggs

For lightened pastry cream:
1/3 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. corn starch
4 large egg yolks
1 1/3 cups milk
1 vanilla bean, split or 1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 cup heavy cream (not needed until ready to fill pastries)

For chocolate ganache:
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup heavy cream

Instructions:

For choux paste:
Bring the water, whole milk, butter, and salt to a boil. Add the flour. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan. Cook for 1 minute longer.

Transfer to a bowl and let cool 5 minutes.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition with a wooden spoon. After all eggs have been added, beat dough until it is smooth and shiny.

**Dough can be refrigerated for up to four hours and does not need to be brought to room temperature before shaping.

Forming the Eclairs:

Scoop the dough into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2″ round tip. (If making full-size eclairs, spoon dough onto the pan and shape by hand, or use a 1″ round tip.)

Pipe dough into logs about 2 1/2″ long. (For full-size, make sure to line the baking sheet with parchment first.)

Bake eclairs at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 degrees F and bake until golden brown and very firm to the touch., about 10 to 15 minutes more. (For full-size, 25-30 minutes.)

Turn off the oven, poke a hole in the short end of the eclair, and let dry for 10 minutes.  Remove eclairs to a wire rack to finish cooling until ready to fill.

For lightened pastry cream:
Beat the sugar, flour, cornstarch, and egg yolks on high speed until thick and yellow, about 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat milk and vanilla bean over medium heat. Remove the vanilla bean. Gradually add 1/3 of the milk to the egg mixture, stirring to combine. Add the egg/milk mixture back to the pan and remaining milk. Cook while whisking constantly. Scrape the corners and bottom of the pan to prevent scorching. Once custard begins to thicken, continue to cook for an additional 45 to 60 seconds. Add vanilla extract, if a vanilla bean was not used.

Pour custard into a clean bowl and cover the surface with plastic wrap or waxed paper to prevent a skin from forming.

Refrigerate until cold–up to 2 days.

Before filling eclairs, beat the heavy cream to stiff peaks and fold into the cold custard.

(You can leave out the cream, but I felt like the texture of the custard was nicer and lighter, if not more fattening, with the addition of the cream.)

Fill a pasty bag with the custard cream.  Pipe the desired amount of custard into the eclairs. (You’ll know when enough is enough.) Chill while preparing the chocolate ganache topping.

For chocolate ganache:
Heat the cream in a small saucepan until very hot. Place chopped chocolate in a small bowl. Pour hot cream over the chocolate. Let sit for a few minutes and whisk until smooth.

Let the ganache cool completely. Whisk ganache until it thickens a bit–no too much–and is spreading consistency.

Frost the eclairs with the ganache and chill until ready to serve.

______________________________________________________
How-To Pictures and Directions:

Bake eclairs at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 degrees F and bake until golden brown and very firm to the touch., about 10 to 15 minutes more. (For full-size, 25-30 minutes.)

Turn off the oven, poke a hole in the short end of the eclair, and let dry for 10 minutes.

Remove eclairs to a wire rack to finish cooling until ready to fill.

Lightened Pastry Cream



Fill a pasty bag with the custard cream.


Pipe the desired amount of custard into the eclairs. (You’ll know when enough is enough.) Chill while preparing the chocolate ganache topping.


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13 Comments

  1. Those are some lovely eclairs! Last time I tried to make them my choux dough didn’t turn out quite right and my eclairs were flat. I had to sandwich two of them together to be able to fill them…

  2. Hooray for this recipe! I made them on Friday and it made WAY more than 24.

    Here’s my question: How do you store these to prevent them from going soft? Is that possible?

    Also, my frosting didn’t set up or get glossy like yours. Did I do something wrong? Maybe my chocolate was poor quality?

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