Vanilla Eclairs

Vanilla Eclairs

Watch the video for this recipe:

Eclairs are a great French dessert, made from choux pastry, filled with cream and then topped usually with fondant icing. For topping there are many variations, but making a simple and quick chocolate ganache seemed just perfect for me.

 

For the choux pastry and pastry cream I’ve used the recipes from Sucre book I bought from Laduree last year when visited Paris. It is probably one of my favorite sweets book I have so far.

 

The recipe for choux pastry is the same as the one for profiterole (cream puffs) just that eclairs are piped in long strips. While baking they create a hole inside which allows filling after they cool enough.

 

Even if the recipe is quite easy it may take a bit of time and you need to pay attention to some important steps, otherwise something might get wrong.

 

When making eclairs it is important to know what you are looking for. The eclairs must not deflate due to improper baking, they must keep their shape even after removing from the oven as they need to be filled. You will know they are done when they are light and get a dark golden color. Good eclairs must not have very large cracks and when icing there should be a clear delimitation between the glaze on top and the rest of the pastry. The eclairs must be served the same day after filling to enjoy the different textures the cream and the pastry bring together.

 

With all these in mind I suggest you to try this recipe, it is a true delight and worth all the effort involved. Once they are done they will disappear in a matter of seconds, therefore the name “eclairs” which means flash of lightning as they are are eaten really fast:)

 

Recipe adapted after Laduree: Sucre The Recipes

 

Related Posts:
Cheese Puffs-Gougères
Raspberry Mille Feuille (Napoleon)
Chocolate Macarons with Salted Caramel Filling

 

 

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Ingredients
  • Makes 10-12 eclairs
  • For the choux pastry
  • 1 cup (125 g) flour
  • 3.5 oz (100 ml) milk
  • 3.5 oz (100 ml) water
  • 2 tsp (10 g) sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5 1/2 tbsp (80g) unsalted butter
  • 4 eggs
  • Vanilla Pastry Cream
  • 2 cups (480 ml) milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup (70g) sugar
  • 1/3 cup (40g) cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp (15g) unsalted butter
  • Chocolate Glaze
  • 7 oz (200 g) chocolate (55-70 cocoa), cut in smaller pieces
  • 2/3 cup (155 ml) whipping cream
Directions
  1. First prepare the pastry cream to have it ready by the time the eclairs are baked.
  2. Whisk the egg yolks with sugar until slightly pale.
    Vanilla Eclairs step 1Vanilla Eclairs step 2
  3. Incorporate the cornstarch. Pour the milk into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Pour about a third of the hot milk over the egg yolks mixture. Pour the whole mixture into the saucepan over the milk. Bring to a boil while stirring and thickens. Keep enough over heat to cook all the cornstarch. Add vanilla extract.
    Vanilla Eclairs step 3Vanilla Eclairs step 4Vanilla Eclairs step 5Vanilla Eclairs step 6
  4. Pour the cream into a clean bowl and allow to cool for 10 minutes then incorporate the butter while stirring. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface of the pastry cream to prevent forming a skin on the surface. Refrigerate until ready to use.
    Vanilla Eclairs step 7Vanilla Eclairs step 8
  5. Preheat oven to 350F (180C).
  6. Prepare the choux pastry. Sift the flour. In a saucepan bring the milk, water, sugar, salt and butter to a boil.
    Vanilla Eclairs step 9Vanilla Eclairs step 10
  7. Remove from heat and add flour all at once and incorporate mixing energetically with a wooden spoon until homogenous.
    Return the saucepan over low heat and while stirring cook for 1 minute or two to pull out the moisture from the batter and until it pulls away from the sides of the pan. You will see some of the dough sticks to the bottom of the pan.
    Vanilla Eclairs step 11Vanilla Eclairs step 12
  8. Transfer batter to a large bowl and allow to cool slightly. Add the eggs one at a time, carefully incorporating each into the butter using the wooden spoon or even a stand mixer. It will result in a smooth, homogenous batter which still holds it’s shape.
    Vanilla Eclairs step 13Vanilla Eclairs step 14
  9. Fit a pastry bag with a large ½ inch (1 cm) round or star tip and pipe the dough into 4 or 5 inch (10 -12 cm) long strips on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
    Vanilla Eclairs step 15Vanilla Eclairs step 16
  10. Dust with powder sugar and bake for about 40 minutes. After the first 10 minutes, open the oven door slightly, about  1/8 inch (2-3 mm), to let the steam escape. Bake for the rest of 30 minutes with the oven door slightly ajar, until golden. (Use a wooden spoon to keep the oven door ajar)
  11. Remove eclairs from the oven, prick each with a skewer to release steam and allow to cool on a wire rack.   Poke 3 holes in the base of each eclair using a 1/4 inch (5-6mm) plain or star tip.
    Vanilla Eclairs step 17Vanilla Eclairs step 18
  12. Remove pastry cream from refrigerator and whisk until smooth. Transfer the pastry cream into a piping bag fitted with 1/4 inch (5-6 mm) plain or star tip.
  13. Fill the cooled eclairs by piping cream into the holes.
    Vanilla Eclairs step 19
  14. Prepare the chocolate ganache. In a small saucepan, place cream over medium-low heat for a few minutes to get hot. No boiling or simmering needed. Remove from heat, pour over chopped chocolate and let rest for 1-2 minutes. Stir until dissolved.
    Vanilla Eclairs step 20
  15. Dip the tops of the eclairs into the chocolate and allow to set. You won’t need all the chocolate but needs to be more to be able to dip them well.
    Vanilla Eclairs step 21Vanilla Eclairs step 22
  16. Eclairs are best eaten the day they are made but they keep quite well in the refrigerator overnight.
Vanilla Eclairs-1
Vanilla Eclairs-2
Nutrition facts 1 Eclair (108g) - Calories:233, Fat:12.6g, Saturated Fat:7.2g, Carbohydrates:24.1g, Sugar:12.7g, Fiber:0.6g, Protein:6.0g, Cholesterol:147mg, Calories from Fat 114, Sodium 192mg, Potassium 96mg, Vitamin A 7%, Vitamin C 0%, Calcium 9%, Iron 6%, Nutrition Grade C-, Daily percent values are based on a 2000 calorie diet
On July 13, 2015 at 03:54 am, Jess @ Sweetest Menu said...
How lovely Ella! These eclairs look absolutely perfect! I adore French pastries!
On July 13, 2015 at 08:34 am, Kristi @ Inspiration Kitchen said...
Now these are a dessert I could definitely sink my teeth into!
On July 13, 2015 at 10:01 am, Katy | Her Cup of Joy said...
These look so perfect, I love the step by step photos. The filling is the perfect amount too, I always am saddened by under-filled eclairs :)
On July 13, 2015 at 10:17 am, Emanuele @ Guyslovecooking said...
I lived in France for a few months and Eclairs were one of my favourite French pastry. I saw the pictures on instagram and looked beautiful. Great job!!!!!
Re:

thank you:) even though it is an easy recipe they can be quite tricky sometimes..

On July 14, 2015 at 04:15 pm, Kayle (The Cooking Actress) said...
omg I am due for some eclairs! yummm
On July 15, 2015 at 05:55 am, Maureen | Orgasmic Chef said...
I made eclairs recently and my husband is still asking when I'm going to make them again. He inhaled them and he'd do the same with yours.
On July 21, 2015 at 10:24 am, Christin@SpicySouthernKitchen said...
Eclairs have been on my list of foods to make for the longest time! Yours look fabulous!
On July 27, 2015 at 09:04 am, Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking said...
I am in awe of the fact that you made choux paste by hand! Get it girl!! These eclairs look textbook perfect! Pinned!
On July 29, 2015 at 02:11 am, Connie said...
I made these and loved it! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe :)
Re:

So glad they turned good for you Connie:)

On September 16, 2015 at 09:22 am, Heba Ahmed said...
hello it is very delicious and I tried with my sister and it turns good thank you :) as we tried previous recipes and results was awful but I need to ask about the possibility to replace butter in the choux pastry with any vegetable oil and the exact measurement if possible thanks in advance.
Re:

Never tried making choux pastry using vegetable oil.. In some recipes I like not to make too many changes and stick to what worked for years. If I would like to use something else instead of butter I wouldn't add vegetable oil.. I would rather try with same amount of coconut oil which becomes solid as butter when cold.

On September 17, 2015 at 10:38 am, heba ahmed said...
hello Ella I made éclair with my sister and it turns good as we previously tried many recipes and results was awful thanks for your wonderful and easy one pls. advise if we can replace the butter in the choux pastry with any vegetable oil and what is the quantity should be ? have a nice day :)
On September 29, 2015 at 06:15 am, heba Ahmed said...
hello Ella, I made this with my sister and results was perfect :) thank you but I need to ask if we can replace the butter in choux pastry with any vegetable oil it will give us same results or not and I need to know the equivalent quantity. thanks again for your support :)
Re:

Never tried making choux pastry using vegetable oil.. In some recipes I like not to make too many changes and stick to what worked for years. If I would like to use something else instead of butter I wouldn't add vegetable oil.. I would rather try with same amount of coconut oil which becomes solid as butter when cold.

On September 30, 2015 at 02:05 pm, Melina said...
They look great I guess my only question is what kind of flour you used? I thought for something so delicate like an eclair I would have to use some specific flour instead of all-purpose? Correct me if I'm wrong please?
Re:

All purpose is fine... hope you will try the recipe.. and let me know if you do so

On September 30, 2015 at 02:06 pm, Melina said...
They look great I guess my only question is what kind of flour you used? I thought for something so delicate like an eclair I would have to use some specific flour instead of all-purpose? Correct me if I'm wrong please?
On October 14, 2015 at 04:58 am, kristel said...
whats the temperature of the oven?
Re:

It is 350F (180C).. mentioned on step 5.. let me know if any other questions and hope you will try the recipe. 

On October 17, 2015 at 08:17 pm, Maria said...
Thank you so much for the recipe. I just made them and they're fantastic! Greetings from Australia ????
Re:

So glad to hear that.. Eclairs can be pretty challenging  so I am really happy they turned great for you

On October 20, 2015 at 08:02 pm, Mohd Haz said...
Thank you for taking the effort and share. Eclairs, one of our favs. :-) 2 thumbs up
Re:

that's good to hear.. thank you :)

On October 27, 2015 at 06:58 am, Elisha said...
Hi Ella.. I just made this eclairs.. They are just amazing..!! ????????thank you for the lovely recipe.. These eclairs are yummy and soft..i'd like to try your other recipes too..I tried soo many eclair recipes but they never worked .. This turned out soo good.. Thanks again..
On October 27, 2015 at 07:42 am, Elisha said...
I just made this eclairs...!! They are just amazing...?? Thank you for the lovely recipe..:) these eclairs are yummy and soft.i love the taste..it turned out sooo good.. Thanks again,,I'd love to try your other recipes..I tried soo many eclairs recipes, but they never worked..thank you soo much
Re:

I am so glad this recipe worked for you and that you enjoyed them .. thank you so much for your comment:)

On October 28, 2015 at 05:58 am, Hala said...
Hi Ella, What a wonderful recipe. Any idea on how to make a chocolate version pastry cream?
Re:

Didn't post yet a recipe for chocolate pastry cream but I recommend this recipe.. http://frenchfood.about.com/od/pastrycream/r/choc.htm

On December 01, 2015 at 12:05 pm, Chat kok said...
Het was echt zo lekker ik en mij dochters hebben het gemaakt
On December 03, 2015 at 01:58 am, cheryl said...
No baking powder is needed for the reciepe?
Re:

no.. eggs are simply enough:)

On January 04, 2016 at 09:30 am, Ruth Ann said...
The Choux seems as though it could be used for a cream puff also. If so, should I use a certain tip to get them into a round puff or just drop a measured amount from a spoon dipped in water? Would the baking time change?? In the meantime, I'm thinking of making the eclairs mini for a little dessert tasting party.
Re:

Yes.. you can use same choux for cream puffs.. as you said.. time for baking shouldn't change too much.. I would check them after 30 minutes though

On January 24, 2016 at 09:02 am, Marianne said...
We loved your recipe, but we had to make the pastry twice as the first time they turned out thin and runny. They came out looking like lady-fingers. Second time was a bit better but we ended up putting the pastry in the fridge to make it thicker but when they cMe out they turned out flat underneath and it expanded a bit.
On February 12, 2016 at 02:03 am, Gemma said...
Hi, Did you uses self raising flour in this recipe?. As it doesn't specify whether you used all purpose flour or self raising flour.
On April 04, 2016 at 01:52 pm, Nuray said...
I loved your recipe. Also can you tell the names of the songs you used in your video please ?
On April 07, 2016 at 01:45 am, Tia said...
My choux pastry just wouldn't rise and I had done it twice!
On April 24, 2016 at 06:29 am, anonymous said...
Yummmmmmyyyyyyy
On May 06, 2016 at 06:52 pm, Fikrat said...
You are Great . Great Presentation , great recipe , great look , great work Fikrat
Re:

glad to hear that:) hope you will have the chance to try some of the recipes

On May 11, 2016 at 01:05 pm, M said...
Need to try these! Also where is that white plate from?
Re:

glad you like them:) just bough the tray from a local store.. nothing fancy actually

On May 25, 2016 at 07:37 pm, Ivy said...
Hi, if my oven cannot bake multiple trays at one go. Should I keep the other trays in the fridge or room temperature? I'm living in a country with room temperature of about 35 degree celcius.
Re:

I would refrigerate the second tray if possible

On July 01, 2016 at 06:19 pm, stephanie said...
Hi, i was having a great time making the recipe, but once I put them in the oven they didn't rise. Any suggestionshttp://www.homecookingadventure.com/images/desters/button_off.png?
On July 26, 2016 at 03:06 pm, Rachel said...
Hi, i followed the recipe however it was way too runny and when it baked it was extremely thin. What could be the problem?

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