Eclairs have always been one of my favorite things to purchase from a bakery, so when I came across this recipe I tucked it away to try one day. If you like coffee and chocolate, this is for you. The coffee flavor of the cream filling is a bit strong, so be prepared, but otherwise I found this to be quite delicious. The process of making any pastry is time consuming, but it's definitely something worth trying and isn't as complicated as it might appear.
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2 cups water
2 cups water
1 cup finely ground coffee beans
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
5 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 large egg yolks
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, diced
1 cup water
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
4 large eggs
4 ounces milk chocolate, melted
Brew 2 cups water and coffee in a standard coffeemaker.
Whisk sugar and cornstarch in medium bowl, then whisk in yolks.
Pour 1 cup brewed coffee into heavy medium saucepan. Add vanilla and cream. Bring mixture to a boil.
Gradually whisk hot coffee mixture into yolk mixture.
Return to same saucepan and cook until cream thickens and boils, stirring constantly, about 3 minutes. Add butter and whisk to melt. Transfer the cream to a small bowl. Press plastic wrap directly on top of cream and chill for at least 3 hours, and up to 2 days.
Bring 1 cup water, butter and salt to boil in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour all at once; using wooden spoon, stir until dough forms ball and thick film coats bottom of pan, about 2 minutes.
|Should look like this.|
Remove from heat. Using a handheld mixer beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until dough is smooth after each addition.
Spoon dough into pastry bag fitted with 1/2 inch plain round tip (If you don't have a pastry bag, place the dough in a large Ziploc bag. Cut a hole in one bottom corner, about a 1/2-inch in diameter--this works just as well).
Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Press a dot of dough under each corner of parchment to keep paper on the sheet.
Pipe 4-inch lines of dough onto paper, about 1 1/2 inches apart.
*Note: Yours should look a little larger than this. I cut my hole too small, so I had to go back over mine and add more dough on the top, so just be sure to cut the hole on the bag the right size!
Bake 15 minutes (do not open oven). Reduce temperature to 350F; bake until crisp, about 20 minutes.
|Some of mine were a bit doughy on the inside, so they may need 20-25 minutes.|
Using serrated knife and starting at 1 long side, cut each shell in half.
|The insides should be somewhat hollow, like this, if the dough is cooked all the way.|
Fill shell bottom with 2 tablespoons filling. (Don't use more than this or you will run out. If you like your eclairs with LOTS of cream filling, just double the filling recipe).
Cover with top.
Spread with melted chocolate. (Melt chocolate in microwave for 30 seconds. Check to see if melted and stir. Continue melting in 15 second increments until it is smooth).
Dust lightly with powdered sugar. Makes 12.
Source: adapted from Bon Appetit, September 2008