Éclairs – Pâte à choux success!

Victory! 😀 I’m very happy to have finally succeeded in doing pâte à choux. I was beginning to think it was my baking nemesis. Ok I just failed two times, but still! Usually when you follow a recipe it works, but with pâte à choux it didn’t! So I read a lot about the subject and finally did it right!

Éclairs

Here is the difference between my second attempt and my third!

difference

A little difference huh? My first try was just too runny, it looked like pancake batter 😉 The second attempt was too runny too, but a little less than the first time!

So here are my Éclairs. They are SO good! You can do all the variations you want with them. I did whipped cream and strawberries, chocolate glazed and whipped cream, profiterole style with chocolate glaze and vanilla ice cream. YUM!!! You can also sprinkle the glaze with everything you like: sprinkles, nuts, etc.

Éclairs Dough
From Tartelette 
Yield : 20-24 eclairs

1/2 cup whole milk (I used 0% milk and it was just fine)
1/2 cup water
1 stick unsalted butter  (I used salted)
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
5 large eggs, at room temperature

(For a step by step example see Pastry Pal’s blog)

Éclairs


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium saucepan, bring the milk, water, butter, sugar and salt to a boil.

Once the mixture is at a rolling boil, add all of the flour at once, reduce the heat to medium and stir the mixture vigorously with a wooden spoon. The dough comes together very quickly.

A slight crust will form at the bottom of the pan, it’s normal, just let it be.

Stir for a further 2-3 minutes to dry the dough. This step is very important, I think it might be the crucial step where I failed the other times. The dough will look like mashed potatoes.

Transfer the dough into a bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Wait until the dough cool down just below 140 degrees F (some say below 180 degrees F, mine was at 130 F and it worked just fine).

Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each egg has been added. This step is very important too. Don’t add another egg until the other one is completely incorporated into the dough. This recipe work well with the number of eggs indicated, but you might need to be critique about this step. If you see that adding another egg will make your dough too runny to pipe then don’t. Multiple factors can account for the difference in the number of eggs needed.

In the end the dough should be thick and shiny and when lifted it should fall back into the bowl in a ribbon.

Pipe the dough onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 7 minutes. After the 7 minutes, slip the handle of a wooden spoon into the door to keep it ajar. When the éclairs have been in the oven for a total of 12 minutes, rotate the sheets. Continue baking for a further 8 minutes or until the éclairs are puffed, golden and firm. The total baking time should be approximately 20 minutes.

Éclairs

Chocolate glaze
From Pastry Pal

4 oz dark chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Pour the heavy cream, sugar and oil into a microwave-proof cup and nuke until almost boiling, about 45 seconds. It will look curdled, just stir it up to blend.

Pour over the chocolate and allow to sit undisturbed for a minute for it to melt through the shards.

Then whisk everything until completely smooth.

Éclairs