For a more elegant dessert, these homemade chocolate eclairs are perfect! They are so delicious!
I love homemade eclairs. How can you not? Choux pastry shells filled with a basic yummy pastry cream, dipped in an incredible chocolate ganache. Pure deliciousness with every bite.
Choux pastry is used in a number of desserts so it is a good thing to know how to make. It is used for eclairs, cream puffs, and other desserts. Your friends and family will think you are a master baker if you make these amazing desserts. They are pretty easy to make, if I can do it you can do it. Let’s get baking!
Step 1: Gather the ingredients
In order to make these chocolate eclairs you will need the following ingredients:
- Water -- I always use filtered water because my tap water tastes gross.
- Butter -- Unsalted or salted butter is fine.
- Flour -- All-purpose/plain flour.
- White granulated sugar
Pastry Cream Filling
- Vanilla instant pudding -- Any flavor will work, however.
- Milk -- I like to use whole milk, but any milk will do.
- Heavy whipping cream
Chocolate Ganache Topping
- Chocolate -- You can use chocolate bars, chocolate chips, candy melts, etc.
- Heavy whipping cream
Step 2: How to make chocolate eclairs
We will begin by making the basic choux pastry. In a small bowl whisk together flour, sugar, and the salt. You may also add the sugar and salt to the butter as it melts if you like.
In a large pot add the water and butter. You can also add the sugar and salt at this point if you don’t blend it in with the flour. Set the heat to medium heat and stir occasionally until the mixture begins to boil.
Once the water and butter start to boil remove the pot from the heat and then add all of the flour mixture in at once. Then use a wooden spoon or silicone spoon and stir really quickly until a dough forms.
Then add the heat back over to the burner and stir and cook the dough for about 30 seconds. Next remove it from the heat.
Step 3: Eggsellent
Now add the chocolate eclairs dough to a large bowl and keep stirring it with the spoon. This will allow the steam to be released from the dough and cool it down so you can add the eggs. If the dough is too hot it will cook the eggs.
Once the dough is slightly warm to the touch add the eggs one at a time. First, add an egg and then stir it in. It will seem like it isn’t going to blend in with the dough, just keep stirring and it will blend end. Keep doing this until all the eggs are incorporated.
The chocolate eclairs dough is ready to go.
Step 4: Pipe the chocolate eclairs shapes out
Add the eclair dough to a piping bag and twist the top. You can use a professional one or just use a large zip lock bag with the corner snipped off. Use a large round tip or a French star tip.
Tip: If you fold the piping bag over a large glass it makes it easier to scoop in the dough.
Now preheat the oven to 425 F/218 C. Take a sheet pan and line it with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Next pipe the pastry dough onto the pan making it about one inch wide by 4 to 5 inches long.
Step 5: Baste and Bake
Take an egg and whisk it in a small bowl with a teaspoon of water creating an egg wash. Baste the top of the unbaked eclair shells with the egg wash. The basting brush will also be able to shape the eclairs and fix any mishaps cause when piping.
Place the pan in the oven on the middle rack position and bake them for 15 minutes, then turn down the heat to 350 F/176 C and bake them for another 20 to 25 minutes. DO NOT open the oven, this will cause them to deflate. You can check them after a total of 35 minutes.
They will be nice and golden brown on top and sound hollow on the inside when done. You can also just bake them at 375 F/190 C for 35 to 40 minutes instead of doing the temp adjustment. Both baking methods work.
Remove the chocolate eclairs shells from the oven and allow them to cool while you prepare the pastry cream.
Step 6: Make the pastry cream for the chocolate eclairs
Time to make the pastry cream. There are a number of creams that you can fill the eclairs with. Some people like to use a homemade custard or custard blended with heavy cream. Or just plain whipped cream will work as well. I like to use an easy pastry cream made from instant pudding and whipped cream.
It is awesome because there are so many different flavors of instant pudding that you can use. You can use chocolate pudding for even more chocolate flavor if you like.
In a medium bowl combine the milk and the instant pudding mix. Blend those ingredients together until smooth and allow it to sit for 5 minutes.
Add the whipping cream to a separate bowl and mix with a hand mixer or stand mixer until stiff peaks form. Then fold the pudding in with the whipped cream, creating the pasty cream filling.
Step 6: Chocolate eclairs ganache topping
Time to make the chocolate ganache topping. You can’t make chocolate eclairs without the chocolate topping!
In a small bowl heat up the heavy cream until it is really hot. I usually just heat it in the microwave for about 45 seconds. Then pour the hot cream over another bowl filled with your chocolate. Allow the bowl to sit undisturbed for 5 to 10 minutes.
Then come bag and stir it until nice and smooth. If you want the ganache to be really thin only use about 4 ounces of chocolate with a half cup of heavy whipping cream. If you want a thicker ganache at 10 to 12 ounces of chocolate with the same amount of cream.
You may also add more cream or chocolate later to get the desired consistency.
Step 7: Fill up those eclairs
Take another pastry bag and fill it up with the pastry cream with an injector tip. Grab the eclair shells and turn them over and poke three holes in the bottom with a wooden skewer. Then stick the tip in and pipe in and fill up the eclairs until they are heavy with the cream.
Another method is to cut the shells in half and then just pipe on the pastry cream. It all depends on how you want them to look.
Step 8: Dip those chocolate eclairs
Now all you need to do is dip the stuff eclairs into the chocolate lengthwise. Allow the excess to drip off back into the bowl and then place them back on the sheet for the ganache to set.
Your chocolate eclairs are done, time to take a bite out of one. Enjoy!
How long to chocolate eclairs last?
Store them in an airtight container in the fridge for a couple of days. Or you may put them in a ziplock freezer bag and freeze them for six to eight weeks.
- Large Pot
- spatula wooden spoon or silicone spoon
- sheet pan parchment paper or silicone mat
- Hand mixer
- piping bag or large ziplock bag
- injector tip
- Basting brush
- 1 cup water I always used filtered water, not tap (250 ml)
- 1/2 cup of unsalted butter 113g
- 1 cup all-purpose plain flour. (125g)
- 1/2 tsp. of salt 2g
- 1 to 2 tsp. of white granulated sugar optional (5 to 10g)
- 4 large eggs
Pastry Cream Filling
- 1 small 3.5-ounce box of vanilla instant pudding 99g
- 1 cup of cold milk 250ml
- 1 cup heavy cream 250ml
Chocolate Ganache Topping
- 5 to 10 ounces of chocolate chocolate bars, chocolate chips use more if you like it thick. (150 to 300g)
- 1/2 cup of heavy cream hot
- Preheat the oven to 425 F/218 C.
- Begin by mixing the flour, sugar, and salt together in a bowl.
- In a large pot add the water and the butter. Heat it on the stovetop with medium heat stirring occasionally and bring it to a boil.
- Remove the pot from the heat and then add in the flour mixture all at once and stir quickly with a wooden spoon until a dough forms. Place it back on the heat and keep stirring cooking it for 30 seconds. Then remove from the heat.
- Add the dough to a large bowl and stir it with the spoon for a few minutes. This will release the steam in the dough and cool it down. If it is too hot it will cook the eggs.
- Now stir in each egg one at a time, until well blended. It will seem like the egg won't want to blend it, but just keep stirring and it eventually will, then repeat the process with the rest of the eggs.The choux pastry dough is ready to go.
- Add the pastry dough to a piping bag with a large round tip or French star tip. Or just use a large ziplock bag with the corner snipped off.
- Prepare a sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone mat and then pipe on 1 inch wide by 4 to 5 inch long strips of choux pastry dough. Make sure the strips are about 2 inches apart.
- Create an egg wash by mixing one egg and one teaspoon of water. Then baste the tops of the unbaked eclair shells. You can also use the basting brush to shape the eclairs and smooth out any piping mishaps.
- Bake the eclairs in the oven, middle rack position, for 15 minutes, then turn the heat down to 350 F/176 C. And bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes. DO NOT open the oven until 35 minutes total time has gone by otherwise they may deflate. Once they are nice and golden brown on the top and sound hollow they are ready to go. Allow them to cool while you make the pastry cream and ganache.
- Now make the pastry cream by adding the pudding mix to a bowl with the milk. Stir and set aside for 5 minutes. In another bowl whip up the heavy cream until stiff peaks form using a mixer. Then fold in the pudding creating an easy pastry cream. You may also fold in an egg custard instead of pudding if you like.
- Next, make the chocolate ganache. In a small bowl or mug heat up the heavy cream until it gets really hot, about 45 seconds in the microwave. Then pour it over a different bowl filled with the chocolate. Don't stir, just allow it to sit for 5 to 10 minutes and melt the chocolate. Then come in a stir it until smooth. Add more cream or more chocolate for the desired consistency.
- Add the pastry cream to a pastry bag with an injector tip. Poke holes in the bottoms of the eclairs with a wooden skewer. Then stick the tip in and pipe in the pastry cream, until the eclair is full and feels heavy. Alternatively, you can just cut the eclairs in half lengthwise and fill them like a long cream puff.
- Now just dip the filled eclairs in the chocolate ganache. And allow the excess to drain off into the bowl. Place them back on the sheet pan or on a wire rack to allow the ganache to set. Enjoy! Keep chilled in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to serve.
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