if you have ever looked in the window of a French Patisserie shop you will almost always see a row of glistening, chocolate covered, cream filled Chocolate Eclairs. They are a true classic and I do not know anyone who does not enjoy eating them. How could you resist?
This traditional chocolate éclair recipe uses vanilla pastry cream as a filling and rich, almost ganache-like chocolate glaze. Make this treat using a super simple choux pastry dough for a base and you will have the exact pastry seen in bakery windows worldwide.
Not a seasoned baker? This chocolate eclair recipe is beyond delicious, very easy to make, and attractive, even if you're not a pro.
How to make classic French chocolate éclairs: chocolate éclairs:
Make vanilla pastry cream according to directions and chill.
Preheat oven to 425F and lightly grease 1 baking sheet.
Spoon the prepared basic choux pastry dough into a pastry bag fitted with a wide, plain tip and pipe 8 5-inch lengths onto the baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the éclairs puff up and turn golden brown. Remove them from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes before filling.
Make the chocolate glaze while the éclairs are baking and cooling. Place the chopped chocolate in a heat-safe bowl and set aside. Heat the heavy cream just to boiling over low-medium heat and remove from the heat immediately. Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and stir until it forms a thin, smooth consistency. Set the chocolate glaze aside at room temperature for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
To assemble the éclairs:
Fit a pastry bag with a medium-sized plain tip and fill it with vanilla pastry cream. Insert the tip of the bag into the end of an éclair and pipe about 2 1/2 tablespoons of pastry cream into it. Gently spread 1 tablespoon of chocolate glaze onto or carefully dip the top of each filled éclair into the glaze before serving.
This eclair au chocolat recipe makes 8 servings.
Alternatives to a French Chocolate Eclair
This recipe is truly a classic recipe and as such, really should not be messed around with too much. However, a few little tweaks here and there can be fun and rings the changes.
Add a little espresso powder to the pastry cream to create a coffee flavor.
Add cocoa powder to the pastry cream for an overall chocolate taste.