Hey, y’all! It’s been a hot minute, I know. Summer (I guess it’s actually technically spring still… but this heat tells me we skipped spring and went straight for summer.) has been kicking my ass. I randomly decided to move into a new place in Nashville. Good and bad about that. Lots of huge, bright, sun-filled windows to make shooting a bit easier. You wouldn’t believe the mess I had to go through to get photos for this blog in my old place with tiny kitchen windows. You’ll see more about the new place later on.
Complaining aside (for now), I had to pick something to make to test out the new kitchen. That’s when you know you have a sugar addiction; when you decide that you should make eclairs when you haven’t even unpacked your toilet paper from the boxes yet.
Luckily, choux pastry (the stuff that makes eclairs… and cream puffs, churros, etc.) is incredibly simple to make. In a single pot. I made some of the pastry, piped it out, and threw it in the oven while I attempted to find the box with the oven mitts before I grabbed the hot pan with my bare hands. I got busy with life and whatever, let these shells sit for a day or two, and survived on pizza for a few days before figuring out the glaze and filling part of the recipe. Even though it is totally a fall flavor, I stick it to the man and enjoy chai spices all year long. The warm spices in chai are so incredibly welcoming to me, that it just made sense to put this into the eclairs to kick off the new kitchen vibes.
I used a fantastic Nashville-based masala chai concentrate from Firepot Nomadic Teas (great stuff from great people!) for the pastry cream filling and dipped the eclairs in a white chocolate glaze adapted from a recipe in a fantastic new cookbook I received from Christophe Adam, Eclairs: Easy, Elegant and Modern Recipes. It’s a great reference if you want to get serious about trying to make crispy, golden eclairs. Don’t forget, I have lots of eclair and chou pastry-based recipe options here that you can start with as well.
There is just something about a great eclair that can’t be topped. Crispy shell, rich pastry cream surprise inside, it’s handheld so you can basically call it a granola bar. A little chopped candy ginger and cinnamon to top things off, and you successfully procrastinated unpacking a new house for 3 more days! Cheers for that.
- 1 cup water
- 1 stick butter (113g or 8 tablespoons) butter, unsalted
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 cup flour (AP works, or mix 50/50 bread/AP preferably)
- 1 cup eggs (about 4 large)
- 1-2 eggs with a splash of milk, for egg wash
- 1 cup whole milk
- 4 egg yolks
- ¼ cup (50g) sugar, white granulated
- 4 tablespoons (30g) flour
- 2 tablespoons Chai concentrate
- 3 tablespoons caramel sauce (homemade or purchased)
- 2 teaspoons (6g) gelatin powder
- 2 tablespoons (35ml) water
- ⅔ cup (150ml) heavy whipping cream
- ¼ cup (60ml) light corn syrup
- 6 oz (180g) white chocolate (REAL chocolate with cocoa butter is a must)
- 5 oz (180g) white candy coating chocolate
- Candied ginger, chopped
- cinnamon, ground
- Please be sure to read through all of the steps. It looks daunting, but is quite simple is managed well. You may prepare the glaze the day before and re-warm gently to dip the shells. If you make the shells ahead of time, they can be crisped by warming in the oven at 250 for 5-10 minutes and then cooled.
- Pre-heat oven to 375 F / 190 C.
- In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan (for best results, don't use a non-stick coated), heat water, butter and salt over medium heat.
- While heating, measure out flour and eggs.
- Once the water/butter mix reaches a slight boil, remove from the heat (leave the burner on) and dump all of the flour into the mix at once.
- Stir quickly with a wooden spoon.
- Return to the heat and stir CONTINUOUSLY. You will start to see the dough pull away from the pan after a few minutes. Keep stirring vigorously, cooking for 2 minutes.
- You should be left with a slight film on the bottom of the pan. Remove the pan from the heat.
- Transfer the dough to a mixer with a paddle attachment. I prefer a Beater Blade type paddle for this.
- With the mixer on low-medium speed (about a 4 on a KitchenAid), add one egg at a time from the cup o' eggs that you have ready.
- Do not add another egg until the one you have just added is completely incorporated.
- Continue to mix until eggs are mixed well and dough is glossy and smooth. It will remain somewhat thick for piping. The dough should ribbon when it falls back on itself when finished.
- Transfer to a piping bag with an open or large tip. Alternatively, you can use a large star tip to cut down on possibly cracks, which allows the dough to expand easily.
- Prepare a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat (my top choice).
- Pipe long, thin éclairs on the baking sheet. Press down any points on the end with a damp finger.
- Beat egg wash together well and brush on top carefully with a pastry brush. Try to avoid egg on the baking sheet.
- Optionally, mist the tops of the eclairs with water. This will help with ensuring they puff well.
- Bake for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Do NOT open the oven until you are sure they are golden and set in shape.
- When golden, prop oven door very slightly with a wooden spoon and lower temperature to 315.
- Cook for an additional 20 minutes to dry the puffs out. You can also just turn the oven off after about 20 minutes and allow the éclairs to finish and cool in the oven before removing. This is my preferred method if time permits.
- Combine egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and whiskey until light, fluffy, smooth.
- Add flour to egg mixture and whisk well to combine. Set aside.
- In a clean medium saucepan, combine milk and chai concentrate.
- Bring milk mixture to a boil and immediately remove from heat.
- Whisking while adding, stream about ¼ cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg mix.
- Place milk back on medium heat and slowly add all of the tempered egg mix, continuing to mix throughout.
- Bring mixture to a slow boil, stirring and cooking for an additional 2-3 minutes to thicken.
- Stir in caramel sauce.
- Remove to a bowl and cover with wrap, pressing down directly on top of the cream to prevent a film from forming. Chill well before using (preferably a couple hours). Whisk well to make smooth for piping.
- In a small bowl, combine water and gelatin powder. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan, combine cream and corn syrup. Bring to a boil.
- Remove from heat and stir in gelatin mix well.
- Place regular chocolate in a large bowl and set aside.
- In a double boiler, or bowl over a pot of simmer low-heat water, add candy coating chocolate.
- Melt candy chocolate until smooth.
- Pour over regular chocolate, add warm cream mixture, and let sit for 3-4 minutes to soften chocolates.
- Stir gently until completely smooth. Ideally, use animmersion blender.
- This can be made ahead and chilled, covered with plastic wrap pressed onto top of the mixture.
- Fill shells (I prefer to cut three small holes in the bottom instead of filling from the sides) with pastry cream using along piping tip.
- Warm glaze gently in double boiler and dip eclairs. Allow excess to completely drip off and wipe around sides for crisp borders.
- Sprinkle with cinnamon and add candied ginger and allow to rest to set.
- Find more recipes on SouthernFatty.com
Rread it all. All stepps are deeply explained .
By the picture , the eclers look to.dark and slightly over baked.
Maybe it is because of the bread flour
Phillip @ SouthernFATTY.com
Traditionally, French eclairs are baked very golden. You get a true richness from that bake. Feel free to bake them less, but I am a strong believer in dark pastry. Enjoy!