Author: Susan Murray, www.awomancooksinasheville.com
For the Pate a Choux
8oz1 cup water
5ozbread flour1 cup, sifted
Confectioner’s sugar for dusting
For the Crème Patisserie
¼cplus 2 tbsp sugar
1tbspvanilla or 1 vanilla bean
Raspberry pureeoptional: 1 pint raspberries and 1 tsp sugar
For the Chocolate Ganache
Make the Crème Patisserie
Put the milk and vanilla into a saucepan. (If you are using a vanilla bean, cut it in half and scrape out the seeds. Put both the seeds and the pod in the milk as the milk heats. Remove the pod before adding the milk to the eggs mixture). Heat the milk over medium low heat while you are preparing the egg mixture.
Put the sugar, egg and yolks, cornstarch and salt in a large bowl. Whisk it vigorously together until it is smooth, thick and a lighter yellow.
When the milk is almost at a simmer, remove it from the heat and slowly pour it into the egg mixture being sure to whisk the egg mixture the whole time so that it doesn’t overheat and cook the eggs.
Return the egg and milk mixture to the pan and whisk it constantly over medium low to medium heat until it starts to thicken, about 1-2 minutes. Continue whisking until it just comes to a boil. Lower the heat and let it cook for 1 more minute.
Remove from the heat and whisk the butter into the mixture.
Pour the custard into a bowl and lay plastic wrap directly on top of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate until needed.
If you are making raspberry eclairs, prepare the raspberry puree by heating the raspberries and sugar in a small saucepan until the raspberries have broken down. Let it boil for about 5 minutes to thicken a bit and then put the mixture through a sieve to remove the seeds. Add the cooled puree to half the custard.
Make the Pate a Choux Eclairs
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a pan by lining it with a double thickness of parchment paper or a silpat liner.
Put the water, butter, sugar and a pinch of salt in a medium saucepan and heat slowly to a boil, stirring until the sugar and salt are fully dissolved and the butter is melted.
Once the water is at a boil, remove it from the heat and add the sifted flour. Stir it vigorously until it is well mixed and forms a ball of dough.
Return it to medium heat and cooking stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes. It should leave a film on the bottom of the pan.
Remove the dough from the heat and put it in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat it for a minute or two until it is cooled off and the steam has been released.
While it is cooling, beat the eggs together well.
Add the vanilla to the dough and then beat in the eggs in 4-5 turns, beating well after each addition. The dough is done when it turns glossy and holds a line drawn in it with your finger. This may take as little as 3 ½ eggs to all 4. It depends on the size of your eggs.
Place the dough in a piping bag or in a gallon baggie with the end cut off.
Pipe the dough into strips on the prepared pans, making the ends slightly thicker than the middle. Use a wet finger to remove the tips from the strips and sprinkle each one lightly with confectioner’s sugar.
Bake for 25 minutes without opening the oven door. After 25 minutes or once the eclairs are lightly browned, open the door and quickly prick one end of each éclair with a toothpick then close the door and cook for 5-10 minutes more until a dark golden brown.
Remove the eclairs from the oven and pierce the other end of the éclairs. Let them cool for ten minutes on the tray then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
Once the eclairs are cool, you can fill them and serve them or place them unfilled in an airtight container overnight. If it will be more than a day before you will be filling them, freeze them and defrost completely before using. (You may want to crisp them in a 350 degree oven if you do this. Make sure they are cool before you fill them)
Make the Chocolate Ganache
Put the chocolate, butter and corn syrup in a heat proof bowl. Bring the cream and salt to a simmer and pour it over the chocolate. Stir until the butter and chocolate have melted and it is thick and shiny. If necessary, place the bowl in the microwave for 10 second bursts to help the chocolate melt.
Assemble the Eclairs
Split the eclairs in half and spread with the crème patisserie or use a piping bag and tip to fill them from both ends. If you are making raspberry eclairs you may want to add some fresh raspberries inside the eclairs as well. Return the top of the éclair if split and spread with chocolate ganache. Allow the chocolate to set before serving. The eclairs will be all right sitting at room temperature for about an hour but should be refrigerated if it will be longer than that before you serve them. They are best assembled and eaten the same day.
Filled eclairs can be frozen on a cookie sheet and then stored in the freezer in an air-tight container. Let them defrost for an hour before serving.
Thank you for trying my recipe - enjoy!
Susan Murray, awomancooksinasheville.com