Recipe: Chocolate Éclairs

Making éclairs was real fun. I have had éclairs of different flavours in the past but never really tried making them at home. It was this éclair making workshop hosted by Le Meridien Gurgaon and GLiterARTi on Sep 25 that piqued my interest. The workshop was held in the Longitude Bar, Le Meridien Gurgaon and was attended by individuals of different age groups. The pastry chef briefed everyone about the history of éclairs before demonstrating the process.

As per history, éclairs originated in France sometimes in the nineteenth century. It is made up of a golden crispy, hollow cylindrical pastry filled with custard or fresh cream and coated with chocolate or caramel. It was first made by the famous French chef – Marie Antoine Caréme and much later found its place in the cookbooks of British and American chefs. Éclair making involves a choux pastry which is made by mixing equal quantities of water, milk and butter followed by flour and eggs. Traditionally, the three most popular flavours of éclairs are vanilla, chocolate and coffee. However, in addition to the traditional flavours, Le Meridien have adopted three other local flavours of masala chai, mishit doi and coconut-cocoa bean which are quite popular among the diners. The recipe of éclair is as follows:

eclair

 

Preparation Time: 30 min

Cooking Time: 1 h

Makes 100-120 eclairs

 

Ingredients:

For the Choux Pastry:

Water – 500 mL

Milk – 500 mL

Butter – 500 g

Sugar – 25 g

Salt – 25 g

Flour  – 650 g

Eggs – 18 nos.

 

For the Filling:

 

Custard – any flavor

Whipped Cream

Chocolate Sauce / Chocolate Ganache / Caramel Sauce

Method:

Mix equal quantities of water, milk and butter together in a pan and bring to a boil. Add salt and sugar to it. Once the mixture starts boiling, add flour and stir constantly until the butter separates out of the mixture and a sticky consistency of the mixture is obtained. Take out the mixture from the heat and once it has cooled, add the eggs one after the other. Place the mixture in a piping bag. Grease a baking tray or line it with a butter paper and pipe out cyclindrical shaped éclairs from the piping bag. Bake it in a pre-heated oven at 180 oC for 35 min until the crust gets golden and crispy. Once they have cooled, cut open the éclair moulds by cutting them horizontally in a 60:40 ratio (should not be cut exactly halfway through the center). Prepare the custard before hand and mix it with whipped cream to get a fluffy consistency of the filling. Place it in a piping bag and pipe out the custard-cream filling into the half-cut éclairs. Coat them with chocolate or caramel sauce and decorate them with sprinklers.

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