I suggest that one have some baking experience before attempting. The piping tip that I purchased didn’t produce the large éclairs that we prefer. This could be due to my inexperience in piping. However, they were perfect as a petite dessert. As noted by other cook’s comments on the recipe web page, the baking time and temperature may result in burnt pastry. Other recipes recommend high heat for 15 minutes, then decrease to either 350° or 375°. The custard recipe yields twice as much as needed. You have enough custard for two batches. While the custard was delicious with the addition of a vanilla bean, a thicker custard is preferred.
I baked the éclairs two days ahead of time and stored them in a cookie tin in a cool location. If doing ahead, I would suggest “crisping” them up before filling. Preheat your oven to 350° and pop the éclairs in for five minutes. However, since eating them, I think they should be made and eaten the same day.
The custard was made a day ahead. I covered the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Before filling the éclairs, the recipe called for folding in a small amount of lightly whipped cream, which slightly thinned the custard.
The éclairs I have eaten are always filled like a jelly donut, poke a hole and pipe in the filling. This recipe called for slicing the top third off the éclair. As mine weren’t that large in diameter, this was a bit of a challenge. I used a serrated knife and ever so delicately slit the éclair. Once the bottom was filled, the top third was to be dipped in the chocolate glaze…yikes! As my éclairs were small, this was a bit of a challenge.
Will I make these again? Maybe as cream puffs, but more work needs to be done to achieve the type of éclair my family prefers.
Classic Chocolate Éclairs
By Samantha Seneviraten from The New York Times and NYTCooking
Yield: 12 to 14 éclairs
Time: 2-1/2 hours, plus cooling
FOR THE CUSTARD:
6 large egg yolks
½ cup/100 grams granulated sugar
¼ cup/30 grams cornstarch
Pinch kosher salt
2 cups/480 milliliters whole milk
¾ cup/180 milliliters heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped out and reserved
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
FOR THE PUFFS:
6 tablespoons/85 grams unsalted butter (3/4 stick)
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¾ cup/95 grams all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
FOR THE GLAZE:
½ cup/120 milliliters heavy cream
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup/170 grams chopped bittersweet chocolate
1 tablespoon corn syrup
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A former teacher, shop-a-holic, empty-nester redefining quick, family approved dinners.