Learn how to make eclairs at home using the classic pate a choux batter. Pipe the shells, bake, fill, and glaze or frost! These are eclairs filled with cinnamon whipped cream and glazed with an espresso glaze!
Welcome back to pate a choux week! If you just tuned in, I posted a tutorial yesterday about pate a choux, what it is, how to make it, and a brief overview of all the glorious treats that can be a result of knowing how to make it. Check out that post first then get your booty back over here for some eclairs!
For those who might not be aware, eclairs are traditionally oblong pastries that you can fill with either pastry cream or whipped cream. They are then usually topped with a chocolate glaze or fondant icing. I of course wanted to take liberties with my eclairs and do something a little bit different. I didn’t have any chocolate in the house (criminal, I know) so I opted for a simple glaze flavored with espresso. I also don’t love pastry cream or custard filling, and much prefer whipped cream that is only slightly sweetened. I am obsessed with cinnamon and coffee together so I added a touch of cinnamon to my whipped cream for the filling.
Okay, let me show you how to make eclairs!
Once again, start with water, butter, salt, and this time sugar in a pan over medium high heat. Have the flour standing by ready to pour in.
Once the butter is melted and everything starts to boil, turn the heat down to medium and pour in the flour all at once and quickly begin stirring with a spoon. The batter will initially look like ^ that picture up there. Keep stirring quickly over the heat to evaporate some of the water.
When the pastry starts to pull away from the sides and form a ball it is ready to come off that heat! Move it to either the bowl of a stand mixer or another large bowl if using a hand mixer. Let it cool for about 5 minutes before moving on to the eggs.
You want the batter cooled just enough that it won’t cook the eggs when added. Add the eggs one at a time and mix on low speed. Allow each egg to be completely absorbed into the pastry before adding the next.
Once all of the eggs are added your batter should look smooth and glossy. Place the batter in a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip or large star tip OR you can also use a zip top baggie with the tip cut off. Set aside to rest.
Preheat your oven to 425F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silpats.
Pipe pastry onto lined baking sheets about 2 1/2-3 inches long a piece. Wet the tips of your finger to smooth out the tips at the end of the pastry when the piping stopped. (I forgot to do this)
Place in a 425F oven 1 sheet at a time. Bake for 16-20 minutes. Do not open the oven during the first 10 minutes. This is when most of the rise happens in the pastry and opening the oven will release the steam needed to make everything rise.
Remove from the oven when golden brown and crisp. Allow to cool for several minutes on the baking sheets before removing to cooling racks to cool completely.
Gently piece 2 holes on the underside of the cooled pastry. One at each end.
Using a small round tip, gently pipe cream into the pastry using the holes you created.
Dip eclairs into the glaze and allow the glaze to set.
Then come back tomorrow for more fun with pate a choux!
- 1 cup water (8 fl oz, 240 ml)
- 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces (1/2 cup, 4 oz, 113 grams)
- large pinch kosher salt
- 2 TBSP granulated sugar (0.8 oz, 24 grams)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (4.5 oz, 127 grams)
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup heavy cream, cold (8 oz, 240 grams)
- 2 TBSP sugar (0.8 oz, 24 grams)
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon (1 gram)
- 1½ cups confectioners sugar
- ¼ tsp instant espresso powder
- 3-4 TBSP milk
- Place water, butter, sugar, and salt in a sauce pot over medium high heat. Stir until butter is melted and everything comes to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium. Add flour into the mixture all at once while stirring quickly. Continue to stir and cook off the moisture in the dough until it pulls away from the sides and starts to form into a ball. This should take about a minute.
- Place dough into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a large bowl if using a hand mixer. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes.
- With the mixer on medium-low speed, add eggs in one at a time. Do not add another egg until the one before has been completely absorbed into the batter. The batter will look smooth and glossy when ready. (Alternatively, you can mix in the eggs by hand. This just takes a bit longer. Mix each egg until completely absorbed before adding the next).
- Place batter in a pastry bag fitted with a large round or star tip or a zip top bag with the tip cut off.
- Preheat oven to 425F. Line baking sheets with parchment or silpat.
- Pipe the choux pastry onto lined baking sheets about 2½ -3 inches long each.
- Bake at 425F for 16-20 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Do not open the oven during the first 10 minutes.
- Fill cooled pastries with whipped cream and dip in glaze. Allow glaze to set for several minutes.
- Beat together all ingredients until the cream starts to thicken. A hand mixer will make this go very quickly. Having all utensils cold will also help the cream to thicken faster.
- Place in a pastry bag with a small round tip or a zip top bag with the tip cut off for filling the eclairs.
- Combine sugar, espresso powder and 3 TBSP milk in a pan over medium heat. Stir mixture over heat until warmed. Add more milk if desired for a thinner glaze.